The NHLPA could and should give up something. How much is really up in the air. Yes, they made concessions during the last lockout. The current deal favors the players by far. So for all the concessions they made last time, they have seen great prosperity since the last lockout. The salary of the average NHL player has almost doubled since the players returned to work after the last stoppage. As I have said before I think a 52-48 split is reasonable, but 50/50 would seem to be what the market dictates being as that the NFL and NBA both negotiated successfully last year at that rate. Like it or not, the negotiations of other sports typically do dictate what the NHL is going to do.
Most pro NHLPA fans don't see the timeline as an issue. I do and always will. Nothing is set in stone. No one is able to say for sure if a deal would have been reached or not. To say with all certainty one way or the other is really supposition. My point is simply this.....if more time were given to the negotiations then we may have possibly avoided the lockout. To rob the negotiations of that time doesn't excuse the NHLPA.
Just the fact that you are also willing to pardon Fehr's delays while bashing Bettman's horrible first lowball proposal also shows bias. IMHO, you can't excuse one while bashing the other in good conscience. Which is why I bash them both.
Sorry, but in my opinion both leaders should be canned for the reasons I gave. A new fresh start has to be initiated in order to start a new era of labor peace. Keeping one or both of these guys around will do nothing positive. I would prefer two leaders who have an interest in working together. People who favor one side or the other look at this conflict like a political party system. These aren't Republicans or Democrats we are talking about here. These are two sides that are in need of labor peace. The two sides have to work together, and that takes two uniters. There are no uniters in Fehr and Bettman. If Bettman is fired, the cycle will repeat again in another 6 years or whenever the new CBA hits.
Nice of you to mention Bettman's lockouts, but not mention Fehr's tubing of the World Series. So far, the game of hockey and the MLB have one thing in common, both have lost a championship series due to the morons in command of the players and the league. Is this the type of leadership you want from your leaders in the NHL?
You favor the NHLPA all the way. I am fine with that, but don't defend the actions of the NHLPA like they haven't done anything wrong over the course of the last 6 months. Their actions resulted in where we are today. Just as the NHL actions have also contributed to where we are now.
I wasn't referring to the concessions made in the last lockout. Though for the record, total player expenses have increased around 56% from the first year after, and only around 28% from the year before. What I was referring to is the concessions they've made relative the the 57% split they had last year. That split was a real thing. In my view, going from a real 57% split to 54% is a far more meaningful concession than going from an imaginary 57% to 50% (when you had been at 43%).
Negotiations in other sports may influence the NHL, true, but not absolutely dictate. Furthermore, you can't just cherry pick certain terms and say, "we have to have this exactly, right now". Yeah, the NBA has a 50% split, sort of. It was actually 51.15% in year 1, and could be anywhere between 49-51% the remaining years (depending on how close actual revenue comes to the projections). NBA also has a soft cap, which you don't mention. The current cap in the NBA is $58.044M. Current average team salary is ~$66.9M. Slightly higher than it was in 10-11 (just before their new CBA), and below the projected players' share. The reduction in the actual dollars of the players' share wasn't as drastic. NBA has a maximum escrow of 10%, which you don't mention. That could potentially push the players' share higher. You don't mention MLB, which doesn't have a cap at all and does just fine. Point is, there are differences. Furthermore, ending at 50% doesn't seem to be a problem for the PA.
I'll try to explain my take on why I don't care about the timeline again. It really has nothing to do with whether or not more time would have helped. Everything boils down to the offers being made. The only reason to complain about the timeline, or the lack of negotiations, is that you reason that more time or talking would result in better proposals. So your real problem isn't with the time, it's with the proposals. If the sides had put off meeting until 9/14, but reached an agreement that day, you wouldn't be complaining that they only spent a single day on it. I don't have a problem with the proposals from the PA. I thought even their first was good enough to use as a framework. I thought the financials of the second were fine as they were, and should have served as an agreement in principle while the secondary issues were worked out. I think the players' latest offers were good enough that the owners should have taken them without even asking for concessions on contracting rights. In short, I believe the PA got where they needed to be, and got there soon enough that the lockout wasn't necessary. Would more time have been enough to get the owners there? Maybe, but I don't care. Owners had just as much time as the players. If the players got there, the owners should have too. So again, I don't care about the timeline because I think the players' offers are good. You don't, so I understand why you'd be critical. I don't quite understand why you only criticize the PAs delays though, nor do I understand why bashing the owners' apples should make me obligated to bash the players' oranges.
And I would argue that Fehr is exactly the person to help establish peaceful labor relations, as he did exactly that in an even more hostile MLB environment. And I'd like to know how exactly you interpreted the phrase, "Fehr was party to a devastating strike", as "not mentioning" it. Seems like a mention to me. I guess you just missed that part. I don't think a conciliator like Kelly would work. Weak leadership on either side would lose the respect of the people they represent. To have a peace both sides are happy with I think takes leadership that has the confidence of their constituency and the respect of their counterparts. The leaders don't have to be friends, don't need any shiny, happy handshakes. Just respect, maybe a little fear. Cold war style. MAD and all that. I think Fehr has proven himself capable of that in baseball, so he deserves a shot in hockey. What has Gary proven?
(Sidenote: I found this line a little hilarious, from here
. "Bettman's mission is simple: Put a stop to labor unrest...". I think it's been mentioned before, but still funny.)
Lastly, you're getting one thing completely backwards. I don't think the way I do because I support the PA. I support the PA because I think the way I do. It's not about what has or hasn't been done wrong on either side, it's what has and hasn't been done right. The PA making the right (IMO) offer, makes any wrongs I might have had a problem with meaningless. They can only be wrong insofar as they contribute to making the offer wrong. If the offer isn't wrong, the actions leading to the offer aren't wrong. The actions themselves are meaningless. All anyone should be concerned with is the offers. You don't agree with the offers. You have your theories on what you think has contributed to those offers (or more accurately, the lack of better ones), but don't let that confuse your true issue.