Fehr on negotiating: “The more things change, the harder it becomes”

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NHLPA head Donald Fehr opened up for a lengthy Q&A with the Minnesota Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo on Monday.

It’s worth a full read, but here are a few of the highlights.

  • After being asked about going after the salary cap and the general frustrations that come with negotiating, Fehr said, “the more things change, the harder it becomes.”
  • On the subject of cutting contracts – including ones just recently signed – Fehr said, ” … you’ve got to wonder how somebody can look at themselves in the mirror when they do that.”
  • Many justifiably wonder why the players would fight over pieces of the puzzle even if it means getting nothing in the event of a canceled season. Fehr had an interesting response:

“If this was a one-year agreement, that would make a lot of sense,” Fehr said. “But it’s not. It’s a five-or-six-or-seven-year agreement. Also, look at what’s on the table [from the owners], there’s a lot more that’s on the table in addition to just player share.”

  • Still, some players might not be satisfied with the long view. Here’s what he said when asked if he was frightened about players getting anxious about missed paychecks:

“Yeah … But that doesn’t mean you make a bad agreement because of it,” Fehr said.

  • Finally, on assuming fans would come back after a lengthy lockout:

“I never take the fans for granted,” Fehr said. “It seems to me that anybody that does is foolish.”

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