Posts Tagged Don Fehr

PA doesn’t file disclaimer of interest … Pension and salary cap ceiling are big issues

  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: Settling the pension issue would be key to getting a deal done. There is still big money at stake for the NHL and NHLPA. Other issues would fall in easier. There are some owners who feel that the pension offer from the the NHLPA leaves them with too much liability. Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The players are still sour at the league over the pension issue. This needs to be resolved before any deal gets done. Darren Dreger via twitter: Entering yesterday, the NHLPA wanted the NHL to share in the pension cost. The bigger issue may be the teams ongoing liability to pay the pension after this CBA would expire. Eric Macramalla via twitter: In the past, the NHL has funded the majority of the pension, now they want the players to fund.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The 2nd year for salary cap remains a big issue. The NHL is still looking for $60 million. NHLPA is will to go to $65 million. The NHL doesn’t want the cap floor to move. David Pagnotta via twitter: The NHLPA is fighting hard to get the salary cap ceiling higher than the $60 million the NHL is aiming for.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: LeBrun is hearing that both sides were disappointed with the lack of true movement in each sides latest proposals.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: Pagnotta was told that the NHLPA is willing to have a 10 year CBA and a 6 year max contract for free agents, but they countered on the 10% variance and the cap number.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: There were minor strides gained yesterday, with enough to bypass filing the disclaimer of interest. It is still in option, but would need a re-vote by the NHLPA. Bruce Garrioch via twitter: Don Fehr said they will keep their legal options open. They will be there for a meeting at 10:00 AM, with a mediator.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: Bettman is fighting for the smaller markets to pay less money, and wants the big markets (like the Canucks) to dismantle their roster despite the PA not asking for a cap on escrow.

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NHL responds with another counter offer … If sides aren’t far apart, NHLPA won’t file disclaimer

  • David Alter via twitter: Fehr said they received a comprehensive response from the NHL and hopes to respond to them [today]. Renaud Lavoie via twitter: The NHL and NHLPA will speak on the phone this morning and will decide when to meet. Gary Bettman: “we anticipate being back together tomorrow.”
  • TSN: The NHL made another proposal last night, giving a 30 minute presentation on it.

    “They did make a comprehensive response to what we gave them,” players’ association executive director Donald Fehr said. “We asked a couple of questions. Now what we have to do is go through the document, try to make some sense out of it, compare it and see what the appropriate thing is to do next.”

    Gary Bettman wouldn’t give any details of their latest offer.

    “There were certain things that the players’ association asked for that we agreed to, there were some things that we moved in their direction, and there were other things that we said no,” he said. “That’s part of the process.”

  • NHLPA via twitter: Players in meetings: Craig Adams, Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Rick DiPietro, Shane Doan, Andrew Ference, Ron Hainsey, Jamal Mayers & Martin St. Louis.
  • Eric Macramalla via twitter: “The players have authorized the #NHLPA to disclaim interest by tomorrow; however if NHLPA doesn’t it can do it later – no real deadline. NHLPA will only disclaim interest if it believes the sides are too far apart;Fehr has said they are close – so would be a surprise to see it. A precursor to a disclaimer is union statements like “we are just too far apart” and “this just isn’t going to get done”; haven’t heard that. So if the sides are close to a deal, don’t expect the NHLPA to disclaim interest by Jan 2 deadline; but if deal not close expect disclaimer. So disclaimer threat may act as catalyst to get a deal done – NHLPA will not hold another player vote authorizing disclaimer – now or never. There are still big issues that need resolving like the cap in 2013, escrow and make whole – this is a concern #nhl #nhlpa. On bad faith disclaimer issue – Fehr may have said sides are close – however Bettman has said they have been far apart – so may help PA. If Fehr dissolves NHLPA it may not be re-formed and may stay trade association – this may not be same as NBPA and NFLPA.”

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Players give board authority to file disclaimer … Team Canada Spengler Cup roster

  •  Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The players voted “yes” to give the executive board the authority to file a disclaimer of interest. 706 players voted yes, with only 22 players voting no. This doesn’t mean that the players association will definitely file the disclaimer, but gives them the option to do so before January 2nd. LeBrun doesn’t think that they’ll file right away, if they do at all. They will focus on getting a deal done. Darren Dreger via twitter: Giving the board that authority is one thing, filing the disclaimer is another. The season is days away from being over.
  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Brad Boyes on HNIC radio:

    “This is something we’re doing for a reason,” said Boyes, who signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Isles. “This is not for show or anything like that. We’re at a point where guys want to exhaust all options and do everything we can to avoid this.

