Crosby devastated by failure to yield deal
By Josh Yohe
Published: Friday, December 7, 2012, 1:10 p.m.
Updated: Friday, December 7, 2012
Sidney Crosby has had enough.
The Penguins' captain worked out at Southpointe with teammates only hours after a late plane ride home from New York, and he made it clear that the NHL labor dispute has left him wondering.
“To go through all that,” said Crosby, a primary figure in negotiations between the NHL and its players' union over the past four days, “and to get a response like that, is pretty devastating.”
The NHL swiftly turned down the NHLPA's latest proposal Thursday night, and news conferences from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Don Fehr have left many feeling the season is in jeopardy.
Crosby displayed strong disagreement with the tactics.
“Gary said at his press conference that they're drawing a line in the sand,” Crosby said. “Then just say that (during negotiations). Don't waste guys' time there discussing stuff for three days of trying to make something work, and then come out and say that.”
Negotiations aren't dead. Crosby, in fact, believes a deal is relatively close, at least in terms of the numbers.
Although many expected more games to be canceled Friday, the NHL remained silent.
The league and union did not speak Friday and will not meet this weekend. The sides could potentially meet next week, and there is a possibility they could speak over the weekend.
The NHL is expected to cancel another batch of games — likely through Dec. 31 — on Monday.
“The foundation is there,” Crosby said. “I don't think those talks were for nothing.”
Still, hockey's most famous player left New York with a bad taste in his mouth. He looked numb during Fehr's second news conference Thursday and made it clear that he doesn't have intentions to return to the negotiating table anytime soon.
“For me,” he said, “I think I'm going to do what I can. But after spending those three days there, I think it's pretty tough to get guys' trust back after that.”
The next destination for Crosby likely will be Europe, should the lockout go on much longer.
He said starting in September that he will play in Europe if a deal isn't reached. Crosby is clearly growing closer to joining fellow superstar Evgeni Malkin overseas.
Malkin is playing in the KHL. Crosby could sign a deal in the Swiss League soon.
“I just want to play hockey,” he said. “As far as whatever option is best, I'll start thinking about it a lot more. This stuff is getting ridiculous, all these games. I'm here to play hockey. I'm not here to negotiate. I support the players. I witnessed how hard guys worked and how bad they want this to work. But to see this happen, it's terrible. It makes everyone look bad.”
Crosby said he does not regret his decision to enter negotiations in New York.
“Not at all,” he said. “I think we all have the best interest in mind, and that's getting the game back on ice. Our proposal speaks for itself.”
So, too, does the reality that the season is on thin ice.
“I'm disappointed,” Crosby said. “This whole process shouldn't be to this point. I really thought we made progress over the few days. Both sides were clear on what they wanted. We found a way to move their way. If that's the position they're going to take, don't have everyone go discuss stuff and then throw it out the window like that.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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C'mon, this is getting ridiculous now. As dedicated a Pens fan that I am, I'm getting really tired of hearing the players say "we want to play". If they wanted to play, they've had plenty of opportunities to end the shenanigans and sign a deal that would allow them to start playing again. Yet, they've refused to do so. At this point, I don't care if Sid goes to Europe. Leave, get out. And I hope you never come back. Because all you had to do was SIGN THE DEAL, but you WALKED AWAY. Leaders lead, they don't follow asshats like Fehr.
Submitted by: Art on Friday, December 7, 2012
I think it's time for the NHLPA to tell the greedy owners to take their demands and shove it.
Submitted by: Jared on Friday, December 7, 2012
During Don Fehr's tenure with the MLBPA (1985-2009) and now with the NHLPA, he has been the principle negotiator for eight CBAs on behalf of professional baseball or hockey players. Six of those - including a staggering five in a row with the MLBPA - followed a work stoppage in the sport in question. People keep parroting back the notion that he's a brilliant negotiator...but all I see is a record of failure to do anything without reflexively and almost eagerly resorting to what should be the last possible option. The people you want working for you are the ones who know how to protect your interests, but who also have the skill to identify common ground and reach an agreement without resorting to keeping you from working...and that's particularly true when you work in an industry that is literally providing a service that is purely a luxury item (i.e. entertainment). Sid and the other players did NOT hire Don Fehr so that they would have to rescue the PA from him in December by negotiating their own deal. Fehr is destructive on every level, period, and it's intentional. Indeed, it's his only real strategy...he creates and exacerbates conflict between the sides specifically to make it easier to keep the sides apart. Which makes hiring him to represent you like having a blister on your heel, and intentionally going to a doctor that you know treats every foot problem by amputating at the hip. Now...that said...it is not my intent to implicitly absolve Gary Bettman at all. During his nearly 20 years as NHL Commissioner, there have been three lockouts over CBAs. One cost about half a season...one cost a full season...and this one looks like it'll be at least as bad as the first one. He and Fehr are two of a kind...not good enough at what they do to get to where they need to be without being utterly destructive influences. I do feel that I owe a major thank you to Ron Burkle, Jeff Vinik, Sidney Crosby, and all of the moderate players and owners. They tried...and for a while, it looked like more reasonable, more talented people than Fehr and Betttman would be successful where they had failed - and continue to fail - so miserably.
Submitted by: Kevin on Friday, December 7, 2012
Just go, Sid. I'm getting tired of seeing the headline "Crosby considering Europe". I've seen it atleast 5 times already in the past month. As long as Fehr is holding the players interest hostage, there won't be an NHL season in 2012-13. Sid should stop wasting his time and just go play where he know he can. Let the NHLPA and NHL piss away another season.
Submitted by: Eric on Friday, December 7, 2012
Sid needs to realize that Fehr is just as big a culprit in this as anyone. If this thing gets done soon, there would be a 50 game season. That's a 30% loss of the season, which is a 30% loss of owner revenue and 30% loss of player paychecks. I'm willing to bet the final deal won't be 30% better than what was on the table in October that would have allowed an 82 game season.