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10-27-2012, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NYRSinceBirth View Post
Per your last part, I understand what you're saying, but it implies that when a new CBA is settled on, in your scenario, every player would have to be re-signed. That's clearly not factual, nor do I think was your intent.
Right. The contracts become enforceable again when there's a CBA.

Originally Posted by kdb209 View Post
Not true.

All current contracts are still valid after a CBA expires - it is just that both US and Canadian Labor law recognizes the right of an employer to lock out employees w/o pay after a CBA expires (the analogue of allowing employees to strike in similar circumstances). If the League had not chosen to lockout the players, the players would have continued to play under those contracts and under the work rules of the expired CBA. And if the League did ultimately declare an impasse, impose a temporary CBA, and lift the lockout the players would be obligated to play under those SPCs (unless the NHLPA then elected to strike).

And as to the $13M signing bonus - it would very likely be due even if there is no CBA and the lockout continues. Nothing in the SPC and nothing I'm aware of under US labor law would relieve a team of that obligation. That said, if a team refused the only recourse a player would have is arbitration under the terms of the expired CBA, which likely could be delayed almost indefinitely on procedural grounds - although it is possible that a court could order the League and NHLPA to agree on an arbiter and fulfill the arbitration process to hear the grievance. However, any signing bonus paid during the lockout would be subject to modification (and possible clawbacks) under the transition rules of any new CBA that is ultmately signed.
I didn't know the poster was referring to a signing bonus, so I agree, although I presume the signing bonus has been paid already. But I think you'll agree, based on what I'm reading, that if the league does not settle on a new CBA and does not lift the lockout, the league doesn't have to honor those contracts. Now yes, the players could take them to court for anti-trust at that point, but I highly doubt that any court, given the history and intent of these contracts, would find the SPC enforceable for its face value independent of any CBA that fills out its terms.

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