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Mirtle: NHLPA’s hard-liners hint at decertification after latest offer rejected

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Old
11-23-2012, 04:17 PM
  #376
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Originally Posted by kdb209 View Post
Restructuring the League into a Single Entity would require amending Articles III & IV of the NHL Constitution - which would require unanimous consent.

And has been posted before, any such restructuring would need US DoJ & FTC approval (and probably approval by the CCB) - after an anti trust investigation on the anti-competitive effects of such a merger/restructuring, including the effects on the labor market - and I find it very unlikely it would ever get approved.
In your opinion, could an outside entity start a small league (6 teams or so) independent of the NHL and commence buying out NHL teams piecemeal over several years to avoid anti-trust issues?

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11-23-2012, 04:18 PM
  #377
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Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/dece...0813--nhl.html

Decertifying union dangerous step for players

And that’s exactly what the NHL would argue in court if the NHLPA moved to decertify according to Eric Macramalla, a legal analyst for TSN who writes an excellent blog at offsidesportslaw.com (@ericonsportslaw on Twitter). In fact, Macramalla said that when the National Football League argued precisely the same thing in court during its lockout, the NHL submitted what is called an amicus brief as an interested third party.

“And (the NHL) would argue the same thing, that decertification is a sham,” Macramalla said. “(They’ll maintain) it’s akin to switching a light switch on and off. ‘I’m a union, but now it’s no longer convenient, so I hit the light switch and I’m no longer a union.’ So their argument will be that it’s a sham designed to extract leverage in CBA negotiations and for no other reasons.”


But it can also be a long, drawn-out process which the players themselves will have to support financially and there’s no guarantee they would be successful. But as Macramalla argued, it worked for NFL players, largely because the ramifications for the owners have the potential to be catastrophic, which in turn prompts them to get back to the bargaining table. And the players know this will never get to court because in order for that process to play out, it would take three or four years to unfold.
Bettman placing his pawns early, this should be interesting.

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11-23-2012, 04:27 PM
  #378
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Originally Posted by Ducks DVM View Post
How would winning an antitrust lawsuit actually benefit the players? Am I incorrect in thinking it would cause the league to go bankrupt and basically cost all the players all their jobs? I get it that it's the THREAT of that occurring and the fear of the owners losing everything that provides the NHLPA leverage, but wouldn't it be a case where winning would be losing? Someone who knows please educate me as to how said bankruptcies would or would not eliminate any money coming the way of the players as well.
It wouldn't bankrupt ownership immediately. Previous ownership behavior in an unregulated environment indicates that they would act in a way so as to bankrupt themselves. It is a nuclear-type deterrent in that it would require a significant change in behavior to maintain the league in tact.

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11-23-2012, 04:28 PM
  #379
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
This is really the only bullet the NHLPA has left in it's chamber.
Apt metaphor. And the if you have only one bullet left in the gun which has never been fired before? Maybe its time to stand down ...

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11-23-2012, 04:34 PM
  #380
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Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
Daly today

If the players vote to decertify their union it would "likely lead to the end of the season."

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/i...70-daly-speaks
If the NHL doesn't start negotiating almost immediately, it's almost certain there won't be a season anyhow.

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11-23-2012, 04:39 PM
  #381
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Originally Posted by Moonlapse Vertigo View Post
The Edmonton's and the Ottawa's are going to get buried by the New York's and the Los Angeles's again... and that's the way the players like it.
It would be entirely within the league's power to increase revenue sharing to keep small market franchises viable. There's nothing anti-competitive about revenue sharing. I could even see a luxury tax being OK'd by the courts.

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11-23-2012, 04:42 PM
  #382
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Except this isn't the 1930's where labor laws dont exist. Id guarantee every one of the owners in this league made their real money running a business or businesses that offered fair compensation to its employees and provided good healthcare and retirement choices. They're good businessmen, they understand the concept of competitive compensation.
Actually I don't consider buying an ice hockey team in Phoenix a good business decision. They are rich but that doesn't mean they are smart. Many of them inherited a bunch of money. It is much easier to get filthy rich when you have a multi million dollar jump start from Daddy. However this all pans out I hope the players put the screws to ownership. If that means decertification then so be it. The owners claimed in 05 that the new CBA would fix everything. Bettman has been telling us for the last 8 years that the league is so much better than before. Now they cry poor? Screw the NHL.

