The NHLPA brought in Donald Fehr to ensure they were not taken advantage of like they were in Lockout 2004. Fehr has a strong arm, and he was instrumental in reshaping Major League Baseball with his player strike. The NHL players were hoping to get the same results.
Donald Fehr wants to be seen as the face of the NHLPA – the decision maker that not only saves the game of hockey, but gets the fairest shake for the players in the process. When Fehr speaks, he has the players behind him in rigid solidarity. But how many of those players are still standing behind Fehr – and how many of them are ready to come to the dark side and work for the NHL again?
This morning, depsite being affected by Hurricane Sandy, Eklund posts a text that he got from an influential player;
If the owners come with the deal in your latest blog and Fehr does not take it we will make him. It is the offer to take..no question.
Well heres the thing, players are obviously keeping track of whatever media outlets they can to hear of news from what the NHL might be thinking about doing. If the players are finding the deal that the league might be working on as the best offer – they could be pushing their leadership to get the deal done.
Its a sign that hockey players are itching to play hockey and are tired of waiting. They don’t want to lose a season of their careers. If the players are interested in this deal, and Fehr turns it down, we could see a mutiny in the ranks of the NHLPA to get something done with the league without the help of Donald Fehr.
The longer the lockout goes, the more some players in the Buffalo Sabres organization are going to suffer in their development. Patrick Roy wants Mikhail Grigorenko to be the best hockey player he can be for the Buffalo Sabres; even if that means being a healthy scratch.
Because of the lockout, many minor league teams are bursting at the seams with talented players that should be playing at a higher level. Grigorenko is one of them. At better than a point per game production, that will be slowed possibly by the fact that he has to rotate into the press box to make room on the bench for other players looking for their shot at the bigs.
The NHL Lockout is the only thing standing in the way of Grigorenko and a nine game professional tryout. I doubt we have the makings of another Calder candidate on our hands – but without giving him the shot you never know. The Rochester Americans could have a nice blue chip on their hands if the Buffalo Sabres decide they don’t want him in Blue and Gold just yet, or Luke Adam could see his stock fall in the depth chart based on his lack of performance in the AHL this year.
Either way – the lockout is helping some and hurting others, and Donald Fehr needs to stop standing in the way of progress. The players don’t run the league, the owners do – and Fehr needs to get that into his head, there is not a negotiation he can win against this group of owners.