With a group of players standing symbolically behind him, NHLPA chief Donald Fehr fielded questions from reporters following three days of union meetings in Chicago.
Granted, Fehr didn’t say much, other than to say he wasn’t willing to say much about the upcoming CBA negotiations with the league. But he did suggest the owners will have a hard time pleading poverty this time around.
Here are the bullets from the press conference:
– Talks with the NHL will start later in the week, followed by more talks next week, after which Fehr expects the two sides to meet on a “regular basis.”
– The first few bargaining sessions could be used for each side to share their concerns in order that each side fully understands its counterpart’s concerns before negotiations start.
– Commenting on all the good news coming out of league offices (increased revenue, TV ratings, etc.), Fehr said the “object is to get a deal done that can continue that momentum.”
– Fehr wouldn’t comment on speculation that the owners will attempt to cut the players’ share of revenues from its current rate of 57 percent, and said he doesn’t know if that will be the case. Sometimes you know the other side’s position heading into negotiations, sometimes you don’t. This time it’s the latter.
– The above in mind, Fehr said it will be pretty clear “early on” where each side stands.
Related: Bettman: “there are people who believe that the game has never been better”