The NHL Lockout Negotiations Are So Bad, The NHL Is Threatening To Make Every Player An Unrestricted Free Agent

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The NHLPA will give its a members the option to vote for a disclaimer of interest—a renunciation of the legal right to benefit from the terms of a given trust—which essentially means that the leadership of the NHLPA would move to disband the NHLPA. This outcome helps the players in their negotiations with the NHL, as this explains, in that "antitrust laws prohibit owners from locking out employees who don't belong to a union, with the punishment triple the wages lost during the lockout." This, however, may backfire.

The NHL responded to the move in a few ways—first, according to ESPN, with "a class-action complaint in federal court as well as a Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board," and second, according to the Toronto Sun, by threatening to void every NHL contract currently on the books, creating even more massive and momentous chaos than already reigns, which is saying something. A source close to the NHLPA told the Sun,

"So, the NHL is asking the courts to declare every NHL player an unrestricted free agent. I wonder how Pittsburgh would feel with (Sidney) Crosby, (Evgeni) Malkin and (Marc-Andre) Fleury on the free agent market to sign with the highest bidder? What about Tampa with (Steve) Stamkos? Or Minnesota with (Zach) Parise and (Ryan) Suter? A word of caution to the NHL, be very careful what you wish for."


You know, we hear the KHL is actually a pretty good league, that offers reasonable accomada—what? Oh. Hmm.


NHLPA Eyes Breakup; NHL Responds [ESPN]
NHL Will Seek To Cancel Contracts If NHLPA Dissolves [Toronto Sun]