Much like NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA head Donald Fehr answered a wide variety of The Globe & Mail’s questions following the announcement of canceled games.
Perhaps his most interesting bit came while he was discussing the fact that the two sides are discussing different proposals thanks to some disagreements about what hockey-related revenue should really mean.
“Look, the owners started out by running as fast as they could and as hard as they could away from the players, saying ‘Catch me if you can, even though every move you make is against your own interests.’” Fehr said. ” … This isn’t Ping-Pong. You have to distinguish between offers which are really made for the purpose of trying to reach an agreement and those which aren’t.”
Fehr goes much deeper on that topic as well as other issues, but here are some simplified takeaways:
- Fehr said that the NHLPA is “open to talk about” a soft salary cap that would involve a luxury tax.
- Responding to complaints about last weekend’s lack of financial negotiations, Fehr explained: “from our standpoint, if you’re bogged down on one set of issues, you go and talk about the other ones.”
- Fehr didn’t rule out mediation altogether, yet he didn’t seem too keen on it, either.
- His comments about teams getting fined for divulging details rank as some of his most interesting quips:
“That raises two questions: When in the world did we get to the point of regulating free speech in America again?” Fehr said. “And secondly, what is it we’re afraid they’re going to say?”
Fehr said plenty in this interview, so click here if you want more than just excerpts.