Coach K’s WHAT IF: The NHL Strikes Back?

A new hope? That’s what most people thought when the NHL submitted their now infamous 50/50 proposal the the NHLPA. Was it a gesture in good faith? Well…

WHAT IF Gary Bettman intended for the sole purpose of the proposal was to bring the NHLPA out of the woodwork?

Bettman and his number two, Bill Daly had, for weeks, said that it was the union’s turn to submit their own proposal. Why not simply ask to resume talks, instead of giving the NHL fans false hope that a resolution was closer than it appeared?

And given the vagueness in the proposal, where re-numeration in full of existing player contracts was concerned, did the NHL owners actually think that Donald Fehr wouldn’t sniff that part out?  If you look at the numbers, there would be a 14% reversal in share distribution… in the owners’ favour.

With the being said,…

WHAT IF the 48 hour window given to teams, in order to communicate with players, was simply a public relations ploy?

Well, I wouldn’t put it past Bettman to pull a stunt like this. Given the majority of fans side with the players, the NHL commissioner needed to push a few of the NHLPA’s buttons. The reaction of Donald and Steven Fehr to this supposed improper labour negotiations practice was exactly what the league ordered.  And to that effect,…

WHAT IF the NHL’s imposed deadline, which has come and gone, was another way to sway public opinion in their favour?

I’m sure, given the uncertain terms outlined in the proposal, the NHL was sure that the Players’ Association would most certainly reject the proposal outright. In knowing this, they would have purposely forced the NHLPA to counter-offer, only Bettman didn’t expect three proposals to come back his way.

That, in itself, begs the question …

WHAT IF the quick, ten minute rejection of all three NHLPA proposals was due to the NHL’s unpreparedness to deal?

Between you and I, giving a deal five years to get to a percentage split that is exactly what the NHL owners want isn’t really that outlandish, is it? Furthermore, since the NHL’s proposal included no rollback, is it so bad to ask for an explanation as to how the owners would “guarantee” that players receive full payment of existing contracts?

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Here’s something else to think about. Gary Bettman’s autobiography (titled “The Instigator”) outlines his thesis at Cornell University being about the mafia. Because of this fact I ask…

WHAT IF the NHL commissioner gave the Players’ Association “an offer they couldn’t refuse?”

A preset deadline and unwillingness to waiver from the company line sounds exactly like something Don Corleone would do in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather.” Is Gary Bettman taking his negotiating tactics to that level, and does he really think that constitutes bargaining in good faith?

With today’s comments by former Canadiens’ forward Michael Cammalleri, who questioned whether the NHL commissioner was “running a professional league or the mafia”, what next? A horse’s head in Donald Fehr’s bed.

I mean really, WHAT IF?

 

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About CoachK

Kosta Papoulias has written 488 post in this blog.

Coach K is the producer of the Montreal Hockey Talk pre and post game shows, to which he is a regular contributor. His 15 years of coaching experience, along with his passion for the game, give him a unique perspective. You can follow Coach on Twitter @HabsCoachK

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