Can a player play without being in the NHLPA

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by GernerPSU, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. GernerPSU

    GernerPSU Registered User

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    This thing came up in a discussion with my friend about Crosby's next contract. His obligation to the NHLPA is definitely a factor in this decision. At the same time, the NHLPA can only benefit from him. I don't see him as the kind of person that just jumps out of the NHLPA, but does one need to be in the PA? I seem to remember Mario and Gretz both not in it at one time or another. Jordan the same in the NBA along with other minor players here and there throughout history. Most recently, I can think of Bonds as one who isn't in the association.

    Basically, is there any stipulation in the CBA or anywhere else that would say a player must be in the PA to play for an NHL team?
     
  2. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    Players are not forced to join the NHLPA, however they are still bound by all the terms of the current (and any future) CBA negotiated by the NHLPA and pay the same dues as players who join the union.
     
  3. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Wow- that is real democratic- they have to still pay dues to the union even though they may not want to join. How can they get away with that- especially those teams that are in right to work states in the US- can anyone explain.
     
  4. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    This is true of all unions in the US.

    Even though a worker may not officially be a member of a union, they are still deemed to benefit from the existance of the union, and are treated by management just like any other union member. They may be required to pay dues which support the operation of the union. They do, however, have the option to opt out of the portion of their union dues which are used for political purposes - lobbying, etc.

    I have never heard of any NHL players who opted not to join the NHLPA. There were a number of baseball players who are not members of the MLBPA - any replacement players who crossed the picket lines in 1995 were banned from the MLBPA for life.
     
  5. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    And to give you more info than you cared to know - here is the decision in Communications Workers v. Beck - where the Supreme Court rules that non-members could withold the portion of their dues not directly related to collective bargaining activities.

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=487&invol=735

     
  6. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Thanks- that is reall interesting and appreciated taking the time to post that!!
     
  7. Crazy_Ike

    Crazy_Ike Cookin' with fire.

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    It's not a coincidence that unions tend to resemble communist regimes.
     
  8. tinyzombies

    tinyzombies Registered User

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    Yeah, some communists when the average worker is making over a million a year. :shakehead
     
  9. rj

    rj Registered User

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    From my understanding, if the players voted to decertify the union, there could be no collective bargaining. If there was no collective bargaining, that could mean no salary cap.

    The unions exist because it is better for the owners in my eyes. I've yet to figure out why the players don't realize this in any North American sport. Granted, if there were no unions, there would be no retirement plan, health insurance, etc. But you'd have to think the extra money the players would make could cover that, at least for the smart ones.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2007
  10. Midnight

    Midnight Registered User

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    Huh? If there was no collective bargaining, the owners would pretty much be able to unilaterally impose whatever economic terms they see fit. In all likelihood, you'll see a much lower and less variable salary cap if the NHLPA weren't around.
     
  11. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    You're kidding, right?
     
  12. kurt

    kurt the last emperor

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    Why do you think he's kidding? Historically, unions were a necessary tool for protecting rights of employees. Today, the role of the union is greatly diminished, due to the development of employment standards, etc.

    Especially in an industry like professional hockey, where elite players are extremely skilled and basically irreplaceable, there is very little need for a union.
     
  13. st5801

    st5801 Registered User

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    Actually, it would mean about a $30 million salary cap. Or whatever else the owners wanted.
     
  14. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    Without an NHLPA, sure some players would still be comfortably paid. Others would be playing for $150,000 or have to go to Europe.

    The NHLPA pension? You think the owners would fund something like that for the players? A health care plan? Counseling services? Payments when guys get called up/sent down/traded?

    Heck, let's just go back to some other stuff. Free agency? It sure as heck wouldn't be as liberal as it is now. Arbitration? Gone. Qualifying offers? Gone. Entry-level system? Again ... great players would still get paid well, but that kid who was a 7th round pick would be getting the $150,000 offer. Contract negotiations? the owners wouldn't have to recognize the players' agents, it could be, "Screw you, buddy - I'll deal with the player myself" or even better/worse, "Yeah ... and in that contract, you allowed me to put in other clauses as I wish - and one of them is that you're under contract for the next 12 years at $150,000 per year, even if you've won the Hart Trophy the last 6 years running."

    Currently, I have listed in my files 1282 players signed to contracts for 2007-08, for a total value of $1,647,367,772. The top 22 salaries for 2007-08 make up just over 10% of that total; the top 195 make up 50% of the pot. 29% of the players are slated to earn 66% of that total - and mind you, that total is based on the assumption that everyone currently under contract makes their full NHL salary; most of those guys in the bottom end of the pay scale won't make much (if any) of their NHL salary, which is going to tilt the amount those 22 (and 195) guys make relative to the total salaries paid even higher.

