Donald Fehr meeting with the press last night before the Operation Hat Trick charity game in Atlantic City yielded some interesting thoughts from him on the lockout. One thing he did seem to stress, however, was compromise with the owners.
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News highlights Fehr talking about trying to work the old give-and-take with the NHL.
“If the cap is going to be limited, the player contracting rights – which is where the individual player has an opportunity to get his share of the pie – have to be constricted too, those become more, not less, important to players as cap space is limited,” Fehr said.
“And so when you say we have to have with the right hand, and I’m going to give you with the left hand that’s one thing. If they say we have to take with the right hand and we’re gonna take with the left hand too, that becomes very difficult. When you add to that that the rights of the players they believe they must maintain are what they got in the last negotiation in return for massive concessions there, it becomes very difficult.”
Contracting rights has become the latest sticking point for both sides with the NHL unwilling to budge on what they’ve proposed.
Fehr coming out and talking about compromising with the league makes for good, positive ink for the players’ in this battle to portray the owners as sticklers. It’s also the one thing that can make sure a deal gets done.