What annoys me the most is that Bettman thinks we are stupid. He makes comments talking about how the players are responsible for the damage to the game that is happening right now. The indisputable fact (and I have plenty labour relations/arbitration experience to know this) is that locking out employees is almost never done unless the employees are engaging in some sort of partial strike/work stoppage (rotating strikes, work to rule, etc) that makes it too difficult to continue running the business effectively.
When you are actually wanting a deal, you simply keep working under the same agreement that has expired as you negotiate. That is standard LR practice. I know of many cases where they continue working a couple years without a new contract.
So any economic damage is being caused solely by the league. Even by talking about mounting damages to the game/league... Bettman is conceding that they would be better off financially to be playing right now. If that wasn't the case there couldn't be any damages. That is unlike the previous work stoppage when more than half the teams were better off by keeping their doors shut rather than playing games.
It is becoming clear that Bettman promised certain fairly dramatic things to the owners... and he is under pressure to keep those promises. Instead of taking a smaller win, he feels that doubling down is the best strategy. It is a vicious circle I have seen behind the scenes in negotiations. The longer it goes and the more it costs, the more pressure to get an even better deal in order to make up for those increasing losses and to make it seem worthwhile to have done through the labour strife in the first place.
The league clearly has a very specific number in mind for what they want their savings to be. They also still feel that they can get it. They also feel in control of the process enough that they can simply start the season when they think they have wrung out enough or that the math for losses starts outweighing what they can get at the table.
If I were Fehr, I would leverage the anger from today that the players have and deliver an ultimatum to the league to start putting the pressure onto them.
They simply have to say that the NHLPA will continue to negotiate until 01 December, after which time they will effectively cancel the season and be negotiating for the 2013-2014 season.
This allows their membership to seek employment elsewhere without having to worry about being obligated under IIHF rules to return to the NHL if a deal gets done this season. It also allows them to make plans for things like NHLPA mini-tours of the big hockey markets where they put on games/tournament similar to the Bieksa's buddies games on a regular basis (say weekly in each major market).... maybe giving half the proceeds to charity and half to the players. Nothing would freak out owners with big continuing overhead costs more than seeing other arenas filled with happy fans enjoying themselves. In this scenario you can also guarantee that broadcasters would jump on board to broadcast many of those games.
Players are playing and getting paid some, fans are seeing hockey, broadcasters are getting revenue... and the owners are left on the sidelines. All of a sudden you diverge "the game of hockey" from "the NHL".
The NHLPA can go @#$# themselves. Thats the answer from the NHL .The current stars can go play in the KHL. The other 90% have no reason in the slightest to continue to sit out. Their contracts do not change nor would they change if they left the NHLPA and formed a new union.
All the kids on entry level contracts will NOT sit out and go play in the KHL. They will break with the NHLPA and go sign for big bucks with the new NHL union.
And the kids heading to the draft will be drafted and carry on.
This thread is 104 pages and you are STILL deluded into some fantasy where the NHLPA has any legal power of any kind. They dont.
You are still DELUDED into thinking fans will NOT go to NHL games . Why ? Just to satisfy Sidney Crosby's desire to get HIS way?
You are not accepting some basic Adult realities of the way life works.
You have no say in what Bettman does or says. You have NO power to decide it nor will us fans have any say in any of this. So pretending you have all the answers or you are smarter than these people is simple DELUSION.
Why not accept the reality that the union has gone too far , pissed the owners off and now there is no hockey.
The NHL is under no obligation at all to re hire the NHLPA in any way shape or form. And they WILL be banned from the NHL if they insist Fehr stays on without a deal in place. The end is coming.