Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:25 PM
For all those saying Fehr is as responsible as Bettman. That's just not fair.
Fehr first worked for the MLBPA as a lawyer on one specific case in 1975, then was hired as general counsel (on par with Bob Batterman of the NHL) in 1977. He didn't start working as Director of the MLBPA until 1983, officially gaining the title in 1985. So technically any work stoppages that happened prior to his taking over the PA in 1983 are not on his shoulders, but we'll go ahead and look at them anyway...
1980 MLB Strike, lasted 8 days in March, 0 games lost. 1981 MLB Strike, June 12 to July 31, 0 games lost. 1985 MLB Strike, lasted 2 days August 6-7, 0 games lost. 1990 MLB lockout, lasted 32 days in spring, 0 games lost. 1994 MLB Player Strike, lasted 232 days from August 12 to April 2, 931 to 948 games lost plus the entire offseason. From 1995 until his retirement in 2009, the MLB did not have a single additional work stoppage. Until now, as head of the NHLPA he is caught in the 2012-13 NHL Lockout.
Bettman began working as NHL commissioner in 1993. His tenure includes the 1994 NHL Lockout, which lasted 3 months from October 1 to January 11, 468 games lost. In addition, the infamous 2004 NHL Lockout, which lasted 10 months from September 16 to July 13, 1230 games lost plus the entire offseason. Plus the current 2012-13 NHL Lockout, which as of the most recent round of cancelled games puts it at 625 games lost.
So counting this year's NHL Lockout in which both men are involved, we have Fehr with 6 work stoppages and Bettman with 3. So yes, if you just look at it like that, it does seem to paint Fehr as the villain here. However, ignoring this year's lockout as it affects both Fehr and Bettman, of Fehr's 5 MLB work stoppages, only 1 resulted in lost games, whereas both of Bettman's previous NHL work stoppages resulted in lost games. How about total games lost due to work stoppages? Fehr lost 931-948 games due to the 1994 MLB Players strike, while Bettman lost 1698 games during his first two lockouts. What's more, if you consider it in perspective, the MLB plays almost twice as many games a year, 162 games vs the NHL's 82 games. So proportionally, Bettman has caused over 3x as many lost games as Fehr has.
So who has presided over more work stoppages? Fehr, 6 (although only in charge for 4 of those) to 3. But who has caused more games to be lost? Bettman, 3x as many as Fehr has. Who has been involved in more work stoppages that were able to be resolved before any real games were lost? Fehr, 4 of his work stoppages (2 in which he was in charge) were able to be resolved without losing any games, whereas Bettman is now 0 for 3 in saving games...