    You really think with a union, the pay wouldn't be even more skewed toward the top end?

    If you think the players would be nearly as well off without a union, ... for the vast majority of them, not hardly.
     
  15. Masao

    Masao Registered User

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    And it's been true for a long time.
     
  16. rj

    rj Registered User

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    That is called collusion, which is mainly illegal in the U.S. (and I assume Canadian) marketplace.

    Also, competition, the true spirit of the free market, would take hold. What's to stop a team from outbidding another team for their star player in the hopes of increasing revenue by winning more games?

    Also, in one instance already been displayed with the NFL, the players ended the union and the league tried to bring it back because the way of life that they had created would have ended.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2387218

    A player's viewpoint:
    The only professional sports league that has an anti-trust exemption is Major League Baseball, dating from 1922.

    What's wrong with that?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2007
  17. davemess

    davemess Registered User

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    I know that Mario wasnt allowed to re-join the Union when he came out of retirement while owner of the Penguins.

    Believe he did pay his dues though...... and the NHLPA had to sign off on any contract Mario agreed to as a Player.
     
  18. hockeyhomer99

    hockeyhomer99 Registered User

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    First, depending on the state you live in , you may not have to pay union dues or serving fees and must be afforded all the rights as paying members, unfortantely TExas is one of them. Texas along with many other states are "Right to Work" states, are as we call it the Right to Mooch. Beck applies to states that are not right to work or where certain industries are governed under different acts of the NLRA, ie Airlines, Railroads, have "CLosed Shops". Closed shops may be governed under Beck.

    Second, it is against Federal Law for any Union dues to be used for political purposes. Monies give by Unions to political parties and individual are done from seperate PAC commitees.

    And as for the NFLPA we can see how Gene's idea went there.. Things are the same and he's still President.. Got to love that. Not real sure how that works for the sporting industry....

    I guess most people think that what benefits Union members enjoy, they enjoy because the company they work for just love them sooooooo much..

    Sorry I get a little carried away with the Union, especially anything even remotely negative.
     
  19. hans

    hans Registered User

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    Nothing is "wrong" with that, but it does explain why the union won't be decertified. The majority of players in the NHLPA aren't stars. Those are exactly the guys who would be going off to Europe or playing for substantially less here. Those guys would have no incentive to decertify the union and harm themselves. Remember, the union exists to benefit the majority. And there's a lot more lesser players than elite ones.
     
  20. Clarence Beeks

    Clarence Beeks Registered User

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    Care to show where in the definition of "communist" one would find a monetary amount? It's the basic philosophy, not the amount of money. :shakehead
     
  21. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    Actually, MLB's anti-trust exemption - at least having to do with labor issues - was repealed by the Curt Flood Act of 1998:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d105:SN00053:@@@L&summ2=m&

     
  22. SomeDude

    SomeDude Registered User

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    You do realize that pro-athletes only play into their mid 30's on average, if their lucky. Pretty much everyone else works up until their 60's. A player's pay window is much smaller then the rest of us. Yes, most of them get paid enough to more then compensate for that, but if average NHL players were only making $150,000 a year then they'd be screwed after they retired, especially with no pension.
     
  23. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    Don't forget the big one, IB ...

    Guaranteed contracts? Other than the top ten or twenty players, bye bye.

    Career-ending injury? Consider yourself cut.


    Actually, for anyone who is not a high first round calliber talent coming into the league, it would be a one-year contract with a perpetual team option. Free agency is thus effectively over for all but the guys who could have the leverage to refuse a perpetual team option coming out of junior.

    THe 650 guys in the NHL who are interchangeable would discover just how interchangeable they really are.
     
  24. Fugu

    Fugu Guest

    It would work just like any other system where employees and employers would need to impress each other to some extent. Certainly a high end talent would get whatever he wanted, but at some point, attracting a good player would also mean insuring him a good team was being built. The fillers would probably get a lot less and the higher end talent would get a lot more. Also don't forget that the NHL isn't the only league in the world. If pay and benefits became so low, why on earth would Europeans leave their 'tax free' and/or socialist environments where healthcare and education for their families were already covered?

    There sure are a lot of companies in North America that have to hire a lot workers, many of whom have no union to speak for them and certainly no antitrust laws hovering over their employers. Yet I don't see slave wages (ha ha) or a complete lack of benefits in that environment.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2007
  25. solipsta

    solipsta Registered User

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    The lack of a union would be bad for both parties. Players would enjoy less benefits and security. The role players would particularly be hurt. Owners would see a splitting of the pie because a rival league would most likely pop up trying to scoop up the disgruntled players. It would create a great situation for some, but it would be horrible for the game on the whole.
     

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