    “We’re going to see what we can do. Like (Fehr) said. We don’t want to do this, but it’s looking like we might have to (do it).”

    A source said that the players also voted if they would form a trade association if they did file for the disclaimer of interest. If they formed a trade association, Don Fehr would be one of their lawyers that would represent them.

  • Hockey Canada: Team Canada for the Spengler Cup.
    Player Hometown/Country Team/Organization
    Devan Dubnyk Calgary, Alta. Edmonton (NHL)
    Jonathan Bernier Laval, Que. Los Angeles (NHL)
    Cam Barker Winnipeg, Man.
    Jason Demers Dorval, Que. Karpat Oulu (FIN)
    Geoff Kinrade Nelson, B.C. SC Bern (SUI)
    Micki Dupont Calgary, Alta. Kloten (SUI)
    Maxim Noreau Montreal, Que. HC Ambri-Piotta (SUI)
    Carlo Colaiacovo Toronto, Ont. Detroit (NHL)
    Derrick Walser New Glasgow, N.S. Rapperswil-Jona (SUI)
    Travis Roche Grande Cache, Alta. SC Bern (SUI)
    Matt Duchene Hailburton, Ont. HC Ambri-Piotta (SUI)
    Pascal Pelletier Neufchatel, Que. SCL Tigers (SUI)
    Jacob Micflikier Winnipeg, Man. EHC Biel (SUI)
    Brett McLean Comox, B.C. HC Lugano (SUI)
    Kurtis McLean Kirkland Lake, Ont. SCL Tigers (SUI)
    Jason Spezza Toronto, Ont. Rapperswil-Jona (SUI)
    John Tavares Oakville, Ont. SC Bern (SUI)
    Josh Holden Calgary, Alta. EV Zug (SUI)
    Jason Williams London, Ont. HC Ambri-Piotta (SUI)
    Patrice Bergeron Sillery, Que. HC Lugano (SUI)
    Marc-Antoine Pouliot Quebec City, Que. EHC Biel (SUI)
    Sam Gagner Oakville, Ont. Klagenfurter AC (AUT)
    Tyler Seguin Brampton, Ont. EHC Biel (SUI)
    Byron Ritchie North Delta, B.C. SC Bern (SUI)
    Ryan Smyth Banff, Alta. Edmonton (NHL)

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NHL cancels games through Jan. 14th … Players vote ends today … Who will represent the players if disclaim or decertify?

The NHL cancelled games through January 14th.

  • Daniel Tolensky via twitter: The NHL has cancelled 17.7% of games since October 2004 (1 in every 5.6) and 10.6% of games since October 1994 (1 in every 9.4).
  • Kevin Kurz via twitter: “When this ends, players will have lost at least 40% of 1 year’s pay, and get 50% of what will be reduced future $. Great leadership, Don.”
  • Josh Cooper via twitter: Hal Gill on the last batch of cancelled games: “Maybe they are waiting for the Mayan predictions to get them off the hook”
  • John Shannon via twitter: There was no contact between the NHL and NHLPA yesterday. Players voting period ends today. Shannon wonders if both sides are in a holding pattern.
  • Renaud Lavoie via twitter: Yesterday was the 2nd day in a row with no communication. They have only spoke twice in the last week.
  • Daren Millard via twitter: “Partners told puck must drop jan 14th, means D.D. Date 8 to 10 earlier. Let’s hope for a ny eve resolution”
  • Adrian Dater via twitter: If there will be a season, expect a start date of January 15th. That is a pay day for the players and the NHL doesn’t want to start in February.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: Player voting ends today. If they will go forward with the disclaimer of interest or to decertify, Don Fehr will no longer represent the players. Will the lawyers negotiate for them? Dreger wonders if the players will use Fehr as a consultant. “Sounds as time-wasting as both sides not talking with the season clearly in jeopardy.”
  • Sean Fitz-Gerald via twitter: Bill Daly on Edmonton radio: “Realignment is something that is going to have to be done, and accommodated, at some point”
  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: Portzline has said many times that the Blue Jackets are “a very poor argument for revenue sharing. They’ve spent lots of money on players in recent seasons, haven’t won. Fans in Columbus have been treated to two lockouts, one playoff series, no playoff wins. Team was out of it by U.S. Thanksgiving in 2011-12.”

