Posts Tagged Steve Fehr

Crickets yesterday … Pens to target Gonchar … McQuaid had 2 surgeries … Beauty shootout goal

  • TSN: Bill Daly said he hadn’t spoken with Steve Fehr as of yesterday evening.

    “Nothing today,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press in an email Sunday night. “Don’t know whether we will speak before the holiday.”

    They spoke on Saturday, but nothing came out of the talks.

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Garrioch notes that if the NHL season gets underway, to not expect Sergei Gonchar to finish the season with the Senators. The Pittsburgh Penguins may target Gonchar, who is in the last year of his deal that will pay him $5.5 million. League sources are saying the Penguins are looking to bring him back. Penguins GM Ray Shero didn’t want to lose Gonchar before, but wouldn’t go to 3 years like the Senators did. The Sens won’t want to just give him away. Their blueline will already be without Jared Cowen, who had season ending hip surgery.
  • Boston Globe: Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid had 2 surgeries in October and would have been out until sometime in January, maybe February. He had one surgery for a blood clot under his collarbone and another surgery a couple weeks later to hopefully help prevent another one. A rib was removed and part of his neck muscle.

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Negotiations could start on the 26th or 27th … Daly-Fehr spoke yesterday

  • TSN: Bill Daly and Steve Fehr spoke on the phone yesterday, but still have no plans to meet face to face.
  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: Matias Strozyk reported that Ales Hemsky, Jakub Kindl and David Krejci have left Pardubice. Hemsky’s insurance ran out, and it’s possible that he and Krejci return in the new year if the NHL season is cancelled.

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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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Sides haven’t talked since Friday with nothing schedule … Steve Fehr and Bill Daly quotes

  • Katie Strang of ESPN: According to Steve Fehr, there hasn’t been any contact with Bill Daly since Friday, with no meeting scheduled. All it would take to get back to the negotiating table …

    “A phone call,” Fehr told ESPNNewYork.com when reached via telephone Monday evening. “I had the impression when we ended the session on Thursday that they had nothing more to say at this time. As soon as they’re ready, we’re ready.”

    “We are ready, willing, able and eager to negotiate,” Fehr said. “We want to get an agreement and we want to get it done as soon as possible.”

  • Louis Jean via twitter: Bill Daly on avoiding litigation:  “We obviously think its important for the Union & the Players to focus on returning to the bargaining table. That is the safest and most expeditious way to a deal.”
  • Louis Jean via twitter: Bill Daly said he has ”no intention to contact them as they understand where we are.”
  • Nick Cotsonika via twitter: Bill Daly pointed out in Friday’s conference call that the NHLPA is still asking for a $67.25 million salary cap ceiling that never goes down, plus having compliance buyouts and escrow caps. Daly called them “very significant dollar issues.” Daly added that the disclaimer could ”clearly put the season in jeopardy” in his opinion.

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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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A CBA round up from yesterday’s meetings

Both the NHL and NHLPA made proposals yesterday.

After last night’s meetings which ended around 1 am:

  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: The NHL and NHLPA may have cut back their numbers in tonight’s meetings. 3 owners and few players than earlier in the day.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The NHL has increased their ‘make whole’ number to $300 million, up from $211 million. The players offered $383 million in their offer 2 weeks ago. Bob McKenzie via twitter: For the $300 million ‘make whole,’ $250 million is to ‘make whole’ and $50 million is for pension funding.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: The NHLPA will like that the NHL remained status quo on UFA and salary arbitration. The NHLPA won’t like the 5 year term limits on contracts (7 for a teams own UFA), 5% variance from year to year, and a 10 year CBA. The 10 CBA term length has an out clause after 8 years.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: The players may not love the NHLs latest proposal, but it might be enough for them to vote on it.
  • Katie Strang via twitter: Multiple sources told Strang that there is a growing concern with the NHLPA about the current format going forward. The PA is looking for no more restrictions on who is in the room. Some of the concern may be that this format could put a wedge among NHLPA members. One source said today’s session was “bizarre.” Having no restrictions on who is present in the room would mean that both Don Fehr and Gary Bettman would be present.
  • Rob Rossi via twitter: Both sides are still a bit frustrated. Penguins owner Ron Burkle not thrilled by the union.

