The class action complaint the NHL filed yesterday against the NHLPA is full of legalese, but there’s one aspect that brings a lot of interest should the players’ association decide to decertify.
If you scan ahead to section 14 of the filing, linked here at Sportsnet, the league says that if the National Labor Relations Board declares the NHLPA’s bid for decertification or disclaimer to be upheld, “all existing contracts between NHL players and NHL teams would be void and unenforceable.”
Their reasoning here would be that since the contracts were agreed upon under the old CBA and the players would be effectively ending the collective bargaining process through decertification, there would be nothing holding it together anymore.
In short, the league has another hammer to swing should the players decide to match up with them with a court filing of their own. Then again, the quickest way to get around all the legal wrangling is to get a new CBA figured out in the first place.
Would the players want to call the league’s bluff when it comes to their own guaranteed contracts?
Michael Russo of The Star-Tribune has a lengthy read going over all of this that’s worth your time as well.