okcanuck wrote:We'll never know,but I'd be willing to bet that a majority of the teams ,with hindsight, are regretting the initial offer of 57-43 they gave the PA.
Why? I highly doubt they expected the PA to accept it. And that isn't the reason it has taken this long to get to the current offer.
who knows what Bettman was offering last summer but its a good bet that it wasn't as good as the offer on the table now.
Fehr has gotten the league from 43% to 50% which wouldn't be where it would be if he had started negotiating when Bettman wanted him too...
I can't see how anyone can blame the players from holding out as long as possible, 1% of 3 billion dollars over eight or ten years is not chump change... To say nothing of contract terms...
Seems to me holding out and letting Bettman negotiate against himself has been a better strategy than folding like an outsourced tent...
It doesn't matter what Bettman and Co. put on the table last summer, if they had been able to put that offer on the table right after the all-star break then Fehr could have played his delay, stall, delay, refuse, delay, threaten decertification, refuse, rebuttal, refuse, etc., tactic and probably gotten us here by November.
I don't for a minute think that they would have gotten this far against the league without losing some games, but I suspect that the number of games lost would have been much less if the owners had thrown down 57/43 in February and had it thrown back in their faces then. Everyone knows that negotiation is rarely fast in these matters. Both sides want to make out like gangbusters, so it is always going to take some time to reach that agreement. It was the PA that took things to the cliff right before the season was ready to start before they even sat down.
I'm not blaming the players for trying to get as much as the can, it's part of negotiating, but if they are so ok with empowering Fehr to play hardball now, then they should have told him to play hardball at the table as early as possible.