The current CBA is set to expire on Sept. 15 and a lockout might follow.
In anticipation of that, the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames have asked the Alberta Labour Relations Board for permission to hold a lockout vote. However, the NHLPA filed a challenge on Friday, according to the Calgary Herald.
“The players are committed to finding a way to reach an agreement without a lockout,” NHLPA special assistant Mathieu Schneider said, “and we are hopeful that the Alberta Labour Relations Board will assist in these efforts.”
Alberta law requires that the Flames and Oilers can’t hold a lockout vote until the league’s requested a mediator — which actually did happen. Alberta appointed one on Aug. 21.
The NHLPA is arguing that the league wasn’t willing to negotiate with the mediator. They said that the process was cut short after just three days without the two sides actually meeting.
With that in mind, the NHLPA is arguing that the process was faulty because the league rushed it.
If the Alberta Labour Relations Board rules in favor of the NHLPA, then the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will not be allowed to lock out their players.
Meanwhile, the province of Ontario has already given the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators permission to lock out their players on Sept. 15, according to the Toronto Star.