Players to vote on authorizing disclaimer of interest

Posted: 12/14/2012 by bc in Uncategorized

Update 2: tsn.ca legal analyst Eric Macramalia opines, “… at this point, declaring that the season is done is grossly premature.” In the same paragraph, Macramalia also states, “Litigation may also make it more likely the entire NHL season will be lost.” Typical attorney doublespeak, no?

I fully expect the season to be cancelled because once courts take jurisdiction of matters the process is dictated by codes of civil procedure. The NHL hasn’t served the complaint on the NHLPA and the first thing is that the PA will have 30 days within which to answer. This takes us through the end of January at the soonest.

While complaints can and do get cancelled or dismissed, the NLRB for example could refuse to dismiss the NHL’s complaint for failing to bargain in good faith or the PA’s anticipated cross-complaint.

As I’ve pointed out, once you accept the jurisdiction of a court or administrative agency your ability to resolve a dispute is subject to that court or agency.

Update: The NHL has filed a complaint with National Labor Relations Board and a class action lawsuit in the Federal District of New York. This is what I expected when I posted yesterday not to expect NHL hockey this season. Once the courts and administrative review agencies become involved the process can take months and years to resolve.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the NHLPA executive board has approved a player vote authorizing the PA to file a Disclaimer of Interest. A Disclaimer of Interest means the NHLPA will no longer represent the players. It frees the players to bargain individually and removes the NHL protection from antitrust action.

In a be careful of what you wish for the NHL is on the verge of breaking the union. The irony of course is that the players may do it for them.

Corporate media is suggesting that this is more posturing. I’m not so certain. Tea leaf readers rely on the fact that the NBAPA was dissolved and reformed two weeks later. Basketball players had no alternative to the NBA. NHL players can jump to the KHL and numerous European leagues.

I remain stunned and appalled that this has happened. Don’t plan on seeing NHL hockey this season.

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