No one wants to think about it yet, but the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NHLPA runs out on September 15. New NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr has a lot of hockey fans worried about a labor stoppage thanks to his work with the MLBPA, but Fehr is hopeful there won’t be any problems.
In an interview with Sean Fitz-Gerald of The National Post, Fehr reiterates his stand on how he sees things when it comes time to negotiate and if he thinks a labor stoppage is in the NHL’s future.
“All I can say is, I would certainly hope not. In the last negotiation, there obviously was a long stoppage at the owners’ instigation. Both long stoppages in hockey have been lockouts, the players haven’t had any extended strikes.”
Fehr says he hopes talks between the two sides will start after the All-Star Game in January but he’s not ready to say when.
Everyone is always hoping for the best but if you’re thinking of only the negative with Fehr, since the 1994 MLB lockout he’s negotiated two agreements with MLB that helped grow the sport into a cash cow. The NHL’s players would like him to bring that sort of labor magic to hockey.