NHL Stall Stories
1) The NHLPA Approach to Bargaining:
The NHLPA negotiating strategy under Donald Fehr has become fairly obvious. Not only did Fehr delay opening negotiations for as long as possible, he has still not officially responded to the NHL initial proposal some three weeks after Gary Bettman tabled it.
The strategy appears to be annoying Gary. He answered a request for information with a 76,000 page financial data dump and muttered about how unnecessary it all was given the information the NHLPA already had. Not only did this let Fehr know that Bettman was getting impatient, it played into his hands by giving him an excuse to stall the tabling of his opening position even longer.
I suspect that his opening salvo will suggest an entirely different approach to solving the problem of the sad sack franchises built around baseball’s model. He will declare Gary’s solution – the CBA of 2005 – to be a failure. Perhaps, he will say, it is time to try something else.
(As an aside, is anyone else skeptical about the 76,000 pages bit? First, there is no reason for anyone to bother to count the number of pages in the document dump. Second, it’s an impossibly large number.)
While it is nice to see Gary struggle to maintain his normal level of smarminess, it is hard to see where Fehr ends up with this approach.
2) The Phoenix Coyotes Ownership Fiasco
Even though the City of Glendale has decided to subsidize hockey for the next 30 years, the latest deal still hasn’t gone through because Gord Jamison has not been able to raise the money. What a surprise.
Gary is stalling the deal while Jamison makes the rounds begging for money. This is an owner with the resources to lose big money until the franchise turns around?
3) The Todd Bertuzzi Trial
For the umpteenth time, the trial in Steve Moore’s civil suit has been postponed, this time until January. Nobody is saying why Moore’s lawyers requested yet another delay, but this is really getting old. The issue of liability has been settled and the only real question is the state of Moore’s health today and the amount of the damages.
I don’t really get why Moore and his lawyer keeps delaying this matter. It is not going to be a lot of fun for Moore, this day in court, but it won’t be any more fun for him in January.