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Reaction from the NHLPA side to Tuesday's NHL proposal:

 

Winnipeg Jets centre Olli Jokinen: "I think it's a good starting point. We have full trust and full support in Donald Fehr that he's going to do the right thing and get the deal done. We'll do our part over here, stay in shape and try to be ready whenever it starts."

On what will happen: "At the end of the day, it's the players' decision."

Jokinen, asked to comment on players not being thrilled by this offer: "The owners weren't jumping up and down when we made a proposal. So I think it's a starting point and we'll see where it leads in the next 10 days. In the next 10 days, we're going to know what's going to happen."

 

Jets captain Andrew Ladd: "From our standpoint, it's a starting point. I'm sure it was designed to put more pressure on us this late in the game, but that's not going to change what we're doing. We'll work on our proposal to get back to them."

Ladd, explaining the players' approach: "Fifty-seven per cent is what we got for giving up a hard cap and taking a 24 per cent rollback last time. We really didn't win the last negotiation, ended up with that and now they just want more."

On things players don't like in this proposal: "The deferred money and how we get paid back. Essentially, players down the road will be paying for our salaries now. That's not something we're very happy with."

On where this negotiation stands: "We've been willing to make concessions all along as long as they were willing to do the same thing."

 

Winnipegger and St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves: "I think both sides just need to grind it out in the next couple of days."

On the 50-50 proposal for HRR (hockey-related revenue): "There's nothing wrong with 50-50. There's always asterisks in the 50-50. There are things that aren't considered HRR that they kind of hide that would be considered part of the percentages."

On the tactics of the offer and making it public: "I think it's a little bit of a tactic by them, putting the pressure on us and swaying the public to their side. Either way, whatever they're trying to do, it's progress and something we can work with."

 

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr in a Tuesday letter to players, reported by TSN: "We do not yet know whether this proposal is a serious attempt to negotiate an agreement or just another step down the road. The next several days will be, in large part, an effort to discover the answer to that question."

Fehr, in his letter, not painting a rosy picture of NHL specifics: "Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights. As you will see, at the 5 per cent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds $1.6 billion. What do the owners offer in return?

"The proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position, but still represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners, in salary and benefits (the Players' Share) and in individual player contracting rules."

Fehr, on what the players gained in 2005, items like unrestricted free agency after seven years or at Age 27: "The player contracting rights secured in the last negotiations should be, at minimum, maintained."

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 18, 2012 C3

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