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Toucher & Rich: Joe Haggerty On Looming Lockout For NHL

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Gary Bettman (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Gary Bettman (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — Might the NHL be headed for another lockout and more missed hockey games? CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty believes so.

“I don’t think so,” Haggerty said when asked if the season would start on time. “Anything can happen. Anything could change. They’re just starting to talk right now, [NHLPA executive director] Donald Fehr and [NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman.

“Donald Fehr is a hardlined union head. He was like that with baseball. He is not a guy to be trifled with and he’s not a guy that’s gonna blink or back down or allow the players’ union to disintegrate and give in to the NHL.”

Haggerty said the players have put their full trust in Fehr, who won’t be an easy negotiator for the league.

“The players are getting 57 percent of the revenues from the league, and the league wants that closer to a 50-50, like the other leagues are going toward,” Haggerty said. “So you’re talking about a huge cut of the pie that the players are going to lose out on, and I don’t think they’re going to give that up easily. I think it’s going to be contentious when it gets to that point. … It looks like it’s a ship hitting an iceberg for me, and they’re going to miss some time.”

How long will the potential lockout last?

“I don’t think it’s going to be a killer for the league if they miss a couple of months,” Haggerty said. “If they miss a whole season, I think it’ll be a killer for them, but I think there’s a very conscious effort by the league to not miss the entire year.”

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