Love him or loathe him, you have to admit that Donald Fehr knows how to rally his troops.
In 36 years of labor negotiations, Fehr has led major league baseball through seven collective bargaining agreements, including one that followed an infamous players strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series.
He is bold, direct, and wields incredible power. Just ask the players who elected him as executive director and chief negotiator for the NHL Players Association.
I believe hes the tip of the sword in sports labor negotiations, Capitals center Brooks Laich said.
He is a shark and if theres a deal to get done he will be able to make it. And if theres not a deal, hes not going to make a bad deal on our part. That man is sharp, wise, intelligent, crafty.
He connects with his players, I think, in a better way than weve ever seen before. Im fully behind him and if you ask any player hell say the same thing. We believe in the leadership of our negotiating committee and this is the most unified our union has ever been.
On Wednesday, one day before the first day of NHL training camps were canceled by a lockout, Fehr took another step toward galvanizing his troops when he issued a memo to the unions 700-plus players, clearly stating the two proposals on the bargaining table one by the NHL and one by the players union.
In the memo, which can be explained in its entirety here, Fehr explains the players five-year proposal with these key points:
-Based on an annual 7.1 percent rise in league revenue, in the first three years of the proposal players would get 1.91 billion, 1.98 billion and 2.1 billion in salaries, which represents a share of revenue of 54.3 percent, 52.5 percent and 52 percent all down from their current 57 percent.
-In Years 4 and 5 player salaries would remain fixed at 2.1 billion, plus 54 percent of the growth in revenue. Under the five-year proposal, the players share of revenue never drops below 52 percent and never rises above 54.3 percent, based on 7.1 percent growth.
--Under the players plan, if the NHLs revenue continues to grow at 7.1 percent, the owners would save 897 million. If revenue growth dips below 4 percent in the first three years, the players share in Years 4 and 5 would be frozen. And if the rate of growth rises above 8.9 percent in the first three years, the players share would return to 57 percent.
Fehrs memo also states the players share of revenue would never dip below 50 percent or rise above 57 percent.
In the memo Fehr outlined the NHLs six-year proposal is these simple terms:
-Players would receive 49 percent of league revenue in the first year of the CBA, 48 percent in Year 2, and 47 percent in the final four years. Fehr describes the proposal as a reduction in the players share by 14 percent in Year 1, about 16 percent in Year 2 and 17.5 percent in the last four years.Got a solution? Join the conversation below.