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

NFL Sunday with Dickerson…

NFL Sunday with Dickerson and Price -- Reaction to Don Banks and more on Deflategate - 6-28-15

The guys react to what Don Banks had to say and get into some more thoughts on Deflategate. Are McNally and Jastremski ever going to break their silence and give their side of the story? Price says yes ... eventually.

Don Banks, SI.com, joins Dickerson and Price on NFL Sunday - 6-28-15

Don Banks talks with the NFL Sunday boys about his reaction to Brady's appeal, where we go from here and the NFL's motives and decisions throughout the process. He also gets into the Pats offseason so far and their weakness at CB. Don gives his take on the AFC East this year and how some of the Pats' rivals have improved.

NFL Sunday with Greg Dickerson and Chris Price -- Reaction to news from Tom Brady's appeal on Tuesday - 6-28-15

Greg and Price discuss their thoughts on some of the reports that have leaked after Tuesday from Brady's appeal hearing. The boys talk about what the reaction will be if Brady decides to accept a 1-game suspension. Fans want a complete exoneration, but there's a good chance that they won't get that - how will they react? They also talk with Mike Petraglia and get his thought on the appeal and more.

We Love Anthony Davis - A…

We Love Anthony Davis - Are the Celtics doomed? 7-1-15

How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.

We Love Anthony Davis - NBA Finals Breakdown 6-13-15

Sam is joined by Jared Weiss from The Garden Report and CLNS Radio to breakdown game 4 of Cavs-Warriors, preview game 5 on Sunday, and analyze the Celtics needs this off-season.

Dickerson and Tomase discuss the Celtics and their upcoming playoff series against the Cavs 4-19-15

Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?

Alejandro De Aza Player o…

Alejandro De Aza Player of the Game Interview07-02-15

Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza about the Red Sox solid road trip and offensive outpouring in a win against Toronto.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell with Dale and Holley

We discuss the state of the Sox, specifically Rick Porcello, with Red Sox Manager John Farrell.

David Ortiz Player of the Game Interview 06-30-15

Joe Castiglione and Rob Bradford talk with David Ortiz after the Red Sox take game 2 of their four game series with Toronto. David talks about the good pitching they've gotten and the offense finding their way.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney wit…

Bruins GM Don Sweeney with Dale and Holley

Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.

Fluto Shinzawa, NHL reporter for the Boston Globe, joins the Sunday Skate crew to discuss the future of the Bruins franchise 4-19-15

The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.

Sunday Skate with DJ Bean, Naoko Funayama and Pete Blackburn - HOUR #2 - 4-19-15

In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!

Tanguay and Volin on the …

Tanguay and Volin on the Patriots off-season 7-3-15

Gary and Ben on the Pats.

Larry Lucchino on Rick Porcello. 7-2-15

The guys discussed the latest Red Sox news with Larry.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Dukes of Hazard pulled by TV Land 7-2-15

The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.

Three For All: Conor McGr…

Three For All: Conor McGregor calls out Mayweather & Joey Chestnut Vs. the field, 7-3-15

Conor McGregor has harsh words for Floyd Mayweather on Conan, Colbert hosts public access TV & will Joey Chestnut defend his title in Hot Dog Eating Contest?

Celtics Off-Season & how they can lure a star to Boston, 7-3-15

Discussing Greg Monroe signing with Milwaukee and debating if that gives hope to a cold weather city in Boston

Targeting pitchers the Red Sox should think about trading for, 7-3-15

Kicking around the dream of acquiring a pitcher like Sonny Gray and how much you would have to give up in order to acquire that caliber talent

Bradfo and Hart's Four at…

Bradfo and Hart's Four at Four: Worst National Anthem Renditions

In honor of the 4th of July holiday, guest hosts Rob Bradford and Andy Hart examine the four worst renditions of the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events.

Bradfo and Andy Hart with an early look at Patriots training camp

WEEI.com's Rob Bradford and Andy Hart of Patriots.com are in for Dale, Holley, and Thornton. Bradfo and Hart take some time to discuss the upcoming issues for Pats training camp, including what QB reps will be like between Brady and the backups.

Astros Beat Writer Evan Drellich

Rob Bradford and Andy Hart are in for Dale, Holley, and Thornton and are joined by Houston Astros writer Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle to preview the weekend's Red Sox - Astros series as well as to get the inside word on the St. Louis Cardinals hacking scandal.

Planet Mikey: DJ Bean tal…

Planet Mikey: DJ Bean talks #Bruins and Matt Beleskey

WEEI Bruins Reporter D.J. Bean joins Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola to talk about the signing of winger Matt Beleskey on the opening day of NHL free agency.

Planet Mikey: Rick Porcello Limericks and Red Sox Midterm Grades

With 80 games played for the Red Sox, Mikey Adams wants midterm grades for several players. Also, after another Rick Porcello clunker in Toronto, callers and texters give unflattering Porcello Limericks. Lenny Megliola and Textress Lucy are along.

Danny Picard reacts to NBA Draft, 6-25-15

Danny's early thoughts on Celtics drafting Terry Rozier at the 16th pick

SoccerCast - Revs Downfal…

SoccerCast - Revs Downfall & MLS Changing a Rule?

Ben, Russ & Alex discuss the Revs continued downfall & argue over The Mighty Ducks movie franchise

Red Sox Farm Report Podcast July 1st Edition

Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined by special guests Mike Mutnansky of the Red Sox Radio Network and Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers to talk Sox prospects. What do the struggles of Rusney Castillo and Rick Porcello in the majors mean? Also, the international signing period begins July 2, looking back at past Latin American signings. And June selections for affiliate players of the month

We Love Anthony Davis - Are the Celtics doomed? 7-1-15

How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.

Red Sox Farm Report Podca…

Red Sox Farm Report Podcast July 1st Edition

Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined by special guests Mike Mutnansky of the Red Sox Radio Network and Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers to talk Sox prospects. What do the struggles of Rusney Castillo and Rick Porcello in the majors mean? Also, the international signing period begins July 2, looking back at past Latin American signings. And June selections for affiliate players of the month

More from this show

Larry Lucchino on Rick Po…

Larry Lucchino on Rick Porcello. 7-2-15

The guys discussed the latest Red Sox news with Larry.

More from this show

Tanguay and Volin on the …

Steve Buckley does not wa…

Tumultuous off-seasons fo…

Tumultuous off-seasons for the C's and B's still has the town talking

Dale, Michael and Jerry do the postgame for another Sox stinker, and find there is much more interest in how the Bruins and Celtics can build their teams after interesting off-seasons.

More from this show

Weei Writers