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.

Jeff Goodman, ESPN, joins…

Jeff Goodman, ESPN, joins Giardi and Bradford to preview the NBA Draft and the future of the Celtics - "They're looking to get a starter this year, a starter in next year's draft and possibly a free agent starter...Kevin Durant is not coming here." ...

Jeff Goodman calls Mike and Rob to drop a ton of knowledge on the upcoming NBA Draft and some of the names available. Sorry fans - he doesn't see Kevin Durant or any big-named free agents coming to Boston and thinks they'll end up making the third pick this season. He also says that there is NO WAY he would trade next year's Brooklyn pick because the draft will be very deep. He discusses the chances of trading with Philly for Okafor, why he like Kris Dunn so much and much more.

Head Coach Brad Stevens with Dale and Holley

Brad Stevens makes his first appearance on the Dale and Holley with Thornton show. We discuss the Atlanta series and what went wrong, and where the Celtics go from here.

WEEI Celtics Podcast - NBA.com's Ian Thomsen on Spurs-Thunder Ending, Danny Ainge's next move for Celtics 5/3

Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.

Red Sox Review with Danny…

Red Sox Review with Danny Picard, 5-30-16

Danny recaps the Red Sox 7-2 win over the Orioles

Red Sox Review with Danny Picard, 5-29-16

Danny Picard recaps the Red Sox 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.

5-28 Danny Picard - Red Sox Review

Who is to blame for the Red Sox 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays? Danny points the finger.

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean…

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.

Butch Stearns with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- The season is officially over for the Bruins; where do we go from here? -- 4-10-16

Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.

D&C - Is Xander Bogaerts …

D&C - Is Xander Bogaerts baseball's best hitter? 5-31-16

John, Gerry and Kirk discuss the Red Sox win over Baltimore on Memorial Day Monday and the team's surge to a two game lead in the AL East

D&C - ESPN's Howard Bryant chilled by patriotism at ballparks

Gerry, John and Kirk are astounded at Howard Bryant's latest effort in ESPN the Magazine. Are patriotic displays at ballparks stifling athletes? What?

D&C - Harambe the gorilla, citizen of Cincinnati, killed 5-31-16

John, Gerry and Kirk discuss the killing of Harambe the gorilla to save a four-year old boy. Was there another option besides shooting? Should the boy's parents be held accountable?

Eduardo Rodriguez starts …

Eduardo Rodriguez starts for the first time in 2016 5-31-16

ERod is back on the mound for the Sox tonight, and the guys break down what the expectations should be for the young pitcher's first major league start after his injury.

Ordway, Merloni and Fauria give their NBA finals predictions 5-31-16

The guys talk about Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, and also give you their thoughts on the upcoming NBA Finals rematch between the Warriors and the Cavs.

Howard Bryant is upset with sports teams honoring veterans and police 5-31-16

ESPN's Howard Bryant is release a feature story about sports teams honoring the military and police at their games and he thinks those ceremonies do not belong in sports. Glenn, Lou and Christian go at Bryant and talk about why he's wrong.

Laroy Streat's Freestyle …

Laroy Streat's Freestyle Friday via the Dale & Holley Show

Laroy Streat keeps setting fire to the airways and talks people singing his Freestyle Fridays to him when they see him on the street! Catch our guy every friday via final drive! He's must listen radio!

Dale and Holley's Final Drive Including Laroy's Freestyle Friday 5/27/16

We end the week with the best in sound Laroy Streat continues to set fire to the airways with his music.

Dale and Holley's Freestyle Friday Hour 2 - Red Sox Pitching and Triple A.

The guys talk Red Sox pitching and the problems that could arise with Buchholz struggles.

Red Sox Review with Danny…

Red Sox Review with Danny Picard, 5-29-16

Danny Picard recaps the Red Sox 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.

Red Sox Review with Mut, 5-26-16

Mut recaps the Sox 8-2 loss to the Rockies.

Red Sox Review with Mut, 5-25-16

Mut recaps the Sox 10-3 win over the Rockies.

Unsportsmanlike Podcast -…

Unsportsmanlike Podcast - Graig Murphy 2

Jerry is joined by Graig Murphy to talk stand up comedy. Until Graig pretty much hijacks the podcast to tell his side of the "Big Show Unfiltered" story.

SoccerCast - Champions League Final Preview

Ben and Russ preview the Champions League Final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Who we want to win, who we think will win, and why. We also talk about our wishes for the USMNT.

Enough About Me - Ep. 16: Pete Sheppard

The Dennis and Callahan malcontent is joined by former WEEI personality Pete Sheppard to talk about his past involvement with the station and his current gig in New Hampshire. You'll be glad to hear Pete hasn't changed one bit.

OMF, Whiner Line 5/27

OMF, Whiner Line 5/27

No one is safe from OMF's Whiner Line.

More from this show

Ep. 16: Pete Sheppard

Ep. 16: Pete Sheppard

The Dennis and Callahan malcontent is joined by former WEEI personality Pete Sheppard to talk about his past involvement with the station and his current gig in New Hampshire. You'll be glad to hear Pete hasn't changed one bit.

More from this show

Lucy goes after Dino, 5-2…

Lucy goes after Dino, 5-27-16

Lucy's parting shot after not taking the job is to attack Dino for how he treats producers.

More from this show

D&C w/ Mut Butch & Meter …

D&C w/ Mut Butch & Meter - Will Malcolm Butler hold out? Is he more valuable than Jamie Collins or Dont'a Hightower? 5-30-16

Mike Mutnansky, Butch Stearns, and Jon Meterparel discuss the absence of Malcolm Butler at last week's OTAs and replay a sound byte of Butler from May 21st on WEEI not wanting to discuss his contract. Is Malcolm Butler headed for a contract dispute, and how valuable is he?

More from this show

Giardi and Bradford discu…

Giardi and Bradford discuss the Patriots and if anything significant can be learned from OTAs? -- 5-29-16

Mike and Rob discuss how OTAs are not the forum to make decisions on the future of the team and how fans on Twitter can't accept that. They also get into the contract situations for Malcolm Butler and Dont'a Hightower.

More from this show

News & Analysis