Three CBA related issues that will come up soon, including Decertification

  • Bob McKenzie of TSN: There are three CBA related issues that will be talked about soon. 1. More Cancellations – more games, along with the All-Star Game, could be cancelled today. 2. Shrinking or disappearing “Make Whole” dollars –  The owners last offer had ‘make whole’ at $211 million, the players countered with $326 million. At some point the owners could start cutting down the $211 million or eliminate entirely. The ‘make whole’ was originally based on a 82 game schedule. 3. Decertification- During Wednesday night’s conference call, decertification could be the next play for the players, and could be a reality soon. To get the process going, a third of the members have to sign a petition, then it would go vote. 51 percent would then need to vote in favor of decertifacation. If majority ruled, there would be no more NHLPA. The players would then need to file a preliminary injunction in court that would basically say the lockout is illegal, if the court agreed with them.

    What’s that mean in English? The lockout would be considered illegal. No draft, no salary cap, no real rules of any kind, in theory. Potentially, it’s chaos. Often times, the mere threat of decertification and going down that uncertain road is what pushes together warring CBA factions.

    There is no guarantee that the court would agree with the players, the NFL players lost three times after initially winning their case.

  • David Johnson (@hockyanalysis) via twitter: Johnson notes to Mirtle that a logical solution is the NHL economics with few changes to player contracting rights or NHLPA economics with more restrictions to player contracting rights.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: Dreger says that you can kiss the season goodbye if decertification option is the choice, though he still needs to learn more about it. Dreger was asking around on Wednesday about it, and no one could say why it was a possible play at this point. Bruce Arthur via twitter: Arthur points out to Dreger that the NBA decertified in mid-November and had a new CBA two weeks later. Dreger responds that he knows it can work, but NHL reactions is it “would be death knell for the season.” Arthur notes that they’ve seen how it unfolded for the NBA, and “would be foolish to treat it any other way.” The NBA went to court to decertify. Antitrust lawsuits were launched by specific players on Nov. 14th and a tentative new CBA was in place by Nov. 26th. Responding to Dreger’s questions, the NBA may not have went to a league wide vote (he can’t recall exactly) and the lawsuits were easily withdrawn. The “key part of decertification is it opens the antitrust door. Season’s only doomed if league goes to court.”
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