Thursday’s Daily Five: Fehr overplayed his hand, lost best deal he was going to get for players


*musings & opinions*
1. Whether you agree with the owners tactics or not, (demanding a “yes” or “no” on their offer) the NHL was always going to have the leverage in CBA talks and they have painted the players into a corner and what we saw today is Don Fehr losing the best deal he could have got for the players. Fehr who many feel has no interest in making a deal until the last minute, overplayed his hand and when there’s a CBA deal struck, it’s going to look somewhat worse than the offer made by the owners this week. Fehr continues to talk the players into believing him that he can get them more and as I’ve said multiple times over past couple weeks, Fehr  doesn’t want to strike a deal just yet.
2.As the NHL might be heading towards their second lost season in seven years which is an embarrassment, the stage is now set following’s today’s collapse in talks. I really think the NHL is past the so-called “just a tactic stage” and what the players have to decide among themselves in the coming weeks is to accept a deal on the owners term or lose the season?
3. Why was it clear that the rosy picture Fehr painted in his press conference was a total PR spin to get ahead of the NHL? If you are so close to a deal like Fehr indicated, why would you ask for mediators to become involved in talks when they were pretty much considered a waste. That stall tactic from Fehr just absolutely baffled the owners today.
4. I guess we can say some in the media went a bit overboard with the praise towards Ron Burkle/Sidney Crosby that they were having such a great impact on changing the dynamic of the talks from both sides. Burkle made a positive impact but the portrayal of the Burkle/Crosby dynamic in the talks seemed a bit exaggerated and with how bad Bettman said talks were on Wednesday, there clearly wasn’t a significant breakthrough Tuesday night.
5. If Don Fehr is prepared to let the players sit out the entire season, he has to have a bold move prepared and plan on fighting hard for it and the only one I can see is aggressively seeking to abolish the salary cap.
— Check out DePaoli’s Daily Five report posted Monday through Friday —

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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