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11-23-2012, 04:57 PM
  #383
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We could lose 4-6 teams, but people saying we'll lose 20 or so teams are mad.

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11-23-2012, 04:58 PM
  #384
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Originally Posted by IcemanTBI View Post
Decertification wouldnt necessarily be a bad thing. Soccer leagues operate without unions, and they are doing ok. Only problem would be the loss of parity in the league. The owners with the most money would have the most success. Weaker teams could fold, or would be forever basement dwellers until someone with deep pockets acquire them.
Sounds perfect! Where do I sign up?

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11-23-2012, 05:00 PM
  #385
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Originally Posted by hero View Post
We could lose 4-6 teams, but people saying we'll lose 20 or so teams are mad.
It depends on the system and the projection of 20 is not based on an overnight scenario.

KevFu has done an excellent example of why the system under the most recent CBA would eventually lead to that if the answer to failing teams was to contract them. Each time you take out the bottom team another team becomes the bottom. You still end up with a disparity between markets.

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11-23-2012, 05:03 PM
  #386
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Actually I don't consider buying an ice hockey team in Phoenix a good business decision.
That's another valid point. If it turns into a long running labor disruption with plenty of lawsuits up in the air what does that do to team values? They've had enough problems trying to find a buyer for the Coyotes without a labor stoppage will they have any chance in this caustic environment? Will places like Quebec still be willing to buy into the league if they could be facing the chaos of a decertified union?

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11-23-2012, 05:04 PM
  #387
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Originally Posted by Ducks DVM View Post
How would winning an antitrust lawsuit actually benefit the players? Am I incorrect in thinking it would cause the league to go bankrupt and basically cost all the players all their jobs? I get it that it's the THREAT of that occurring and the fear of the owners losing everything that provides the NHLPA leverage, but wouldn't it be a case where winning would be losing? Someone who knows please educate me as to how said bankruptcies would or would not eliminate any money coming the way of the players as well.
I'd estimate that together, NHL franchises are worth around $7bn. That's a lot of scratch for the players to take a bite out of.

Just because a team goes bankrupt doesn't mean it's no longer a viable business. Bankruptcy is usually a way to clear debt. Of course, there would have to be a long hard look at which franchises are viable under a system like this. From the NHLPA's perspective, they probably wouldn't mind a handful of teams relocating.

But realistically, at one point or another, there will be an agreement. Whether it's in 5 years, or two weeks.

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11-23-2012, 05:11 PM
  #388
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Is the economic position of the clubs a factor the court would take into cosideration at al in determining if the sides are acting in god faith? Must the clubs agree to continue subsidizing a majority of clubs who are losing money or else be considered to be acting in bad faith. Is the law in the US that the players have a right to a share in revenues of business even if the businesses would thus lose money?

How many of the NFL teams were losing money or making nothing at all on their investment in football? How did this affect negotiations and decertification?

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11-23-2012, 05:20 PM
  #389
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Kevin Allen (USA Today): NHL sides answer about decertification, etc., on radio

"About the possibility that the NHLPA might decertify as a strategy:

Daly: "I wouldn't view an antitrust lawsuit in this case to be anything other than an unfortunate development because I think it's a time-consuming process that would likely lead to the end of the season."

(Steve) Fehr: "It suffices to say all things are under consideration."


http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...rview/1723447/

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11-23-2012, 05:30 PM
  #390
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJeasy View Post
It wouldn't bankrupt ownership immediately. Previous ownership behavior in an unregulated environment indicates that they would act in a way so as to bankrupt themselves. It is a nuclear-type deterrent in that it would require a significant change in behavior to maintain the league in tact.
I meant if the NHLPA decertified, sued, and won an anti-trust lawsuit with the tripled damages.

