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Paul Kelly On Felger & Mazz: Who Won In NHL Lockout?

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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Felger and Massarotti were joined by Paul Kelly, former executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association, to discuss the end of the NHL Lockout.

Kelly didn’t say he would’ve definitely avoided a lockout, but he did say that had he still been in charge, he would’ve made an effort to start the negotiating process much earlier than Don Fehr did.

“I think I said I would’ve started the discussions a lot earlier,” Kelly said. “I wouldn’t have waited until July or August to start discussions, that’s for sure. … I do think it would’ve made a difference. [It would have created] a different climate, a different tone. I think a lot of [negative feelings from the owners] could’ve been avoided if you started months ago with quiet discussions off the radar. … I think when you set that kind of professional tone, and you do it out of the limelight, I think you can make some real progress.”

Kelly also discussed how it will be measured who “won” the lockout and the job Don Fehr did.

“I don’t think there are any winners here,” Kelly said. “I would say that the owners probably got 80 percent of what they were looking for. … The players gave a whole lot more here than the owners gave, but over the history of the NHL what we’ve seen is players and player agents find a way to get their money. Whether it’s through loopholes in the system, or just [being] quality players.”

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