Successful Negotiation Strategies Lead to Bright Future for Boston Bruins, 2011 Stanley Cup Champions

Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:20am EDT

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Successful Negotiation Strategies Lead to Bright Future for Boston Bruins, 2011 Stanley Cup Champions

Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School features top negotiating strategies in free report “Win-win or Hardball? Learn Top Strategies from Sports Contract Negotiations”

As Zdeno Chara, the captain of the Boston Bruins, hoisted the Stanley Cup at the conclusion of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, hockey fans could celebrate with abandon, secure in the knowledge that their star defenseman will be wearing black and gold through the 2017-2018 NHL season. Without the last minute contract extension signed days before the season began, however, the outcome might have been very different. Chara would have become a free agent in July, and all of Boston might have been wondering if this were his last game in a Bruins uniform. As it is, the Bruins and their fans not only have cause to celebrate, but also the expectation of many more years of championship-caliber hockey to come. The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, a university consortium dedicated to developing the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution, reviews the details of this pivotal negotiation between Chara and the Boston Bruins management in a recent posting available for viewing on the PON Web site www.pon.harvard.edu.

Not all sports contract negotiations end quite so happily. As the NFL season hangs in the balance mired in an impasse between owners and players, sports contract negotiations can teach vivid negotiating lessons of what works and what doesn’t. In the just-released free report, “Win-win or Hardball? Learn Top Strategies from Sports Contract Negotiations,” faculty from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School examine professional sports negotiation strategies that proved successful while analyzing the reasons others failed. “Win-win or Hardball? Learn Top Strategies from Sports Contract Negotiations features the case of Matt Harrington, a promising young pitcher in baseball who opted not to sign with the Colorado Rockies after the 2000 draft. Harrington continued to turn down contracts in subsequent years, becoming the longest holdout in the history of Major League Baseball. His greatest mistake? Choosing to approach his contract negotiation as a competition between opposing interests, rather than seeking to find a win-win solution that would benefit all parties. In contrast, Bruins ownership, GM Peter Chiarelli, agent Matt Keator, and Zdeno Chara skillfully negotiated their way to a “win-win” agreement for all involved.

To download the free report, please visit: www.pon.harvard.edu

Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
Polly Hamlen, 617-496-9383
phamlen@gmail.com
or
Sparkatects, Inc.
Tricia Woods, 617-325-5850
tricia@sparkatects.com

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