Report: NHL wants total control over realignment, scheduling and playoff format

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The New York Post has learned that the NHL wants a “management rights” clause in its new collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA.

According to the Post, the clause would give the league “unilateral power over issues including realignment, scheduling and playoff format.”

You’ll recall in early January when the union refused to approve the NHL’s drastic realignment plan. Under the soon-to-be-former CBA rules, the NHLPA couldn’t “unreasonably” withhold their consent to a change like that.

Just one problem: it wasn’t written anywhere what constituted the unreasonable withholding of consent. (Presumably that would be left to an arbitrator to decide.)

Ultimately the NHL decided to put realignment on hold, but it did accuse the union of acting unreasonably.

Thus, the league’s reported desire to have “unilateral power over issues including realignment, scheduling and playoff format.”

If the report is accurate, expect the PA to argue that such a clause doesn’t exactly constitute a partnership.