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11-23-2012, 05:57 PM
  #391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducks DVM View Post
How would winning an antitrust lawsuit actually benefit the players? Am I incorrect in thinking it would cause the league to go bankrupt and basically cost all the players all their jobs? I get it that it's the THREAT of that occurring and the fear of the owners losing everything that provides the NHLPA leverage, but wouldn't it be a case where winning would be losing? Someone who knows please educate me as to how said bankruptcies would or would not eliminate any money coming the way of the players as well.
But the players stand to win treble damages! So they'd be handsomely compensated...and leave nothing but a smoking crater behind for the young'uns they claim to be doing this for. "Sorry kids, no more NHL for you to play in one day. But I got paaaaaiiiiiiddd."

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11-23-2012, 06:02 PM
  #392
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Originally Posted by Ducks DVM View Post
I meant if the NHLPA decertified, sued, and won an anti-trust lawsuit with the tripled damages.
But this would all take time. You simply cannot sue based on how you perceive they may act. You will have to return to work, in some manner, and have them engage in anti trust behavior, then sue. You cannot sue before they behave in that manner. And you would have to assume any judge would give the league time to come up with a new set of rules/constitution that would not violate any anti trust rules.

All in all pretty ugly. Lawyers would get rich, and I'd have a field day sitting back and watching. I think many people would. More interesting than some of the hockey games the NHL puts on.

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11-23-2012, 06:10 PM
  #393
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Originally Posted by Samzilla View Post
But the players stand to win treble damages! So they'd be handsomely compensated...and leave nothing but a smoking crater behind for the young'uns they claim to be doing this for. "Sorry kids, no more NHL for you to play in one day. But I got paaaaaiiiiiiddd."
NO, they don't, at least not yet. Ottawah has explained this many times. The players have been working under a CBA. No anti-trust laws have been broken, so how have the players been damaged?

The existing players wouldn't see a dime unless the NHL, following de-certification of the NHLPA, proceeded to operate in the same manner as it does today. My guess is that many owners would simply decide it is no longer worth the trouble and fold their team. Nothing illegal about that. Enjoy your league with a handful of Canadian teams and U.S. teams, most likely resembling the original six, but hey, the players will have won. Way to go boys!!

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11-23-2012, 06:14 PM
  #394
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For sure the wimp owners will fold. No doubt, better to throw away a hundred million than attempt to use ingenuity.

I think the billionaires could afford the damages. Its also hard to believe how so many fear for their teams future if its management had to operate like say every restaurant owner in the country, or every consulting firm, or like Proskauer Rose.

Good management would more critical than ever. Building a winner will require great recruiting and team building.

If the players were to decertify, they would have to mean it. The owners could rightly argue its a sham if it was.

They wouldnt have to sue to end the lockout right away. They would start by taking sole control of their pension plan and reworking how that would now be managed going forward. Future players will likely be as many tradesmen and have to be responsible much more for their pension savings.

I guess every player currently receiving the league minimum would see a pay cut. Are there any? If not, why not?

Mid level and character players wont necessarily be much worse off. If there is any demand for them on a trade deadline day, and there always is, they will get leverage for a good deal. And we know how much of a team sport and how important those bottom guys are. Remember how detroit was infamously accused of loading up its 4th line with two expensive old goats and a kid? And to win you will have to compete for the small amount of talent that can keep you competitive.

The stars may start making a lot more money, but not necessarily all at the expense of bottom line players as much as from the new 75% of revenues the owners would likely start spending.

The players could accept the owners deal, go back to work, and then decertify but not sue right away, Play the season out.

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11-23-2012, 06:14 PM
  #395
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NO, they don't, at least not yet. Ottawah has explained this many times. The players have been working under a CBA. No anti-trust laws have been broken, so how have the players been damaged?

The existing players wouldn't see a dime unless the NHL, following de-certification of the NHLPA, proceeded to operate in the same manner as it does today. My guess is that many owners would simply decide it is no longer worth the trouble and fold their team. Nothing illegal about that. Enjoy your league with a handful of Canadian teams and U.S. teams, most likely resembling the original six, but hey, the players will have won. Way to go boys!!


sounds good!

