NHL's non-Impasse options?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by djhn579, Jan 30, 2005.

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  1. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    This is a question for the more legal savy posters...

    Given that the chances of getting an impasse declared are chancy at best, what other options do the NHL have if this lockout continues for over a year?

    As I see it, they will probably continue as they are now. Talking with the NHLPA and insisting on cost certainty. But, can they at some point file something with the NRLB stating that they don't believe that the NHLPA is accurately representing the views of the players?

    I believe I read that if 30% of the NHLPA members signed a petition stating that the NHLPA was not representing their views and a vote for union reps has not occurred in the past year, they could force a new vote. Would the NHL be able to force a vote also?
     
  2. EricBowser

    EricBowser Registered User

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    I spoke with a pro-management lawyer a few months ago and he didn't think the NHL had much of a chance to declare an impasse and then have it upheld after implementation because of the multitude of labor laws governing the teams.

    He also said, until the NHL gives a formal and complete proposal, they can't declare an impasse and considering everyone is in agreement over the league's disinterest in detailing their revenue-sharing plan, NHLPA would win the case easily.

    He said it would be a last minute approach by the NHL to present their best and only true offer during the season to save it and what do you know, we're down to crunch time.

    For the NHL to win this case, they will need to change their negotiating strategy quickly and most lawyers feel the NHL is operating to break the union instead of the risky impasse.
     
  3. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    That's why I'm wondering about NON-Impasse options. I have a feeling that a majority of players would be happy with a $42M cap or some other reasonable form of cost certainty, but they will never get their say with the current union leadership. So, how can that union leadership be changed? Can the NHL force a union vote on whether the union is truely representing the players views, or can that only happen from within the union?

    It also seems that even though most NHLPA supporters will tell you that the owners can't win because the players are competitors and will never back down, many of the players do seem to back down when confronted by the union. So I'm not sure if you will get a push to change the union leadership from inside the union. That's why I'm wondering if the owners could force a vote...
     
  4. Icey

    Icey Registered User

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    Even if they do get their impass (and I highly doubt they will) there next move is seriously limited due to immigration laws. Canadian and US immigration laws are almost identical in this respect. If a player does not already have a green card or a P-1, and most who would be considered "replacement" players do not, they could not be issued one. Replacement players are classified as temporary workers and according to immigration laws they will not issue a P-1 for a temporary worker.

    What that means is the 24 teams in the US could only have US players and the 5 teams in Canada (minus the Canucks because we already know they can not use replacement players) could only use Canadian players. Canadian players could not play in the US and US players could not play in Canada. No European players would be part of this league, unless a current NHL player or a European with a CURRENT green card or a P-1 crossed the line, and I doubt much of that will be happening.

    This hardly sounds like the type of league that would be much fun to watch. A mix of all three (US, Canadian and European) is what makes the NHL a great league. A team full of US or Canadian players doesn't sound like much to watch personally. People talke about deluted talent now, just wait until something like this is put on the ice.

    The owners can force a vote in the union no more than union could force them to fire Bettman.
     
  5. OilerFan4Life

    OilerFan4Life Registered User

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    wheres that lawyer, PA homer guy....wetcoast?? or somthing
     
  6. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    The title of the thread is NON-IMPASSE options....

    This means that I am assuming that the owners are not going to push for impasse...
     
  7. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    Do nothing. There is no Plan B. They developed such a great strategy, they are going to flush the season without even having their best offer - without even having any complete offer - on the table. It is amazing. They have not even given the players their very best cost certainty position. It's a joke.

    If you think the players are split, I think you are dreaming. If you think this is going to a vote, I think you are dreaming. I wonder how many of the owner apologists actually expected the players to cave.

    The next owner strategy is to defend themselves in the courts. I expect lawsuits from Junior players to the the first in the series. I would imagine RFAs who are supposed to get qualifying offers in June will also be going to court to become unrestricted free agents when (or if) the league ever does resume.

    What a mess.

    Tom
     
  8. NYR469

    NYR469 Registered User

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    good info...thanks
     
  9. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    The NHL doesn't have any other plan in place that has any chance of being succesful other than waiting the players out. The NHL is betting that out of 700+ players, as time passes, more and more will want to get a deal done. Now no doubt it will be harder for the PA to avoid breaking than the owners, but if the PA can last, they will win this. The NHL has no options avalible to them past this season. Which, by the way, is why the NHL needs to make an actual proposal for a real CBA. They need to show their ace if they want to have any chance of winning in a courtroom type setting.
     
  10. Kickabrat

    Kickabrat WHAT - ME WORRY?

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    Any lawyers out there know if the owners can present a proposal and legally force the NHLPA to conduct a membership vote?
     
  11. Lionel Hutz

    Lionel Hutz Registered User

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    No, they can't.
     
  12. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    I'm fairly certain that the NHL can't force the NHLPA to vote on a CBA. That's why I'm wondering if there is any way to force the union into a vote to confirm that the union leadership is truely representing the players views. Or if they could petition the NRLB to verify that the NHLPA reps are truely representing the players views.

    Many players now could be thinking much differently from when they decide on who should represent them. Many could have been sold on "don't worry, the owners will crack before the end of January, just like last time..." but are now realizing that the owners are serious.
     
  13. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    This is wishful thing. The players always knew the owners were serious. They are not fools. Goodenow has sounded the warning. So did Gretzky. So has everyone. Many hoped the owners would crack, but deep down none of them can be surprised. This point has been coming for five years.

