"I don't think time's running out yet," NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said by phone Monday from Barcelona, Spain, where he met with about 40 players. "I still think if the parties are dedicated to it, there's sufficient time to reach an agreement."
Fehr also holds firm to the stance the union and its players are willing to play under the current CBA should negotiations run past September 15 in order to maintain the sport.
"There's no law that says you have to lock out," Fehr said. "If both parties are both really interested in trying to reach an agreement, and if we both really care what the people watching hockey games think, then we ought to be doing everything we can to avoid that eventuality."
- The ball is in your court, Mr. Bettman. Yes, the NHLPA hasn't submitted a counteroffer yet, but are methodically going about the process. The owners are the ones who need to show more flexibility here and not that they just want a bigger slice of the revenue pie.
Lynn DeBruin of the Montreal-Gazette has a spirit-filled quote from Buffalo Sabre goalie Ryan Miller, speaking on the uncertainty of the new CBA and what it means for the sport and its fans.
“The last thing (we) need to do is have some kind of a work stoppage, because we’ve made great strides with the positive spin hockey’s had,” Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller said. “I think the years coming out of the (2004-05) lockout, we got a lot of the fan base back, a lot of positive energy. Mix that with the Olympics here in North America, a couple of good playoffs, and we have a fan base that’s loyal and, honestly, the best sports fans out of any sport.
“We can’t alienate them. This is up to the NHL and the NHLPA to just get it right.”
- Have to admire Miller's passion, but he's also 100% correct. I stand by my argument another lockout would severely cripple the NHL and certainly take itself out of the "Top 4" of major pro sports in America. It's taken tremendous work for hockey to regain its popularity and profitability after the 04-05 lockout, meaning this new CBA needs to be handled delicately, promptly and most importantly, properly. If only Gary Bettman and the NHL owners shared the same passion as Ryan Miller.
If you look at the past 20 years in hockey, revenue has gone from 400 million, to 3.2 billion. yet the owners still want more.
@NoHockeyLockout Every owner of every pro sport wants to do one simple thing: make more money. Nature of the beast.
@TheWrage definitely, and i don't begrudge them that either. any owner of any business wants to make money. the problem becomes when you have such a disparity of money making teams, the owners can't agree, and so the league goes after the players.
Fehr really threw a fast ball right at Bettman, basically saying if we can't reach an agreement by sept 15th, let's play through and still work on a deal. If The NHL and not the players decide to lock out. It will not only cripple the sport and fans and players. But destroy the owners long term. You would think after the nfl and nba bs the past year and given bettmans record of 2 lost seasons, he would want to show he has learned something form what was put in front of him. I'm not counting on a deal being struck, but I would hope that Bettman would allow them to continue to play until a deal is done. But then again he like most owners don't care about the fans, only the revenue in there pocket. We will see.
@MTopper319 yup, but keep in mind #1 Fehr has been saying this for months now. and #2 goodenow said the same thing in 2004, but hardly anyone with the exception of larry brooks reported it. the problem is ownership/bettman, unless of course the press gets strong-armed by bettman again and turns the educated fan around.
@MTopper319 Very sad.
I never thought of that. Why not play under the current CBA until a new agreement is reached? I mean they've been doing it since the last lockout what is one more year? After reading that a lockout just seems stupid.
As far as I'm concerned the NHL shot itself in the foot long before the 04-05 lockout. It severely hurt itself with the 94-95 lockout. If they go to another lockout then the league just might as well close up shop in most cities in the lower 48.
@Beckfan5 94-95 couldn't have been a worse time for that lockout. The NHL was at the height of popularity (Thanks to Messier & the Rangers) then boom lockout and it's been almost irrelevant outside of the traditional hockey fan ever since.