Before the evening session:

  • Tim Panaccio via twitter: A 10 year CBA was discussed but not formally proposed. Owners want a 10 year deal more than players.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: The NHL would make certain “concessions” if the CBA would be longer than the offered 6-7 year deal. Concerns over player contracts and ‘make whole’ are still there.
  • Jesse Spector via twitter: “Thing I haven’t been able to grasp: Why would NHLPA want a shorter deal, and invite the owners to dip into their pockets again sooner?”
  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: If a deal gets reached soon, a 54 to 60 game season is possible. 54 games if they start around Christmas, 54 if they start January 1st.

Yesterday morning:

  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: There was talk in the Board of Governors meeting that there was a possible schedule if there is a deal. One executive said that a 60 game schedule is likely too many games, a 50 plus schedule is possible.
  • Michael Russo via twitter: Stars Alex Goligoski, ”It is positive that some progress was made, but until you’re in the final stages of this thing and things are agreed on by both sides, it’s almost foolish to be too optimistic.”
  • David Staples via twitter: Doug MacLean said that Gary Bettman intended to grind the players down until December 1st, then work to get a deal done.

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Cautious Optimism after last night’s talks … A GM says most owners want a deal, and that Bettman blew it

  • Katie Strang via twitter: The NHL and NHLPA are expected to reconvene around 9 am this morning, with the Board of Governors meeting at 11 am.
  • TSN videos on talks from last night, here and here.
  • Aaron Ward via twitter: Both sides may have discussed further means of ‘giving.’ Sides are encouraged by talks so far.
  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: Gulitti was told there was progress, but it’s still at a delicate stage. Similar situations before in talks that didn’t work out.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The players left the meetings around midnight last night. One player texted: ”There was certainly traction. But I don’t want to say more.” “Cautious Optimism” is a word being used by many. Bill Daly and Steve Fehr stood side-by-side addressing the media after the talks had finished. Penguins billionaire owner Ron Burkle “shined brightly in talks.” Burkle had been talking with Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, over the past couple weeks.
  • NHLPA.com: Players in New York yesterday: Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews , Kevin Westgarth.
  • Allan Walsh via twitter: Walsh talked with a GM who said that the majority of owners want a deal, and that Bettman blew it with their first 43/57 offer. Bettman, Jacobs, Batterman have no respect for the players and general managers, and that this lockout is a wasted opportunity to advance the game. One big complaint from the GM is that most owners don’t understand the nuances of the CBA. Most GMs see Bettman as the enemy. The GM used Lou Lamoriello as an example. Look at what happened after the Devils signed Kovalchuk: arbitration, big fine, loss of draft picks. Lamoriello was involved in a lot of negotiations during the last lockout, where is he now?
  • John Shannon via twitter: There are Board of Governors meetings today, and on Thursday/Friday the NHL and NHLPA will be in front of the Quebec Labor Board.

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No bargaining talks scheduled … Clowe the coach … 3 temporarily return to N.A. … SKA looking for NHL experienced coach

  • Katie Strang via twitter: Bill Daly and Steve Fehr were in contact over the weekend. No future bargaining sessions are scheduled.
  • David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: Sharks Ryane Clowe continues to practice with the SF Bulls of the ECHL. On game nights, he’s the assistant coach and handles the defense. Clowe said about 95% of the players are behind Don Fehr. He’s in the last year of his deal with the Sharks, and it’s one reason why he’s chosen not to play during the lockout, though that can change.

    “A lot of guys have two- or three-year deals. When you’re heading into UFA you don’t want to take a chance. But I understand whatever you do, it’s risky and it’s not just if I played here. Guys in Europe, you see guys getting injured over there.

    “Withing the next few weeks, we’ll know more here and then you make a decision.”

  • Szymon Szemberg via twitter: Despite being 1st in the KHL, SKA released their coach and are looking to bring in someone from North America with NHL experience according Pavel Lysenkov.

