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09-26-2003, 01:58 PM
David A. Rainer
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Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
I see the end-around the anti-trust laws, but I also see an end around the bargaining process. A salary cap was discussed as part of the bargaining process and it was excluded from the CBA.


1) Bettman sits down with Goodenow and can't get a Cap. He goes, "We give" and extends the existing agreement 10 years.

2) The teams merge into the NHL Corporation.

3) The NHL Corporation unilaterally imposes a salary cap. The remainder of the CBA remains in force.

That isn't an end-around the bargaining process? I don't think Canadian labour law would permit it. Didn't you say labour law was your favourite subject?

Ya, it appears to be an end-around the bargaining process. But let's look at it this way:

1.) bargaining results in an extension of the current CBA

2.) tries to unilaterally impose a salary cap. anti-trust lawsuit soon follows and the salary cap is gone.

3.) merges into one NHL corp.

4.) imposes a salary cap. no anti-trust lawsuit available and the salary cap is upheld. NHLPA goes on strike and we're back to a bargaining process.

I guess it's just how you look at it. Let's see if I can combine it.... The end-around the anti-trust laws results in an end-around the bargaining process. Or, the end-around the bargaining process is made available because of the end-around the anti-trust laws. Chicken or egg?

US labor law is kind of a balancing between many competing considerations. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) tries to limit court involvement in the bargaining process as much as possible while the Sherman Act (the anti-trust laws) tries to regulate as much as possible. I'd have to believe that the Sherman Act would govern whether a merger is possible and the NLRA would govern once the merger issue is resolved.

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