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

It Is What It Is Cast: Pr…

It Is What It Is Cast: Previewing Patriots-Jets

OXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Week 16 battle between the 11-3 Patriots and 3-11 New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

SI's Peter King with Dale and Holley

We get a complete analysis of the Patriots and the NFL with Peter King of SI/MMQB.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley

We get a complete breakdown of the win from Bill Belichick as the Patriots secure yet another AFC East title. Bill talks about the historical significance, the key moments of the game, and even Tom Brady's nutritional regiment.

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Mar…

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Marcus Smart injury 11-12-14

How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...

WHDW - Greg Dickerson Joins the Show to talk Celtics

Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.

Kyle Draper, Comcast Sports New England, Celtics will compete for a playoff spot this season

Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston

Jon Lester says he would …

Jon Lester says he would probably have signed with the Red Sox for 5 years and $120M last spring training

Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.

Wade Miley talks gluten, swamp people, and coming to the A.L. East

Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.

Hot Stove Show 12-18-14

The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.

Pierre McGuire: TJ Oshie …

Pierre McGuire: TJ Oshie would be a great player on the Bruins 12-18-14

Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.

Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.

Pierre Mcguire: Chara's return will have huge impact for Bruins 12-11-14

Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL

John Buccigross on the Br…

John Buccigross on the Bruins trade options 12-18-14

ESPN's John Buccigross joined the show to discuss how to fix the Bruins.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Stephen Collins defends himself 12-18-14

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

The Sony hackers 12-18-14

The guys discussed the latest with the Sony hackers.

Rumors are swirling about…

Rumors are swirling about a possible Rajon Rondo trade 12-18-14

With multiple outlets reporting that the Celtics are in trade talks with the Dallas Mavericks to trade Rondo, the guys react to the possible deal

Lou Merloni's Tom Brady for MVP political ad. 12-18-14

Tim Benz: Revis for MVP political ad. 12-18-14

Done deal: Rondo to the M…

Done deal: Rondo to the Mavericks - Details and immediate reaction

Dale and Michael are live on the air as the Rondo deal goes down.

Any chance the Patriots stumble against the Jets and lose this one?

Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton talk Rex, the Jets, a tough divisional match-up, and what, if any scenario we could see the Patriots losing this one.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Better After Boston Edition - 12-18-14

We tackle four athletes who left Boston and went on to bigger and better things.

Kay the Textress comes in

Kay the Textress comes in

Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.

Cold, Hard Football Talk

Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.

Mikey's 9th Anniversary Show

Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .

We Love Anthony Davis - Q…

We Love Anthony Davis - Quarter Season storylines

What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?

Pod Man Rush: Taylor/Tyler 2014 with Ryan Lambert

Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.

D&C's Breaking Balls: What would you tell a younger version of yourself? 12-15-14

Dino, Gerry and Kirk react to today's Tom Brady interview by discussing what they would tell their younger selves. They look closer at Brady's diet and fitness regime and whether they could be as disciplined as the superstar quarterback.

Tom Brady vs. the FCC 12-…

Tom Brady vs. the FCC 12-17-14

The guys opened the show by discussing the latest absurd complaints by viewers to the FCC regarding Brady's F bombs.

More from this show

Peter King: Patriots top …

Peter King: Patriots top my 'Fine Fifteen' power rankings

We get a complete analysis of the Patriots and the NFL with Peter King of SI/MMQB.

More from this show

Damien Woody on Patriots …

Damien Woody on Patriots Jets 12-17-14

The guys spoke with Damien Woody about Pats Jets.

More from this show

What are Tom Brady's chan…

What are Tom Brady's chances at 2014 NFL MVP?

Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss Tom Brady's chances to earn MVP in 2014.

More from this show

"The Price is Right," wit…

"The Price is Right," with Chris Price of WEEI.com, 12-17-14

As we do every Wednesday, we re-visit some predictions that Chris made in anticipation of last week's game against Miami, and make some new ones about Sunday's match up with the New York Jets.

More from this show

Weei Writers