The NHLPA’s executive board may soon regain its authority to file a disclaimer of interest that would dissolve the union and push CBA negotiations with the NHL into uncharted waters.
According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, players are being told to re-vote on the issue “as early as today.” The board’s authority expired yesterday at midnight.
With limited information emerging from this week’s negotiations, it’s hard to say what this news means. It could be the union fully intends to dissolve. Or, it could be the players simply want to ramp up pressure on the owners in order to get a deal done before uncharted waters are entered.
Today’s talks were met largely with optimism that an end to the lockout was approaching. Though hope has quickly turned to despair before during the work stoppage, one league source told CSNPhilly.com that “a couple owners are cautiously optimistic.”
That hope was shared by Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, who told Finnish website MTV3.fi that he thinks the lockout will be over by Monday and that the season will start by Jan. 18 or 19.
Remaining issues include next year’s salary cap, maximum contract lengths, and matters relating to player pensions.
Update (4:24 p.m. ET):
So at the very least, it sounds like the NHLPA won’t be able to file a disclaimer of interest for a couple of days.
Of course, even if the NHLPA does end up dissolving the union, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost, as the two sides could continue to negotiate (albeit without Donald Fehr representing the players).