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 - 12:14pm  

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

Mike Reiss with Dale, Hol…

Mike Reiss with Dale, Holley and Thornton

Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- Roger Goodell is maddening! -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- A look at the AFC East post NFL Draft -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.

Abdel Nader - 7/17

Abdel Nader - 7/17

Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.

Isaiah Thomas, Celtics PG joins OMF, 6-30-16

Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy

Danny Ainge, Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball joins OMF, 6-24-16

Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.

7-25 Red Sox Review with …

7-25 Red Sox Review with Mut

Drew Pomeranz looked stronger in his second Red Sox start but the offense wasn't there to back him up tonight. Mut recaps the 4-2 loss to the Tigers. Thoughts on the manager, the bullpen, and your Sox calls as well.

Brad Ziegler Player of the Game Interview

Joe Castiglione & Tim Neverett talked to the new Sox reliever, who got his first save for the team today against the Twins.

7-22 Red Sox Review with Christian Arcand

Christian recaps the Sox 2-1 loss to the Twins. Eduardo Rodriguez had a good showing tonight but couldn't get the run support needed to secure a W. Thoughts on all of that as well as your calls on Red Sox Review.

ESPN hockey writer Joe Mc…

ESPN hockey writer Joe McDonald joins Ken Laird to talk #Bruins free agency 7-2-16

Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- A look toward the future for the Bruins -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.

SUNDAY SKATE with WEEI's DJ Bean and Uproxx's Pete Blackburn -- They got what they wanted...Claude Julien is staying in Boston -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.

D&C - Michael Jordan spea…

D&C - Michael Jordan speaks out on shootings & donates, gets criticized by Kevin Blackistone 7-26-16

John, Gerry and Bradfo discuss a rare political stance by Michael Jordan, and the ensuing criticism he received from ESPN talking head Kevin Blackistone. A Black Lives Matter discussion ensues.

D&C's 'Headlines' - Normandy church killing, Al Franken, Adriana Lima 7-26-16

Rob Bradford is thrust into 'Headlines' duty by John Dennis, and Bradfo does his best to spin a few entertaining news yarns.

D&C with Bradfo - Chris Sale and Red Sox trade possibilities 7-26-16

Rob Bradford is in studio with Dino and Gerry to discuss Red Sox trade possibilities and to throw cold water on Chris Sale trade chances.

OMF - Jordan rides the fe…

OMF - Jordan rides the fence? 7-26-116

Glenn, Lou, and Christian examine the blow-back Michael Jordan is receiving for donating to both sides of the Police violence divide. OMF thinks he did the right thing.

OMF - Would you still want Chris Sale on the Red Sox? 7-26-16

Glenn, Lou, and Christian try to decide if Chris Sale is "Winning-obsessed" or "Fatal Attraction level crazy." But you still want him, right?

OMF - Is the Red Sox roster set? Or do they need more? - 7-26-16

Lou doesn't want to make a big deal, or give up big time prospects. Glenn, Lou, and Christian discuss whether or not the Red Sox need to make any deal before Monday's deadline.

Dale and Holley discuss t…

Dale and Holley discuss the Pats heading into Training Camp

Dale and Holley w/Thornton talk about some of the lingering issues about the Pats heading into training camp.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Tom Jackson's Greatest Hits

With the news that Tom Jackson is leaving ESPN we take a look back at some of Jackson's greatest hits.

Dale and Holley's Final Drive 07-26-16

Dale and Holley close out the show with the best sound of the day!

Ep. 24: Lenny Clarke

Ep. 24: Lenny Clarke

Kirk Minihane is joined by Boston comedy legend Lenny Clarke. If you are a fan of stand up comedy this is the podcast for you. Kirk and Lenny talk about Carlin, Pryor, Williams, Murphy and many more.

Ep. 23: Robert Lipsyte

Kirk Minihane is joined by former ESPN ombudsman and New York Times writer Robert Lipsyte. Kirk and Robert discuss the current state of ESPN and how Robert feels he did in his role as ombudsman. They both criticize ESPN for the lack of journalism at ESPN and look at some of the curious decisions the world wide leader has made in the past few years.

Ep. 22: Lenny Dykstra

Kirk Minihane is joined by Lenny Dykstra to talk about his book, his life pleasing older women, and Lenny tries to avoid his past issues with money. This is one explosive episode.

Sports Check Up - Ep. 3: …

Sports Check Up - Ep. 3: Christian Fauria and Dr Gill discuss golf season

Christian Fauria and Dr Gill talk about what you need to do to be in the best shape to help your golf game. What exercises you should and shouldn't be doing so you can impress on the course.

The Hot Tag - Uncle Buck Talks WWE Draft

Uncle Buck breaks down the WWE Draft and the new rosters for Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live.

Teeing Off With Ben Charleston. The Open Championship Recap

This week we look back at the Open Championship.

D&C - Michael Jordan spea…

D&C - Michael Jordan speaks out on shootings & donates, gets criticized by Kevin Blackistone 7-26-16

John, Gerry and Bradfo discuss a rare political stance by Michael Jordan, and the ensuing criticism he received from ESPN talking head Kevin Blackistone. A Black Lives Matter discussion ensues.

More from this show

D&C - The Democratic Conv…

D&C - The Democratic Convention (starring Al Franken) opens 7-26-16

Dino, Gerry and Rob Bradford give their thoughts on the opening night of the Democratic Convention in Philly. Paul Simon, Al Franken, Sarah Silverman, Michelle Obama and Bernie are among those discussed.

More from this show

D&C's 'Headlines' - Norma…

D&C's 'Headlines' - Normandy church killing, Al Franken, Adriana Lima 7-26-16

Rob Bradford is thrust into 'Headlines' duty by John Dennis, and Bradfo does his best to spin a few entertaining news yarns.

More from this show

D&C with Bradfo - Chris S…

D&C with Bradfo - Chris Sale and Red Sox trade possibilities 7-26-16

Rob Bradford is in studio with Dino and Gerry to discuss Red Sox trade possibilities and to throw cold water on Chris Sale trade chances.

More from this show

D&C - The NFL wheel of ju…

D&C - The NFL wheel of justice exonerates Peyton, frees Josh Gordon 7-26-16

"No credible evidence" frees Peyton Manning from any guilt in the NFL eyes on P.E.D usage, and Josh Gordon is reinstated into the league after multiple suspensions. John Dennis, Gerry Callahan and Rob Bradford discuss.

More from this show

News & Analysis