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Where each side sits … Bettman talks

  • Kevin Allen of the USA Today: Today’s meeting will likely include Bill Daly, Gary Bettman, and a small number of owners. Some players are expected to join Don and Steve Fehr. The two sides are a long way from a deal. Where each side sits on two main issues.Dividing HRR 50-50: The players are willing to accept a 50-50 if the owners honor all existing contracts. They want to make sure that players won’t have to give all of it back in escrow. The players want $1.883 billion each year, compounded with 1.75 percent each year. Revenues are expected to be reduced by at least $350-$400 million. The owners say the players proposal gives them a raise in year one, and never really goes much below 52 percent. The owners offered $211 million in deferred payment as part of ‘make whole.’ They expect that in the 3rd year of the CBA, revenue will be back to where it was last year.

    Changes in contracting rights: The owners are looking for two year entry level deals, changing arbitration rights, UFA for eight seasons or 28 years old, capping term to five years, and only allowing 5% salary variance from year to year. The owners feel they would be paying players when they are in their prime, rather than when they are on the rise. They are trying to eliminate front loaded contracts. The old CBA allowed players to get big deals after their entry level contracts expired. Also, they think it creates a strong “middle class.” The NHLPA feel that the NHL are non-negotiable on contracting rights.

  • Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press: Gary Bettman did a 30 minute interview yesterday morning. (There are lots of quotes, but I’ll only post a couple.)

    “There seems to be a fundamental disagreement on many of the core issues. We have proposed a 50-50 split of HRR (hockey-related revenue) which has not been agreed to. We have raised issues with respect to how the system works and the adjustments we think need to be made, and there doesn’t seem to be agreement or even a willingness to agree on them.”

    On the players giving to get to 50-50, why give more?

    “Twofold. One, we want to make sure the system works well and continues to work well. There are certain trends and issues that have arisen that we believe need to be adjusted in order for us to have the competitive balance that we want and need to enable us to continue to grow the game. What’s in this deal for the players? Give or take $14 billion over the next seven years.”

    If weaker teams can’t compete from a revenue point, why not contract?

    “We believe all of our franchises are important and can be viable and can be successful. And frankly, if we’re going to continue to grow the game and grow what you refer to as national revenues, you need to have a truly national footprint, not just in Canada but in the United States.”

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Was there a December 1st date? Daly and Fehr to talk … Panthers making money?

  • Nick Cotsonika via twitter: Gary may have suggested the two week break in talks because the NHL heard that Don Fehr told the players on a conference call that the owners date was December 1st. Bettman wanted to show that there is no date. Whether or not Fehr said that in the conference call is not the point, “there is a lack of trust and communication poisoning the process.”
  • Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: Russo obtain some charts from the NHLPA that outline the NHLPA’s player share proposal that are worth checking out.

    “The issue of how you deal with damage from the lockout is a tough one, particularly since it is impossible to know the extent of the damage,” NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr said in an email. “What we have suggested to the owners several times is that we put aside that issue for the moment and concentrate upon the overall structure of the deal. If we do that, based upon the last proposals from each side, we think the parties are much closer than they have ever been on the economics. If we could bridge that gap, then we could come back quickly to the lockout damage issue. For whatever reason, the owners have declined to do that, and seem to be intent on portraying the parties as further apart than we think we are.”

  • @67Sound via twitter: Forbes reported that the Panthers had an annual loss of $7 million but the according to their books that were given to Broward County show an annual profit of $10 million.

