At ESPN.com Pierre LeBrun writes that the owners took their stance of taking everything off the table because of a belief that the players are starting to splinter and they may be able to recoup some of the things they were giving back this week.
“Given reports that players were having intense, sometimes heated debate internally Thursday as they decided how to proceed, it might very well be that the NHL and the owners smell blood. They might believe the players are finally cracking and that by pulling this week’s new elements off the table, they’ll get those players who are questioning union leadership to nullify Fehr and make a deal with the league.”
Adrian Dater sent out a tweet on Thursday from a player saying, “We were ready to play again. But Don came in (Wed.) and told us we could get more and to hold out.”
Scott Burnside writes at ESPN.com that what Fehr did on Thursday, touting that a deal was close when he knew the NHL was going to reject their proposal, is a solid way for a leader to lose support.
Cotsonika says, “Kypreos says decertification is farther away now because players smell a deal. I agree. This thing is close — or should be.”
Problem is, if players smell a deal and owners smell weakness because of it, NHL will keep playing hardball.—
Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) December 08, 2012