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Walsh defends Brassard for leaving Red Bull … Videos: Fehr and Daly talk about the lockout

  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: Derick Brassard left his Austrian team without their permission, agent Allan Walsh had this to say: “Derick Brassard is the 5th NHL player to sign with Red Bull this season and the 5th player to leave within 3 weeks of arrival. Talk to Tobias Enstrom, David Clarkson, Derek Dorsett or any of Red Bull’s current players. There is no more unprofessional organization in all of Europe. The club is misrepresenting the facts in an attempt to justify to their fans and media why NHL players keep leaving.”
  • Fan 590 Radio (Audio): Click the link to listen to Don Fehr on the Jeff Blair show yesterday morning, talking about the vote on disclaimer of interest, a deadline showdown, and lack of negotiations.
  • Jeff Simmons of Bill Daly was on Hockey Central @ Noon yesterday. (Don Fehr was on the Fan 590 before this interview)

    “I don’t think there is a date circled,” Daly said of a potential drop-dead date for a new deal. “Obviously as we’re moving towards end of December, we have to get realistic on how many games we can play. (Gary Bettman) is on record saying we’re not looking to playing less than 48 games.”

    “They proposed compliance buyouts. They proposed a cap on escrow. Those are all money outside the system. In addition to the $300 million that we’re giving on top of the 50-50 that makes it not 50-50, they’re asking for more dollars outside of the system … Until we settle all the financials, to suggest we have a 50-50 split is wrong and not accurate.”

  • Jeff Simmons on Don Fehr spoke again yesterday about the lockout before last night’s charity hockey game.

    “(We aren’t talking) because the owners have not indicated a desire to resume,” the NHLPA’s executive director said Wednesday night before a charity game. “We’ve indicated any number of times that we’re willing to resume when they are (and) we’re willing to resume without preconditions. …

    “So we’re waiting to hear back from them.”

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Sides briefly talk, no meeting scheduled … Games expected to be cancelled this week … Games need to start by Jan. 20th

  • Eric Macramalla via twitter: “NHL digging in suggests that a number of teams facing challenges under current system; record revenues doesn’t mean record profitability”
  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Though they talked on the phone yesterday, there are no talks scheduled. LeBrun doesn’t think the NHL will go back to negotiating until the NHLPA has a new proposal or new idea to at least talk about. A player sent a text to LeBrun,

    “Wait a minute, we made the last offer [Dec. 6] and they still think it’s our turn to make the next move? Makes no sense.”

    Ever since the players-owners meeting at the beginning of the month, the NHL may be thinking that since the NHLPA didn’t like comprises they were offering, that Don Fehr is waiting for mid-January (the 11th hour) to make his move.  This is why the NHL may not be moving off their offer.

    More games are expected to be cancelled later this week, possibly the last batch of games before the season is cancelled. In order to get in a 48-50 games season, they’ll need to start around January 20th. They’ll have the first 7 to 10 days in January to get a deal done.

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No progress made with mediator yesterday … Silliness could go on for weeks

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: The mediator will talk with the NHLPA this morning. If he concludes that a deal could be close, he will suggest having another meeting. If he doesn’t, negotiations go back to square one.
  • Katie Strang of ESPN: Yesterday meetings between the NHL and NHLPA ended with Bill Daly saying that there was “no conclusion” to the process, and with the players feeling the NHL won’t negotiate. There are no meetings scheduled. Don Fehr will speak with the mediator this morning. The meetings lasted about six hours yesterday, with Fehr saying,

    “All I am going to say is there wasn’t any change in position,” Fehr said.

    Several sources have said the NHL is standing by it’s “take-it-or-leave-it” position. Daly said in an email that the NHL never put a last offer on the table. The sides met separately with the mediator.

  • Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: Russo was told that the mediators met with the NHL for about 15-20 minutes, and hours with the players. The league has insisted there isn’t a communication issue. The owners are holding pat on their “proposal was 50/50, 10-year CBA, $300 million Make Whole, 5-year max deals (7 to re-sign your own player) and 5% variances in salary per year.” The owners may be done negotiating, and the players will need determine if the it’s worth throwing away their salaries this season.
  • Rich Chere via twitter: Brendan Morrison:  “I think discouraged is a good word. Frustrated. It’s bargaining. There has to be give and take.”
  • Tim Panaccio via twitter: Panaccio thinks that if the NHL is done negotiating off their last offer, the only thing left is a “drop dead” date to put pressure on the NHLPA.
  • Nick Cotsonika via twitter: Some facts haven’t changed after yesterday’s meetings. They are closer than ever, but still trying to squeeze every last drop, and still playing chicken. The next move is on the players.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: Some people think a deal can get done this month, while others think it won’t be done until mid-January. There is still a lot of work for them to do, and some big issues haven’t been discussed yet.
  • NHLPA via twitter: 11 players were at yesterday’s meetings: Adams, Aucoin, Boyes, Campoli, Darche, Doan, Hainsey, Mayers, A. McDonald, Montador, B. Morrison, D. Murray, Winnik.
  • Chris Botta via twitter: The city of Pittsburgh estimates they lose about $2.2 million for every cancelled Penguins home game. Sarah Baicker via twitter: Senator Casey said in a letter that Pittsburgh could lose $86 million is season is cancelled.

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Sides exchange emails … Fehr speaks … Jokinen and Koivu heading overseas … Myers, Gardiner and Nash injuries

  • Bob Mitchell of the Toronto Star: Don Fehr spoke to the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) yesterday, and spoke to the media afterwards.

    “It seemed to me that we ought to have been able to move forward and finish it off but so far they have not indicated they are willing to continue discussions.” Fehr told the media after giving his speech.

    “There had been some movement. We responded with some movement.” Fehr said. “We think we’re done on the dollars or very close to it with the exception of one issue, transition, which we haven’t even discussed yet.”

    “The way this negotiation sits, the percentage that players get out of industry revenue, assuming that the current proposals on the table hold, would result in massive concessions to the owners,” Fehr said. “When they say they’re negotiating against themselves, what exactly is it?

    “What has moved in the players’ direction? It’s not salaries. It’s not the length of contract.”

    “So far there has been no indication from the other side that there is any drop-dead date. All I can tell you is that when you’re in a negotiation, you keep at it and find a way to reach an agreement,” Fehr said.

  • Bob Stauffer via twitter: The NHL won’t be making a “big” move to the NHLPA in the next couple days. To avoid the cancellation of more game, the players are going to have to make the next move.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: Senators Kyle Turris has left the FEL for personal reasons. Hurricanes Jussi Jokinen will take his place.
  • Mike Harrington via twitter: There are reports out of Austria, that Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers is having a MRI on his ankle after suffering an injury on Friday night. Through another sites translation, Myers has stretched ligaments in his ankle, but could return to the lineup next Friday. Myers has 2 goals, 7 assists and is -8 in 16 games.
  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: On Rick Nash’s groin injury that has led him to fly from Zurich to New York.

    “It’s purely precautionary, but we’re taking the ‘Better safe than sorry’ approach,” Joe Resnick, Nash’s agent, told The Post. “There’s nothing for anyone to be alarmed about.”

    “Once Rick sees the doctors, he’ll decide whether to return [to Switzerland],” Resnick said. “It seems like we might not be too far away from a deal here on a CBA, so what everyone is hoping is that he can get onto the ice with the Rangers as soon as possible.”

  • Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun: After scoring his 2nd goal of the game, and eventual game winner, Marlies Jake Gardiner was pulled from the game.

    “He wasn’t in a concussion state, just not feeling quite right,” coach Dallas Eakins said. “With all of our players, we err on the side of caution. We’ll re-evaluate him later tonight and tomorrow.”

  • Bob Stauffer via twitter: If the NHL gets back to playing sometime in January, and with Andy Sutton’s injury status, the Oilers may need to add some depth along the blueline.

