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League options (Impasse/replacements/New structure)

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12-24-2012, 04:25 PM
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LPHabsFan
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League options (Impasse/replacements/New structure)

If the season is cancelled there’s going to be much talk about what the PA is going to do in terms of disclaimer or decertification or forming a trade association or whatever. This also results in all the speculation about cap vs no cap, what will happen to the contracts, whether or not teams will still exist etc....

However as we have seen the NHL is not stupid and will legally do what they need to do in order to win the “war” against the union (or non union) as evidenced by the pre-emptive lawsuit and NLRB complaint.

In this thread I’d like to discuss, with the help of some of our more knowledgeable legal minds out there, what other options there are for the NHL to do to swing this in their favor provided that season is cancelled.

Can the league absence of a union find some way to suspend operations so that they are not forced to pay/play without a CBA in place?

Can they try and form a different league structure to have more control of the negotiation process (think MLS).

What about declaring an impasse in order to unilaterally implement their CBA? That can lead to replacement players. I know it’s somewhat been talked about but I don’t think it was a legit option last time because it never got to the point of involving the courts. However this is a much different situation. Is that a more realistic option for the league now that the PA is threatening decertification? Is it made easier or harder with the current lawsuit and NLRB complaint?

In absence of the current union can the league put in a place a new union?

Anything else? Discuss....

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12-24-2012, 05:53 PM
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Gallatin
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Near the end of the last lockout Rumors were floating around that the NHL was preparing to declare an impasse, and reformulate the League into an MLS type format of a single owner with 30 share holders.

I personally would love to see this happen, with say 40% of revenues going to the players, and no anti-trust concerns.

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12-24-2012, 06:07 PM
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The MLS type option is a possibility but I don't think the League will do this unless forced into it as the individual owners won't want to relinquish control over their teams.

I wonder though if this could be done for a time and then sold back to the owners a few years down the road. That was talked about with the Bain offer I think.

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12-24-2012, 06:27 PM
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kdb209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gallatin View Post
Near the end of the last lockout Rumors were floating around that the NHL was preparing to declare an impasse, and reformulate the League into an MLS type format of a single owner with 30 share holders.

I personally would love to see this happen, with say 40% of revenues going to the players, and no anti-trust concerns.
Those are two separate scenarios.

Hypothetically, he League could (assuming the NHLPA does not Decertify/Disclaim) negotiate to a dead end, declare an Impasse, have it upheld by the NLRB, and then impose their last CBA offer as an interim CBA (while continuing to negotiate). The League would then lift the Lockout and operate under the imposed CBA - and teh NHLPA could then elect to strike and individual players would be able to choose whether to cross the "picket lines" or not. In vase of a strike, the League would be able to use replacement players (except in local jurisdictions which prohibit them).

Alternatively, the League could attempt to re-organize as a Single entity - either by a Buyout a la Bain or attempting to re-organize within the current ownership. Any action to do so would be subject to challenge on anti-trust grounds - in the former case the FTC & DoJ (plus equivalent Canadian agencies) could block it, in the latter it would likely be a violation of the Sherman Act, since it would require collusive actions on the part of the owners to execute it. In the unlikely case that it were successful, the League could then impose it's own work rules absent a CBA and use a Single Entity defense to any anti trust challenge.

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