It feels like it has been months since the NHL owners and players had a series of unorthodox collective bargaining agreement talks that were apparently going so well that a new deal was reportedly inevitable.
Even some cynics (myself included) let themselves believe that an NHL season was in reach. Ultimately as you all know the deal fell through and now the two sides haven’t met for formal talks in a few days. The NHL has now cancelled a total of 526 regular season games, which includes the NHL Winter Classic and NHL All Star Game.
Now the players have begun voting on whether to authorize a disclaimer of interest, which would lead to the dissolving of the NHLPA. It basically means the players feel the union has failed to get a new CBA done, so Donald Fehr and company would no longer represent the players as they would no longer be a union.
According to the Associated Press and CBS Sports, player’s votes will be cast electronically over a 5 day period that starts on Sunday and ends this Thursday with 2/3 of the union’s membership votes needed for the disclaimer to be filed. If the disclaimer actually passes, the 30 member NHLPA executive board would have until January 2nd to file it.
Also according to the AP & CBS, “On Friday, the NHL filed a class-action complaint which asked a federal court in New York to make a declaration on the legality of the lockout. In the 43-page complaint, the league argued the players’ association was only considering the “disclaimer of interest” to “extract more favorable terms and conditions of employment.”
Awesome stuff, seems like these two sides are getting along really well. Shortly after the NHL filed their suit the NHLPA released a statement in which they questioned the NHL’s suit. From the statement, “The NHL appears to be arguing that players should be stopped from even considering their right to decide whether or not to be represented by a union. We believe that their (the NHL) position is completely without merit.”
Court rooms aside it would appear the NHL and NHLPA still remain apart on 3-4 key issues. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger via Twitter, “CBA term, contract length remain key issues,but, PA favors a $67.25 million cap,compliance buyouts and a cap on escrow. Huge hurdles for NHL.”Oh, those are the holdups? I feel better now, NOT. Hopes of a new CBA and possible abbreviated NHL season get slimmer and slimmer by the day.
So, there you have it. Hopefully I’ve done my job and now at the very least you are updated on all the ridiculous going-ons of the current NHL lockout. It’s not pretty and no one is winning in my opinion. Certainly not the local businesses and fans anyway.