With the NHL rejecting the NHLPA’s most recent collective bargaining agreement offer earlier this week, yet still saying it was a step in the right direction, it would appear as though the NHLPA is running out of options unless they wish to completely give in to the NHL’s demands.
This is leading to loads of speculation by the media and fans about the NHLPA possibly decertifying its players in what would be a very bold move and most likely the NHLPA’s endgame if they go the decertification route.
In order for the NHLPA to decertify the players, the union would vote on the decertification and if it passed the NHLPA would cease to represent the players. Individual players could then take their case to the federal courts based on the United States antitrust laws. Or if they felt so inclined they could also file federal lawsuits against the NHL. I should note that once a new CBA is drawn up the NHLPA would most likely recertify and once again be the lone voice of the players.
According to the LA Times (one of many powering the decertification rumor mill) the NHL’s rejection of the NHLPA’s latest CBA offer could definitely lead to the NHLPA decertifying, “The rejection, announced after the sides met twice at the league’s headquarters, might spur the NHLPA to begin the decertification process, according to several people with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to discuss it publicly.” The LA Times went on to say, “The decertification option is rarely invoked because its time-consuming and complex. An NHLPA spokesman declined to comment on the union’s potential next steps.”
Darren Dreger of TSN said via Twitter he believes that a decertification of the NHLPA would most likely mean there would not be a 2012-13 NHL season but he also said he needs to gather more information about the situation. Like I’ve said before I’d rather the NHL cancel the whole season and figure this CBA out so we don’t have to have another lockout in 5-7 years, but thats just me.
Many others in and around the media believe a decertification could work and work well for the players as decertification helped NFL players end their lockout in 2011. Whether the NHLPA decides to decertify or not is still up in the air and we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. Either way its risky and it now appears as though the NHLPA is getting desperate and time will tell if thats a good or bad thing.