The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Ference on D&C: 'It was all give' by players
Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:14am  

Ference on D&C: 'It was all give' by players

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who was in the negotiating room in New York when the lockout was settled Sunday, joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the long-awaited end to the work stoppage.

Ference said he's been going through a range of emotions since the deal was reached.

Said Ference: "First, exhausted for sure. Last night's sleep didn't quite catch me up from this past week from New York City. But definitely relieved. In many ways, happy to be back playing, happy that the fans can actually come back and watch some hockey and can stop talking about boardroom chatter. And relieved also, because I saw how close it came I think from both sides to pulling the plug on the season. For that not to happen makes me relieved, because I can't possibly imagine what another lost year would have done to our sport."

Ference, who tweeted the news of the deal right after it happened, said the final agreement came without much fanfare.

"We used the mediator for the last few days pretty extensively," he said. "Up until the last probably six or eight volleys of proposals we actually used smaller groups -- a couple of players, like George Parros and Shane Doan went in and were taking the last couple final proposals. We pushed pretty hard around a few items, and [the owners' representatives] just kind of walked back in the room with smiles on their faces and said that they had accepted the last ones. So, it was pretty much just that. They made an announcement and everybody kind of looked at each other for a couple of seconds and that was it. That was that. We shook hands afterwards, though. We went over there and everyone said, 'Thank God this is over. Let's get back to the real thing.' "

Asked what the players achieved in the negotiations, Ference said it wasn't much.

"Well, if you look at the CBAs, the only thing better is the pension. And you get your own room on the road at a little younger age. In terms of winning, that's it," he said. "In today's world, everybody understood it's concessionary bargaining. You look at the other sports leagues and what's happened to them, you could say that there's certain aspects that we did better in compared to those guys. But compared to the old world that we played under, it was all give. That was the only possible way to play hockey, to have hockey, in our view, to save the season, and I think save the sport to a certain degree. That was the only way it was getting done."

Added Ference: "I think everybody was educated enough to see the position that we're in, and to see the position that the league is in. You can sit there and paint a perfect picture for yourself of what a great CBA looks like. But at the end of the day, you have to realize that on their side, they're the owners, they're running the sport, they're running their business. They have a lot of leverage as well. It's like you can just say we want this, this and this. It just doesn't work that way unless you want to go down the path -- we coined it the nuclear option -- and decertify and go through the courts and what-not. The mess you create then in some players' eyes was worth it. But in a lot of guys' eyes you destroy the sport in the process."

Ference said there wasn't one major concession by the players, because they had that during the last lockout when they gave in to a salary cap.

"The system doesn't change dramatically," Ference said. "The numbers change, but … I don't know, I don't think you can point to one thing. It's not a drastically different system. It's just different numbers."

Despite his conciliatory tone, Ference said the players did well by bringing in veteran negotiator Donald Fehr.

"It was the smartest move we've ever done. Without a doubt," he said. "Every player that went to the meetings and was involved, every staff member would say the same thing a thousand times over. Obviously I'm biased, because I helped get rid of the last guy. But I couldn't imagine where we'd be if we didn't make that change and we didn't have Don Fehr. Make no bones about, it's a a tough, tough negotiating partner on the other side. To have the experience not only of Fehr but ask of the people surrounding him -- the economists, his brother, the other labor lawyers that have been in those rooms, whether it's with sports unions or auto workers or hotel workers -- just the experience of closing deals, of negotiating, was priceless."

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On angry reaction from fans: "We hear the fans, definitely, say, 'Just take the deal. Just start playing already.' But I think you have to realize, even up to a couple of days ago, if you just take the deal you're basically selling out a lot of young guys that don't even have a voice in their union yet. So, you're weighing those concerns and you're trying to get it done. You've got to believe us that we want to play as bad as anybody. It kills us not to be out there. That's obviously why athletes get locked out, is because it's an extremely good negotiating tactic to make people that love what they do not be able to do it. 

"So, we get it. We get how everybody was mad. I guess all you can really do is not patronize them and not just say thanks and hope it's all right. I think everybody understands that we just have to go out there and put a good product out and try to make people proud, and not pretend that this wasn't awful. Everybody knows it was awful."

On what the league should do for the fans: "I don't know what they'd do. I hope there's people that are smarter than me that can come up with something to really satisfy some people that were hurt. I know as players the best thing we can do, like I said, is play good hockey. No. 1, that's what people want. I think they would rather have guys playing their hearts out than a gift."

On the proposed shortened season: "It will be crazy, definitely. It's just a concentration of games, and we're staying out East the whole time, so you're always playing against your rivals, which makes it great. And talking to guys that went through it the last shortened season guys like Cam [Neely] and some of the other players that were playing back then, they said it was awesome. As far as the work stoppage, it was just as awful and all those things. But once you got into the season they said it was an absolute sprint and a bit chaotic. You could definitely see that this time, with some guys playing in Europe and some guys just practicing and some guys probably not taking great care of themselves. It will be chaos, that first little bit of games."

On goalie Tim Thomas, who has said he is taking a sabbatical from the sport this season: "I don't think anybody expects him back."

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.




Audio On Demand

OMF - Duron Harmon tells …

OMF - Duron Harmon tells OMF that the defense loves the chance to make a goal line stand, 1-23-16

Patriots safety Duron Harmon joined the show on Monday to discuss their win over Pittsburgh in the AFCCG. Harmon was asked about his tackle on Jesse James on the half yard line, and he revealed to the guys he wasn't thinking much about it, but that the defense has wanted the chance to make a goal line stand since they did it against Cincinnati earlier in the season.