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Players were ready to play, Don said no … Fehr sends email to players … 3 key points for owners

  • Chris Johnston via twitter: Ron Hainsey said that the players were told by the NHL on Wednesday night that if they brought Don Fehr back into the room, it would potentially be “a deal-breaker.”
  • Terry Koshan of the Toronto Star: NHLPA executive director, Don Fehr, sent an email to players, here are the key points:

    1. Transition payment (“make whole”): We moved off of our $393 Million proposal and accepted the League’s December 5 offer of $300 Million. This means there is an agreement on dollars.

    2. Individual SPC (standard player contract) length and Variability of SPCs: The Owners have proposed (i) a limit of 5 years, except that Players who re-sign with their Clubs could contract for 7 years, and (ii) a 5% limit on year-to-year salary variability in long-term deals. We believe that these restrictions would devastate the “middle class” of players and result in the NBA model, where a few players earn huge salaries while pushing everyone else down toward the minimum. (Their proposal would also undermine the free-agent market by giving a significant advantage to Clubs that want to re-sign their own Players.) Moreover, in spite of our concerns, in order to close the deal we moved from of our last offer (a 10-year limit and no limit on variability) and instead proposed an 8-year limit on all SPCs and a variability limit of 25% over the term of the SPC, applied to contracts of 7 years or longer.

    3. Pensions: We agreed to the Owners’ proposal on pensions, which included the Players’ commitment of $50 Million of the $300 Million transition payment in order to address Owners’ concerns about their liability in the event of underfunding.

    4. CBA Term: The League pressed hard for a 10-year term, moving off their previous proposal of 6 + 1, and doubling the length of their initial proposal of a 5 years. In fact, they’ve moved away from us on this issue from the very start. Nevertheless, in an effort to reach agreement, we made a major move towards them, offering an 8-year term, with a Player right to opt out after 6 years.

    5. Cap Benefit Recapture: We again made a move towards the League, responding to their complaint that this provision must apply to existing SPCs as well as new ones, by offering to cover all existing contracts that have 7 years or more remaining.

  • Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post: Gary Bettman’s opening remarks (video of Bettman’s press conference in previous post):

    “We’re at a loss to explain what happened. But things were not of the same tone as they had been on Tuesday. Nevertheless, the owners decided to try and continue to do everything possible to make a new collective bargaining agreement. The key for all of us — particularly the owners, but everybody associated with the game — was to have a long-term agreement. That’s what our fans deserve. That’s what the game deserves. That’s what the players deserve. And that’s what all of our business partners deserve. And that’s something we wanted to achieve, with a system that would work appropriately and would continue to enable us to have great competitive balance and grow the game. With that view in mind, the owners, particularly the four new ones that joined us … they wanted to push ahead and do something bold. And so, what they did, among other things, was virtually put a new $100-million on the table on Wednesday night in the hopes that would help show that we wanted to get back and play, which we do, very much, as quickly as possible. The union’s response was shockingly silent, so to speak, in terms of their reaction. It was almost no reaction. It was, ‘thank you, we’ll take the $100-million.’ The owners were beside themselves. Some of them, I had never seen that emotional. And they said they don’t know what happened, but this process is over — clearly, the union doesn’t want to make a deal, and this was from the four new entrants in the process.”

  • Dan Rosen via twitter: Bill Daly stressed that there are 3 must-have for the owners: 1. max 10 year CBA 2. shorter than 8 year max for contract lengths like the NHLPA proposed 3. no compliance issues. The NHL leaders have stressed that if it was a yes on those 3 points, they would continue to negotiate. If it was a no, they won’t negotiate. Obviously, it was a no.
  • Louis Jean via twitter: A source on the 5-7 year contract term limit: “there shouldn’t be more give or else we’ll have another lockout. Might as well fix it now.”
  • Louis Jean via twitter: Source:  “If we can’t get a deal with Burkle, Brisson & Crosby, it may not get done. Take it to a vote or we’re probably not playing.”

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Video: Don Fehr’s 2nd press conference and Gary Bettman, Bill Daly press conference

Don Fehr’s 2nd press conference after NHL rejected the NHLPAs offer.


Gary Bettman and Bill Daly’s press conference: part 1


Gary Bettman and Bill Daly’s press conference: part 2


Gary Bettman and Bill Daly’s press conference: part 3

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