Brian Burke at MIT Sloan Sport Conf: “1st Thing to Learn in Negotiations is How to Swear”

Afternoon Panel, Friday March 2, 2012. “Art and Analytics of Negotiation

This was Burke’s second panel of the day, and just like the first one, he carried, if not dominated the whole thing. A few good nuggets in the selected tweets below apply particularly to NHL.  See tweet-sum below:


Killer quotes: Leafs’ GM Brian Burke:   On general negotiating strategy:”I try to be a prick all the time” ; First thing you need to learn in negotiations is how to swear” ; My job’s a goddamn howl!” 

Brian Burke on trade deadline: We set our internal prices well in advance so we don’t get caught in the heat of the moment

Yale Prof Cade Massey: best negotiators focus on the other party’s needs not their own
Burke on NHL analytics & contracts: use standard measures for young players, but do custom work for vets, as health changes.
Someone’s deal breaker or walk away point usually isn’t, according to Cowboys legal counsel
Gary Gertzog, NFL lawyer, on role of deception in negotiation: long term relationships can be ruined by it, foolish strategy
Burke: much harder to deal with an agent with 1 client than one with 30, that agent is trying to hit the deal out of the park
Transparency, preparedness, trust and authority: pillars to successful contract negotiations
Burke : Sometime reason works, sometimes you need to punch them in the face
Best negotiator according to Burke: Gary Bettman. “There is smart, and there’s Bettman-smart, a term we used when I worked at NHL.”
Alec Scheiner speaks of Jerry Jones as an incredibly creative negotiator – the guy who asks the questions no one else asks
Burky”: 30-goal scorer in#NHLis at 3 million/year

One commenter: [This panel] should be renamed: “Art & Analytics of Management’sPerspective on Negotiation, with Two Special Guest Speakers”

About brewonsouthu

lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
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