    What do you expect they could possibly vote on anyway? There is no offer. Until there is a comprehensive CBA to consider the only thing a vote can do is repudiate their leadership. Linden would resign. The players would have to find and elect a new negotiating committee. It isn't going to happen. The players believe the season is over. The worst is done for them until next season at training camp.

    The owners will have to start fighting anti-trust suits from Juniors. They lose the playoff revenues. They have to try to keep their corporate sponsors on board and they have to sell TV rights to a league that doesn't exist, and they have to convince season ticket holders to buy seats when they have nothing to sell.

    It sounds to me that you are surprised that the players haven't seen fit to give up on the fight simply because everyone in the media says they have to give up. I hope the owners didn't think the same thing. Surely not.

    If nothing happens now, the owners will have let this season drift away without making an offer. I guess they expected that it would take at least a season and a half. Surely, you aren't surprised at the players stand, are you?

    Tom
     
  14. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    Actually, I'm trying to figure out why there would be any anti trust lawsuits. The NHL is shut down. Pretty much everything they do is governed by the CBA. Until there is a new CBA, everything is on hold. How are players going to sue to become free agents in a league that is shut down? They are free to do whatever they want, wherever they want in the world. They could flip burgers at Burger King, apply to be Modano's poodle petter, or play hockey in Europe, they are not being restrained in any way while the NHl is not playing. Once a new CBA is signed, there will be stipulations agreed to between the NHL and the NHLPA. Any of the junior players would have to join the union, which would include agreeing to the CBA, before they could play in the NHL.

    And your right to a certain extent. I'm suprised the players haven't folded by now. They just flushed over $1B in salaries down the toilet. Next season, revenues are going to be lower, so even if they accept the same deal (sorry, "concept") next year that was offered a few days ago, they will end up with less money than they could have got today.
     
  15. txomisc

    txomisc Registered User

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    When you say antitrust lawsuits from Juniors I assume you mean drafted players playing in Juiniors? Im not sure exactly what they could sue for?
     
  16. mudcrutch79

    mudcrutch79 Registered User

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    He's referring to undrafted players, I believe. If every team in the NHL refuses to offer Sidney Crosby a contract this year, it's likely that they've made a decision collectively not to try and sign him. Personally, I no idea what the legal ramifications of that will be.

    As for RFA's and unsigned juniors...we've got a new issue to fight over if this doesn't get settled prior to July 1. The unsigned juniors will be readily resolved, I suspect-the PA won't have any problem giving teams another year to get them signed; why pull money from current PA members? The RFA issue will be a sticky wicket I suspect.
     
  17. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    I don't think they will accept it then either. If they lose a season they aren't going to cave next September. If next season is also cancelled, the league may as well pack it in. Teams will start going broke. Owner apologists like you hated the NHL the way it was, so maybe it will turn out for the best. I liked the NHL and NHL hockey - despite all the warts - so I see this as a sad, sad state of affairs.

    There are a couple of consolations: The World Championships will be great this year, and the NHLPA will make sure the WHA tournament fields NHL quality teams. It won't make up for no Stanley Cup playoffs, but it will be something.

    Tom
     
  18. txomisc

    txomisc Registered User

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    I would like to see a little further clarification from someone on this junior players issue. Why wouldn't a judge simply look at the case and make the logical conclusion that there is no reason for anyone to sign any players until a CBA is agreed upon?
    The RFA issue you raise is definately interesting. Would they all become UFA's? Is a UFA officially part of the union. If so, for how long? Is everyone who has ever played in the NHL a member of the PA until they officially retire? Any idea how that works?
     
  19. You must be a player trying your PR tactics in here, otherwise you are just talking out of your ass. You have no f'ing clue if the players are split or not. Try listening to Toronto sports talk radio once in a while, almost every7 hockey journalist or commentator beleives a great number of NHLPA members would gladly accept a cap. Your ridiculous "if you think there's going to be a vote then you're dreaming" line is just pathetic. The only reason there wouldn't be a vote is if the NHLPA knew that a cap would be accepted or that a great number of players would accept a cap. The thing is, you're dumb enough to believe that NHLPA members are radical republicans fighting communism and have no economic concern over the CBA. BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
     
  20. Mighty Duck

    Mighty Duck Registered User

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    Looks to me like the NHL is fast becoming nothing more than the WHA. When the smoke clears, the only people who will suffer the most, are the owners who couldn't afford the long haul. The top star will still be paid to much, as they are the real show, and until the fans refuse to go and watch them, they win. New owners will surface, and 3 04 years from now, no one will care.
     
  21. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    The RFA issue would be the interesting one, but that could be one of the bones the NHL throws to the union, any RFA that was not given a qualifying offer due to the lockout could be a UFA. After a year and a half of no hockey, there are going to be a lot of players that are in the AHL right now that are going to be taking their jobs anyway.
     
  22. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    I think the WHA will also launch at least one lawsuit against a building. I'm not sure the NHLPA will go along on the unsigned Junior issue. Maybe, but I don't see them coming to any agreements at all with the NHL until there is a CBA. It is not a sure thing the players would win, I would guess, but I think the NHL would enjoy seeing the NHL fight lots of court battles.

    Tom
     
  23. Mighty Duck

    Mighty Duck Registered User

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    Cl, have another crown royal, at least TB was taking a stab at it. All you did was take a staggering effort at telling TB he has his head up his 8utt. I side with TB!!!! At least he was sobber.
     
  24. txomisc

    txomisc Registered User

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    What would the WHA have to sue a building over?
     
  25. Other Dave

    Other Dave Registered User

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    Over the right to play in an arena that's previously only had one pro hockey team as a tenant.
     
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