Mirror, mirror tell me: Bettman or Fehr?

Who will the  winning negotiator  be in this latest NHL labor dispute over the CBA?

Fehr (for the players’ association) or Bettman (for the owners’ association)?

That IS the question, mon ami.

Yep. Move on, there will be no legal argument that will stand-up in this battle. My deep apologies to all my fellow lawyer friends.

This does not necessarily mean that labor law arguments as raised in Quebec, by the Players Association, have  absolutely no merit. Far from it. However, legal arguments will have no effect in this round, since NOBODY (nor the owners, the players, the courts and the legislature even less) really  wants to open this Pandora’s box. Hockey laws should stay within the hockey world:the  only acceptable status in North America. No state involvement in sports laws, unless for security. .A question of legal history, sociology and mentallity.

The Quebec legal battle seems  just to be a diversion tactic.

Why? Because If it was a serious point, let’s say that the means, the legal strategy, the timing would have been much more sophisticated. Understatment.

No means. No will. The real question seems rather to reside in  the negotiators overall communication abilities .

DAVE NAYLOR in his excellent paper on “MEASURING UP BETTMAN AND FEHR IN CBA SHOWDOWN” -published on TSN web site- 

describes both men style:

Gary Bettman 

“Nearly 20 years as commissioner of the National Hockey League, a veteran of two previous extended lockouts and the man who forced the players to accept something they swore they never would – a salary cap – by canceling an entire season.”

 Donald Fehr

“Who led the 1994 players strike that wiped out the World Series, a man so steeped in the history of sports labour that he is actually part of it having helped establish the rights of baseball players to become free agents back in 1976 in a decision that changed the sports world forever.

He also reminds us that “impossible to ignore that each (Fehr and Bettman) was centrally involved in the only two work stoppages in pro sports history that resulted in a championship not being played. In each of those instances, 1994-95 in baseball and 2004-05 in hockey, Fehr and Bettman achieved their stated goals – and in their minds – improved their respective sports for the long term.”

His conclusions? It is worth to go and read the article in its entirety.Click here.



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