OMF - Dion Lewis talks about recovering from a torn ACL last season, 1-23-16

Patriots running back Dion Lewis joined the show to discuss how it feels to be headed to the Super Bowl for the first time in his career, his recovery from a serious injury in 2015, and how LeGarrette Blount fired up the sidelines by carrying half the Steelers on his back.

Malcolm Butler - Excited to be headed to another Super Bowl

Glenn Ordway and Fred Smerlas talk with Cornerback Malcolm Butler in the lockerroom after the Patriots handily beat the Pittsburgh to advance to Super Bowl 51.

Celtics Podcast - Isaiah …

Celtics Podcast - Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul, and it's time for the Celtics to fill their biggest need 12-20-16

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.

Celtics Podcast - Isaiah Thomas' injury and keeping Marcus Smart in control 12-13-16

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.

Celtics Podcast – Bad finish against the Rockets and love for DeMarcus Cousins 12-6-16

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 4: Rick P…

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 4: Rick Porcello

Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello to discuss life from the moment when he learned he was the American League Cy Young Award winner until the days just before spring training. Porcello explains how things have changed for him over the past few months, while offering his thoughts on Kate Upton's controversial tweets following the Cy Young announcement, and the actual voting process.

Hot Stove Show Hour 2 - Hall of Fame candidates losing and gaining support

Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.

Hot Stove Show Hour 1 - Reacts to the 2017 Hall of Fame elections

Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.

Saturday Skate - Firing C…

Saturday Skate - Firing Claude

Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian

SUNDAY SKATE with K&C's Ken Laird, Barstool Sports' Rear Admiral and WEEI's Ty Anderson -- It was a very good week for the Bruins-Are they turning things around? -- 1-15-17

Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.

SUNDAY SKATE with K&C's Ken Laird, Barstool Sports' Rear Admiral and WEEI's Ty Anderson talk Bruins and the state of Claude Julien's tenure in Boston -- 1-8-16

Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.

K&C- The winning culture …

K&C- The winning culture in New England 1-23-17

Hour 4. Kirk and Gerry discuss how players from bad teams can come to New England and win.

K&C-Albert vs. Kirk and Gerry on Tom Brady; Headlines with Kirk; Tim Hasselbeck joins the show 1-23-17

Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.

K&C- Tim Hasselbeck joins the show to discuss Championship weekend and the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl 1-23-17

Tim Hasselbeck joins the show.

OMF - Did the Patriots de…

OMF - Did the Patriots defense finally prove themselves? 1-23-16

The guys open the show discussing the Patriots 36-17 win over Steelers in the AFCCG, and if that win helped answer some questions the critics had all year about the Patriots defense.

OMF - What happened to Aaron Rodgers? Can the Patriots stop the Falcons? 1-23-16

Last week, there was a lot of talk about Aaron Rodgers and his other-worldly performances down the stretch and into the playoffs. On Sunday, he was blown out by the Falcons, and sent home packing. The guys discuss the rise and fall of Aaron Rodgers' season, and also get into the Falcons offense, and how the Patriots defense might stack up.

OMF - Dont forget, Bill Belichick is the best GM in football, too, 1-23-16

Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis, Kyle Van Noy, and Trey Flowers are just a few of the reasons why Bill Belichick should be credited more as a great GM, in addition to his accolades as a great head coach.

Bill Belichick - We have …

Bill Belichick - We have a lot of work to do on Atlanta, not very familiar with them

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick breaks down the win over the Steelers and looks ahead to the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl, who Bill admits is a team they are not yet very familiar with.

Matthew Slater - thankful and blessed to be headed to another Super Bowl

Dale, Holley and Keefe check in with Special Teams Captain Matthew Slater after the Patriots advance to Super Bowl 51.

NFL Network's Heath Evans breaks down the AFC Championship win

Dale, Holley and Keefe check in with former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, for his complete analysis of the AFC Championship win.

Ep. 49: Chad Finn - Charl…

Ep. 49: Chad Finn - Charlotte Wilder's story on Trump/Patriots

Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ep. 48: John Ziegler - Penn State Scandal

Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.

Ep. 47: Sean Leahy, Boston Herald sports editor

Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.

The Real K&C – Game tho…

The Real K&C – Game thoughts, no-care umbrellas & White House blowing blips 1-23-17

Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap a Patriots Monday after a Patriots AFC Title game win and a Tom Brady appearance with Kirk & Gerry.

Boston Sports 101 - Patriots History in the AFC Championship Game

Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.

The Real K&C - Gerry's umbrella, Volin D-Wood & the new MAN Show 1-20-17

Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.

K&C- Tom Brady on his 7th…

K&C- Tom Brady on his 7th Super Bowl appearance and his call to President Donald Trump 1-23-17

Tom Brady joins the show the morning after winning the AFC championship for the seventh time. Brady talks about the upcoming Super Bowl and his call to President Donald Trump.

More from this show

K&C- The Patriots are goi…

K&C- The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl; Tom Brady joins the show to discuss the Super Bowl and Trump 1-23-17

Hour 1. The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, which means Kirk and Gerry are going to Houston. Tom Brady joins the show.

More from this show

K&C-Albert vs. Kirk and G…

K&C-Albert vs. Kirk and Gerry on Tom Brady; Headlines with Kirk; Tim Hasselbeck joins the show 1-23-17

Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.

More from this show

K&C- The winning culture …

K&C- The winning culture in New England 1-23-17

Hour 4. Kirk and Gerry discuss how players from bad teams can come to New England and win.

More from this show

News & Analysis