Open Letter to Don Fehr

by Jacob Saltiel

I’ll take this to my constituents and get back to you on that…

(4PM UPDATE : The NHL and NHLPA made a side-deal to allow for an accelerated buy-out. Under this provision, a player making more than $3m/season can be bought-out immediately, though he will still get paid and his salary will still count against the cap. In other words, I think Don got my letter.)

Donnie-boy! My man!

And how are you this fine morning? Congratulations on limiting the damage to the players’ contract rights just now. Sterling work. A damn fine job it was. You took everything Bettman and his spin doctors could throw at you and reacted like, like well as if you were completely unconscious. It was an impressive display, and when you told everyone to get ready to play some hockey mid-negotiations? That was, as the English soccer announcers like to say, cheeky. So very cheeky.

I just thought I’d drop you a line today because, well, because I was going about my morning, minding my business and so on, when this article popped up. Now, maybe this is nothing more than due diligence. Maybe this is all a front so that you can claim to represent all of the members of the union, including those that have memberships without actually knowing how to play hockey. And that’s admirable. Really, Don, it is. Everyone reported on how you were able to whip the ragtag players union into fighting shape with your honesty and evenhandedness, and that’s fantastic. Everyone loves that about you.

But Donald? The lockout’s over now. There are so many other issues that need your leadership and decision-making. Like, oh, off the top of my head I can think of Conference Realignment, Olympic Participationhammering out the rest of the legalese in the new CBA. Believe me, Donathy, you wouldn’t want to skimp on the details there, since everyone knows that dastardly Bettman will try anything he can to finagle some incendiary wording into the CBA that’ll force the players to sign away the rights to their next three generations. Not their draft rights, their rights pointe finale. Yes, Gary Bettman, if given the opportunity, might try to become the legal guardian of all of your constituents’ next three generations.

You might want to get on that.

Now, see, this whole Gomez and Redden thing is a mere trifle in comparison. Both will be paid handsomely to work a Bowflex correctly and safely in their rural palaces. Would you really take someone away from their yacht catalogues to make them play a sport as violent, nasty, and brutish as hockey? They could get hurt!

I know, I know, but they won’t be allowed to play the game that they love! But we aren’t talking about a game, Donaldo. No, we’re talking about a business. If Scott Gomez, NHL Centre was Scott Gomez, Mailroom Clerk*, he’d be high-fiving his coworkers on the way out the door about his severance. And speaking of playing, none of this prevents Gomez or Redden from playing NHL 2013 with their children (“There’s Daddy… do you see daddy?”).

Mr. Fehr, please consider what the kind fans of Montreal will think if you in any way obstruct Gomez’s path to the couch. It’s only a 48 game season anyway, and while Habs fans are famously magnanimous and understanding about league decisions that work against them, they just got back into the sport after that unfortunate lockout. You can throw them a bone here. Right now, Bettman, Zdeno Chara, and Pierre Gauthier are probably the top-3 most hated people to Montreal fans right now. You wouldn’t want to do anything to upset that delicate balance, would you?

Think on this, and please, have yourself a productive afternoon.

Your humble servant,

Bob Gainey’s Stare.

(with props to DJF and Andrew Stoeten for the blog concept)


*This could still happen.


2 Comments to “Open Letter to Don Fehr”

  1. As a of executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association it is his responsibility to make sure about the player contracts. Again he must be questionable about each task he made. as you should be remembered that you are not superior at all.

    • Of course I agree that it’s his job to protect all of the players. This post is really a joke about whether or not he should do so with regards to Scott Gomez… who, if you’re a Habs fan, you probably dislike.

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