In a statement released by the players’ association, Fehr rips the league for locking the players out and for punishing the fans by canceling games.
“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners. If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue. A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort. For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock-out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions. Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner.”
The two sides met last weekend to discuss everything except the important financial issues and don’t have another meeting scheduled anytime soon.
Fehr and the players continue to fight the bold fight to win public support, but if the schedule gets wiped out by a work stoppage, that battle is over with and the fans will demand results.