Yesterday started out with:
- TSN: The executive board of the NHLPA voted in favor Thursday night to hold a players vote on whether or not they want to file a ‘Disclaimer of Interest.’
Should the 30-member board be granted the right, the disclaimer would see the NHLPA dissolved, giving players the ability to file class-action anti-trust lawsuits against the league.
The NHL later responded:
- NHL.com: A press release from the NHL:
“Today, in response to information indicating that NHL Players have or will be asked to vote to authorize the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s Executive Board to proceed to “disclaim interest” in continuing to represent the Players in collective bargaining, the National Hockey League filed a Class Action Complaint in Federal Court in New York seeking a Declaration confirming the ongoing legality of the lockout.
Simultaneously with the filing of its Complaint, the NHL also filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that by threatening to “disclaim interest,” the NHLPA has engaged in an unlawful subversion of the collective bargaining process and conduct that constitutes bad faith bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act.”
- NHLPA.com: Press release from the NHLPA on the NHL’s Complaint and Unfair Labor Practice Charge:
“The NHLPA has just received a copy of the National Labor Relations Board charge and has not yet been served with the lawsuit. However, based on what we’ve learned so far, the NHL appears to be arguing that Players should be stopped from even considering their right to decide whether or not to be represented by a union. We believe that their position is completely without merit.”
- Eric Macramalla via twitter (@EricOnSportsLaw): “Pyrs filing first may have meant pressure on NHL to deal; but NHL has taken lead on litigation which may hurt PA lev in suit. So if anything todays NHL lawsuit may pressure NHLPA to consider settlement unless they file own lawsuit in California.”
- James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: The NHL submitted a 43 page suit yesterday with several controversial sections, one of which calls for all existing contracts “be void and unenforceable” if the NHLPA decertifies.
“The NHL would argue that today’s news that the NHLPA was beginning the disclaimer of interest process gave rise to an actual legal dispute between the parties, giving the court jurisdiction over the case,” [Proskauer Rose] said.
“The league wanted to file suit first in order to decide for itself which court the case will be heard in. New York courts’ interpretation of federal antitrust and labour law is generally more favourable to the league than would be the case in other states.”
- Sean Fitz-Gerald via twitter: 36 players were listed as “defendants and class representatives” - Craig Adams, Aucoin, Auld, Backes, Biron, Boyes, Campoli, Crombeen, Darche, Del Zotto, DiPietro, Doan, Dubinsky, Eaton, Fedotenko, Goligoski, Hainsey, Hartnell, Langenbrunner, Malhotra, McDonagh, Montador, Moore, Morrison, Douglas Murray, Nieves, Parros, Phillips, Shane Prince, Cory Schneider, Tavares, Weber, Westgarth, Winnik.
- James Mirtle via twitter: Mirtle was told that the NHL filed in New York as they believe the law will interpreted the most favorable for them there.