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A 2 week break from CBA talks coming? **Bangs head off table**

  • Sportsnet: The NHL lockout has dragged on for the last 9 weeks, and they now are discussing a 2 week break. Gary Bettman suggested a 2 week moratorium on the stalled negotiations. Talks have stalled since they met last week and over the weekend. Bill Daly yesterday morning: ”But I’m more discouraged now than I have been at any point in the process.”
  • Chris Johnston via twitter: It sounds like the 2 week negotiation break came from a conversation, not a straight offer. Aaron Ward via twitter: Sources are saying that Bettman floated the idea that both sides take a 2 week moratorium. “This has NOT been discussed further.”
  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: Gulitti was told that this proposed 2 week break from Bettman came after he asked Fehr if they would respond to the proposal that the NHL has on the table, in which Fehr said “no.”
  • Allan Walsh via twitter: Walsh’s opinion: “Bettman’s 2 week moratorium makes no sense if he really wants a deal. Trying to burn calendar, put more pressure on players.”
  • Will DePaoli via twitter: Chatter out there is that Bettman and the Board of Governors won’t consider a season under 40 games.
  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: An NHL player: ”What concession has the league made? Only the NHL could see us going from 57 percent to 50 as a concession on their part.”
  • Dave Molinari via twitter: Pascal Dupuis: “It can get done in two days. It’s a matter of talking. Obviously, right now, we’re willing to do it.”

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“Fairly close” yet so far away … Once the moment is right, a deal will get done quickly

  • Sean Fitz-Gerald in the Ottawa Citizen: Steve Fehr said that both sides are “fairly close” on at least one major issue and are working hard on the others.

    “I think one thing Bill Daly and I agree upon is that, when the moment is right, we’ll get a deal done very quickly,” Fehr said. “One day, three days, whatever.” Daly confirmed he shared the sentiment, but with a caveat.

    “This isn’t all that complicated,” he wrote in an email. “But the clubs feel strongly about these issues, and feel like they have moved a lot already.

    There’s not much more to give.”

    On player contracting rights:

    “We’re not making any real progress in those areas,” Fehr said. “It’s kind of hard to believe anyone’s going to drive the industry bus off a cliff over things like that, but I’ve seen things before that have surprised me.”

    When asked if they’ve considered using a mediator:

    “We made it plain that we’re open to the concept,” he said. “My impression was that the league isn’t terribly interested in it. If anybody has any suggestions, suggest away.”

  • Kevin McGran via twitter: Steve Fehr said there are 3 issues: money, players contracting rights, and who pays for what if there is a shortened season this year.
  • James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: On Sunday, the both sides discussed player contracting rights. That discussion lasted less than hour.

    “It was a candid discussion, but there was no progress,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

    Daly said the league was willing to compromise on 14 of the 17 contract issues. The issues that they may not willing to bend are believed to be “a contract term limit of five years, moving free agency and arbitration rights back one year, and allowing only a 5-per-cent variance in salary from year to year.” The players are saying at since they are moving from a 57% share to 50%, they don’t want to move on contracting rights.

    “The owners made it clear that there is no give with respect to any of their proposals,” Fehr told assembled reporters. “That unless players are prepared to take [the offer] – this is my phrase, not theirs – down to the comma, that there’s nothing to do.

    “‘We’re past the point of give and take.’ That’s what I was told Gary [Bettman] said when I was out of the meeting.”

    Fehr said more negotiations are likely to place this week in Toronto. If they can get a deal done in the next 2 weeks or so, they could get in a 60 game schedule.

  • Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly: A sources said:

    “The NHL is not ready to make a deal yet,” said one source, who has had a steady pulse on these talks since September. “Gary [Bettman] has a date in mind to play, and we’re not there yet.”

    Steve Fehr said they are close in revenue sharing, but not in other areas. When asked if they were really close on an agreement, Daly responded:

    “That’s a question you should be asking Don,” Daly said in an e-mail to CSNPhilly.com Monday. “They have given us no indication they think we are close on economics.

    “Maybe you can explain to me how close we are when the union’s last offer requested a ‘guarantee’ of players’ share dollars in excess of $1.9 billion — and a guarantee going up in subsequent years — and we are offering 50 percent of HRR this year in an environment where we estimate damage to the business of at least $400 million — to this point?

    “Their latest offer would have players making 65 percent of HRR for this year. It’s a funny definition of being ‘close’.”

    A spokesman for Steve Fehr said that Daly’s statement is not accurate, that if they could get an agreement on the overall system, they could then look at how to address the losses from the lockout.

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