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11-23-2012, 06:33 PM
  #396
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1-What is the test to determine if a market restraint imposed by the Leagues is respecting Antitrust Law (after Decertification)?:

The Rule of Reason Test: "The Rule of Reason requires courts to identify and balance the procompetitive benefits and anticompetitive effects of the restraint at issue to determine the restraint’s net competitive effect.304 The crucial question to be answered by the balancing test is whether the procompetitive benefits of the restraint in question outweigh its anticompetitive effects.305 If the restraint is net procompetitive — if the market is better off with the restraint than without it — it is legal under the Sherman Act. A restraint is only illegal if its anticompetitive effects outweigh its procompetitive benefit"

2-How can Leagues lawfully operate under Antitrust Law (after Decertification)?:

"Although salary caps, free agency restrictions, roster limits and other player restraints can have the effect of restricting player movement, depressing salaries, and reducing the number of players in the market, these restraints can survive antitrust scrutiny if they are “reasonable” means of achieving the procompetitive benefit of (among other things) the efficient allocation of players and competitive balance. That is, if the post-dissolution league-imposed player restraints are procompetitive and essential to the successful operation of professional sports, they should survive scrutiny under the Rule of Reason.276 Of course, if the player restraints achieve anticompetitive effects and do not achieve competitive balance, they should be condemned under antitrust law."

http://lawreview.law.ucdavis.edu/iss...-4_Feldman.pdf

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11-23-2012, 06:33 PM
  #397
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The hockey will be way better after voluntary dissolution of some teams as im sure everyone can intuitively see. Gary has little beyond the "Welcome back fans" to make things up for fans. Imagine the great hockey we'd see when the owners afraid of a free market throw their hundred million dollars down the toilet and fold their teams. If only that was likely to happen?

If they played out the season and then decertified, the owners would have a whole summer to try and figure out how to collude and sneak it past Fehr. What would they come up with? Draft day wont go over very well.

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11-23-2012, 06:34 PM
  #398
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another good article from the G&M re decertification:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...medium=twitter

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11-23-2012, 06:42 PM
  #399
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The hockey will be way better after voluntary dissolution of some teams as im sure everyone can intuitively see. Gary has little beyond the "Welcome back fans" to make things up for fans. Imagine the great hockey we'd see when the owners afraid of a free market throw their hundred million dollars down the toilet and fold their teams. If only that was likely to happen?

If they played out the season and then decertified, the owners would have a whole summer to try and figure out how to collude and sneak it past Fehr. What would they come up with? Draft day wont go over very well.
First their wouldn't be a draft, all players would be free agents.

Second they wouldn't come up with anything. Any sort of collusion would be highly illegal and cost them their fortunes. Plus the only teams that would benefit from collusion are the bottom feeders of the league. You aren't going to see the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens, Canucks etc getting together to risk their franchises to help out the Florida Panthers.

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11-23-2012, 06:48 PM
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First their wouldn't be a draft, all players would be free agents.

Second they wouldn't come up with anything. Any sort of collusion would be highly illegal and cost them their fortunes. Plus the only teams that would benefit from collusion are the bottom feeders of the league. You aren't going to see the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens, Canucks etc getting together to risk their franchises to help out the Florida Panthers.
apparently, that's not necessarily true:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...medium=twitter

Quote:
What would happen with the lawsuit is that some player would get upset over the draft. They would say why are my rights being allocated to Nashville? I don’t want to play in Nashville; I want to be able to bargain with all 30 teams. If the Rangers or the Leafs are all bidding for my services, I’ll get a heckuva lot more money than if I was forced to only negotiate with the Predators?

Now, the league would say this is necessary for competitive balance, that we have to allocate talent efficiently across the whole league... we’re just going to have the richest teams constantly dominating and this is the best way to allocate talent. Then a court would have to decide which one of those arguments is more compelling. Different courts could differ on that.

I wouldn’t say all these things would automatically be thrown out, but it would create a lot more chaos and a lot more uncertainty until the system finally processed all these issues.

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