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

Adam Schefter, ESPN: Good…

Adam Schefter, ESPN: Goodell has to be more accountable 9-19-14

Adam Schefter joins MFB to talk about the latest with Roger Goodell and how he is going to handle his upcoming press conference.

Christian Fauria's Three Keys to Pats-Raiders 9-18-14

Christian breaks down what the Patriots need to do to beat the Raiders this Sunday

Week 3: Around the AFC East 9-18-14

MFB talks to Sal Cappaccio of WGR in Buffalo, Ryan Ruocco of ESPN NY, and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.

David Ortiz Player of the…

David Ortiz Player of the Game Interview

Joe and Dave talk with David Ortiz after he hits two home runs to propel the Red Sox to an extra-innings win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Ben Cherington on Rusney Castillo 9-18-14

Ben Cherington discussed the debut of Castillo and his thoughts on Jeter.

Sox Manager John Farrell with Dale and Holley

As the season winds down, We check in Sox skipper John Farrell as we await the Boston debut of Rusney Castillo.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau

Rodney Harrison on Adrian…

Rodney Harrison on Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice 9-19-14

Rodney Harrison addressed his non comments earlier in the week with MFB.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: The first lady hates fattening foods 9-19-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

D&C respond to MFB's MFK 9-19-14

The guys opened the show responding to MFB's MFK.

Jerod Mayo previews Pats-…

Jerod Mayo previews Pats-Raiders 9-19-14

Jerod Mayo gives Christian karaoke advice and previews the Patriots home opener.

Three For All: Christian chooses his karaoke song. 9-19-14

Christian chooses his song for Karaoke tonight.

Adam Schefter, ESPN: Goodell has to be more accountable 9-19-14

Adam Schefter joins MFB to talk about the latest with Roger Goodell and how he is going to handle his upcoming press conference.

Michael Irvin with Dale a…

Michael Irvin with Dale and Holley: I'm sweating FOR Roger Goodell

We check in with the great 88, the playmaker Michael Irvin joins Dale and Holley.

Roger Goodell finally breaks his silence... did it do him or the NFL any good? Response and Reaction

Michael, Dale and Tom E. Curran break down, react and take your calls about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's first public press conference this regular season.

Dale and Holley's Final Drive - Reliving the greatest Patriots-Raiders game of all time

For our final segment we take a look back at the infamous Snow Bowl and the Tuck Rule play, this time via Raiders radio and more.

Jim Koch joins Planet Mik…

Jim Koch joins Planet Mikey

Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.

Danny Picard talks Red Sox and Patriots with Mike Giardi

Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.

Producers Podcast: Sausag…

Producers Podcast: Sausage and Beans 9-18-14

Your beloved hosts are joined by WEEI.com Bruins reporter DJ Bean as well as producer of the Dennis & Callahan Show, Craig "Sausage" Sawisch. Support America: Support Your Local Post Office

Dennis & Callahan's Breaking Balls Podcast: The NFL's hot mess, Jenny Dell and who has bad breath.

Dennis, Callahan and Minihane make their podcast debut. This week's topics include Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Jenny Dell and some discussion on people we've encountered with the worst breath.

Minor Details Ep. 100: A minor centennial with Rob Bradford, Mike Hazen and Jim Callis

The 100th Minor Details podcast revisits some old friends, as WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen and MLB.com prospect guru Jim Callis, who were the guests on the first show in November 2010, join the show anew.

Rodney Harrison on Adrian…

Rodney Harrison on Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice 9-19-14

Rodney Harrison addressed his non comments earlier in the week with MFB.

More from this show

Ben Cherington on Rusney …

Ben Cherington on Rusney Castillo 9-18-14

Ben Cherington discussed the debut of Castillo and his thoughts on Jeter.

More from this show

D&C respond to MFB's MFK …

D&C respond to MFB's MFK 9-19-14

The guys opened the show responding to MFB's MFK.

More from this show

The Vikings apologize 9-1…

The Vikings apologize 9-18-14

The guys opened the show by discussing the Vikings press conference.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Weei Writers