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11-29-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
I don't know for sure but basically without a union teams would have to negotiate with individual players and there could not be any restrictions on the contracts signed, and you wouldn't need a CBA to sign players in that fashion.

The hard cap is a anti trust violation I imagine. It's basically legal collusion specifically designed to keep player salaries down. Any situation where the owners have basically agreed with each other to a system that creates some rules on how teams are allowed to offer contracts to players could be considered collusion and an anti trust violation if there isn't a union on the other end of things that keeps it "legal"

I'm not a lawyer either but some people have been itching for a pro sports league to follow this through to its end at some point because it would really bust the whole structure of sports contracts wide open. It would be...interesting.

edit: Basically if it was a real threat and it looked like the players had a case they could win, it would scare the NHL completely ****less and basically every other pro sports league in the US would be flipping out. The owners would lose basically every bit of bargaining power they have in that case. But it's not something quick or easy to do and would be expensive as all hell for the players, they wouldn't get to play in the NHL during that whole process, etc. It's basically an option that ****s everyone over pretty good but in theory could shift the balance of power to the players who could then craft a CBA that is more favorable to them and gives them more power going forward.
I'm not a lawyer either but it seems to me once the union decerts the league no longer has an anti trust exemption. The owners can collude on salaries (the players are free to play anywhere) to their hearts content and decide unilaterally on any other issues they deem necessary. The risk to the owners is obvious but the risks to the players is more than just losing a couple years pay.

If the union decerts there is no CBA.

The owners know that decert is an option. They are currently negotiating understanding the possibility exists.

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