NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr Says CBA Talks Should Begin Around All-Star Game
NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr said that the NHL and the union will likely begin negotiations on a new CBA around the NHL All-Star Game in January, but he and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman “have talked about this … on a number of occasions” already. Fehr, appearing Tuesday on “Hockey Night In Canada Radio,” said, “If we start, say a month or so after the All-Star Game or a little bit before that, we’ll still have nearly half a year before the agreement expires.” He said the union is in the process of “making sure that we’ve got all the facts together that we need (and) that we’ve communicated to the players.” Fehr: “I am sure that everybody is watching what happened in football and particularly what’s happening in basketball at the moment, and I certainly understand why. I just remind everyone that isn’t the only negotiation going on. There’s also a baseball negotiation without those kinds of threats being made by either side.” He noted the NHLPA is examining the “economics of the game,” and the organization will then “go back to the players, and we’ll make some recommendations about various approaches.” Fehr: “It’ll be up to the players to determine which approach they want to take. …We treat a strike as a last resort.” The NHL CBA has been in place since July ’05 ("Hockey Night In Canada Radio," Sirius XM Radio, 10/11).