In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Eric Duhatschek writes about how a restructured CBA is having a big impact on these CBA negotiations.
He explains that in 2004, the NHLPA was ran by Bob Goodenow and his deputy Ted Saskin but had a player president in Terevor Linden.
He said that while Goodenow and Saskin were like GM and coach, Linden was the captain of the players and someone that the other players could relate to.
Duthatschek says that having Linden in such a high role was a big thing, “As a group, players understand that sort of chain of command – teammate, captain, coach, manager – and feel comfortable operating within it. If they wanted a private word about the progression of the lockout, without engaging Goodenow, they could do so with Linden, who was highly regarded by his peer group for integrity and fairness.”
Linden, along with former NHL board chairman Harley Hotchkiss were the ones who took the first steps toward getting a deal done.
Fehr now has different players present at negotiations and his brother, Steve, in the number two hole and Dutharschek says that the back channel for talks has been closed off.