Stars fans chat with with Daly and Jim Lites(team Prez)

Well, I heard today that as of last night (Wednesday), here in Dallas of course, around 250 fans according to a local news station “and” another local paper, met to chat and have it out with the NHL’s top negotiator, Bill Daly, and the Stars president Jim Lites.

As I’ve read on two different sports sites, each have reported about 500 fans. Well, they’ve stretched it a little bit there.

Green and gold jerseys could be seen as was reported of course. Questions from both sides were being thrown at Daly and Lites.

Daly responded immediately to almost all questions with, “That’s a very fair question,” which I’m sure got old pretty quick.

Example of questions:

FAN: Have you set a deadline for a season to begin?

Daly: We have intentionally not set a deadline. The only objective is to negotiate the right deal with whatever timeframe it takes we are prepared to live with.

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Now, the second question asked came from a 7 year old boy. Rather interesting you might say. It’s great that there are young kids this interested in the NHL. Hopefully he came up this one on his own. lol

FAN: Have you considered using [replacement] players?

Daly: It’s an alternative we have, but we remain focused trying to negotiate a deal that is mutually beneficial to the clubs and players.

FAN: Why was the All-Star game canceled?

Daly: It’s not a commentary that I’m not hopeful we’ll be playing hockey by February. An event of that magnitude requires a lot of advance commitments, financially and otherwise. Bottom line is we haven’t had meaningful discussions with the players’ association since Sept. 9.

FAN: Neither side wants compromise, so why haven’t you hired an arbitrator?

Daly: In terms of mediation, we don’t rule anything out. In terms of arbitration, we certainly aren’t going to allow a third party to tell us how to operate our clubs.

FAN: The owners started paying an exorbitant amount of money to play a game; the closest thing I can equate it to is having a kid run amok for 15 years and then try to rein them in. What are you going to do about that?

Daly: It’s not necessarily the owners’ fault on what they do under this agreement. The system creates inflationary pressures. The last agreement didn’t work. But we are at the end of this agreement, and we get to negotiate a new deal, and that’s what we need to do for this league to move forward. I don’t have a problem with a system that penalizes owners for bad business decisions and they end up losing money for that.

FAN: If your counterpart from the other side were here, how would they summarize the problem?

Daly: They want what they define as a marketplace. They want there to be some individual responsibility among the owners to make good business decisions that’s going to work for those businesses. In any traditional industry, I’m there with them. I am there with them as long as those decisions don’t affect the 29 other clubs.

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The most heated attack came from a fan who suggested Daly and commissioner Gary Bettman were the problem.

“You haven’t really convinced me that you are with the good guys,” the fan said. “Your message has been kind of somber and a little bit morose.”

Daly’s defense was that the NHL has worked hard to develop a working relationship with the NHLPA. He also noted the growth of players’ salaries under Bettman.

Now, what should be said is that Daly “did,” and I repeat did, agree to another heated topic that was brought up. This heated topic was that the owners were to blame for creating the problem, both by agreeing to the last contract and by spending wildly under it. The fan was convinced that Daly was with the “GOOD GUYS” as he put it.

“Nobody is running away from the responsibility that the last (labor deal) didn’t work,” Daly said. “But we don’t have to live with it any more. We get to make a new one.”

Lites did later reply that, “We’re in the ditch. Now how do we get out of it?”

In other words, they are both living up to pretty much screwing up here. Now lets just take care of it.

Now the question will be……..”What will this do for the fans? Will this really help? Will this help or hurt the talks in the long run? Who knows? Let’s all just hope that some how, some way it helps.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1915737

http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3136498

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/sports/hockey/10096913.htm