Friday, December 7, 2012
The Only Thing NHL Players Have to Fear is Fehr Himself
A followup from last night's article.
After the debacle and implosion that occurred last night with the NHL negotiations and after I stopped laughing at the chaos that transpired, I was left to blame one and only one person. That person is Donald Fehr. While Donald has to try and get the best deal for the players I think he went too far with his latest proposal.
The players had received their best offer from the NHL. That offer came after intense and relatively optimistic discussions between a handful of players and owners. The owners provided the players with the best offer to date. Everyone new that time was of the essence and if a deal wasn't struck, the season could be lost.
This wasn't time for gamesmanship and chest beating. This was the time to take the pulse of the entire union and do what was right for them, not only a handful of superstar players. I don't believe that Donald Fehr did what was right for the whole union. I think he wanted one more attempt at squeezing the owners for a little more.
That backfired on him and the players. If the players want to be angry with someone they should take it out on Donald. He messed up and the season could be lost because of him. I don't believe he acted in the best interests of his union. I agree with Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press when he says it's time for the union to cast their vote on the latest proposal. I agree with him when he says that most players would have accepted the proposal.
I also agree with Lawless when he says Fehr probably knew the players wouldn't have turned down the NHL's proposal. This shows me who's to blame with everything falling apart last night. This wasn't the time for old tricks. This wasn't the time for old games. This wasn't the time for Fehr to be his wretched self. This was the time for Fehr to do the right thing, even if it would have been hard for him to do it.
If NHL players are looking for a scapegoat and someone to blame for this latest screw up, Fehr is the man. The only thing that NHL players have to fear right now is Fehr himself. The guy needs to distance himself from any further negotiations. He should also allow the union to vote on the NHL's latest offer. He shouldn't let a bunch of superstars dictate the future of the NHL landscape. He should allow the whole union to weigh in by voting.
As I said NHL players have only one man to fear. That man is Donald Fehr (which is pronounced Fear).
Check out our other NHL articles regarding the lockout.