Collusion question

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Owen Wilson, Jan 27, 2005.

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  1. Owen Wilson

    Owen Wilson Registered User

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    Ok, so the owners aren't allowed to go around and tell each other not to overpay for this guy or that guy.

    How come the players are?? I mean, didn't Kariya and Selanne do this last year?

    What's to stop (if an agreement is reached) Palffy, Murray, Kovalev, Kariya and Demitra all signing with the same team for under a million each for the shortened season??

    Would this be allowed? What could the league do, to stop it?
     
  2. mabus

    mabus Registered User

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    If the players as a group, all decided to only sign with one team for less money, yeah that would indeed be collussion. With Kariya and Selanne, what you are looking at is two guys who wanted to play together, who took less money to do it. Also keep in mind that Kariya took less money for a very personal reason, so as to become a UFA if i remember correctly, because of his particular contract history. So he had a good reason to do it on a personal level. Collussion is more like a large group, all conspiring to defraud another party, not merely an agreement, but to defraud the other party. At least thats my understanding of it.

    So if the owners all got together and agreed {conspired} to pay all the players less than normal, that would be collusion, because it would be a leaguewide agreement to defraud the players of money they would otherwise have legally earned.
     
  3. David A. Rainer

    David A. Rainer Registered User

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    There is collusion in the layman sense - conspiracy to act - and then there is "collusion" in the legal sense.

    The legal definition of "collusion" (paraphrasing here) is any concerted activity, agreement, encouragement, etc., either express or implied, overt or covert, by two or more legally separate entities designed to suppress wages. Basically, it is the labor law version of conspiracy. Since players don't act to suppress wages, they do not usually fall under the gambit of collusion litigation. However, in the situation you describe (players agreeing to take less money to play together on one team), I still don't think there is any violation. 1.) That is not what the collusion law was intended to remedy; and 2.) players could argue that although playing for less money, they are gaining other value (intangible value of playing in a city or atmosphere that they want or enjoy) making it an "even swap". And even if you get past that, I think a player might argue that the concerted activity is not "designed" or intended to suppress wages eventhough the affect is to suppress their own wages.

    Besides, the NLRA has clearly exempted "employees" from collusion when it ensured their right to concerted activity when negotiating labor contracts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2005
  4. MojoJojo

    MojoJojo Registered User

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    Nice avatar
     
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