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11-16-2012, 09:19 AM
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US Federal Law allows employers to hire temporary replacements during a lockout, but may not hire permanent replacements. So to answer the OP's question, yes they could.

The NHL floated the idea during the 2004 lockout, but was only willing to seriously consider this if the lockout extended into the 2005 season. The most recent example of this was the NFL referees lockout. We all know how that ended...

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