During a "first week" in which the NHL and NHLPA have waged quite the propaganda/PR war (I don't think that Jimmy Devellano's comments regarding the players or Hockeytown Winter Festival/Winter Classic were anything other than league-approved), where Bill Daly and Mathieu Schneider made the media rounds and the millionaires took the billionaires to court (no news from the Alberta Labor Board tonight), we end the fan-emotion-jerking with a tale from a decidedly NHLPA-unfriendly city in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In a city where socialist parties often win elections, labor unions are almost invariably told to cede gains for the "greater good" and Gary Bettman is cheered, PA executive director Donald Fehr took to the airwaves, and the Winnipeg Free Press's Ed Tait reports that Fehr suggested that he'd like to resume formal negotiations with the NHL next week:
"I hope it will be sometime next week," said Fehr, speaking on TSN 1290 Friday afternoon. "We’re waiting for them to be in a position to do that. They’ve been doing other things and so hopefully we’ll be back at it next week. It’s up to them."
NHL training camps were scheduled to open on Friday, but across North America players instead gathered for informal on-ice sessions. Others continued the exodus overseas to European leagues.
In the meantime, the two sides aren’t even chatting as they cannot seem to agree on the most fundamental issue. The NHL wants to slice the players’ share of hockey-related revenue down from 57 per cent; the players want the teams to consider sharing that hockey-related revenue among themselves.