Greetings Caniacs! As most of us enjoyed the tasteful treasures of a Thanksgiving Meal on Thursday, the NHL fed us all a plethora of festive treats on Friday by cancelling more games in December (as well as the All Star game in Columbus). Are you feeling very festive now?
On Wednesday the NHLPA eagerly presented the NHL a new proposal however like most proposals presented before, it was quickly rejected. Though Commissioner Betmann did acknowledge that the union was on the same page and appreciated their movement on certain topics, they were still very far apart from a deal getting done. There is still much to be negotiated on Hockey Related Revenue (HRR), player contract lengths, free agency, and entry level contracts. What doesn’t help the matter are all the rumors of a possibility of the Union decertifying.
If the union decertifies, the whole negotiation process will be thrown into Helter Skelter. Now I am no expert in labor negotiations however there are laws governing the decertification of unions. Those laws were created to protect workers against unions that were corrupt or inept. What it would boil down to is if the NHLPA was to decertify, this process would shift to the courthouse and be at the hands of the judicial system.
A lot of hockey fans around North America are upset with both parties, as they should be. But is decertifying the union the most realistic approach to getting the boys back on the ice? I find it hard to believe that this process will speed up any type of agreement to get the puck dropped at all this year. I really think the union needs to be a little more patient in the process considering the NHL board of governors will meet in early December. We should get a little more of a feeling on how committed the owners are with the current lockout.
It is obvious both parties are proud and are standing united. With that being said, you are starting to hear grumblings and impatience on both sides of the fence. I think we will learn soon enough if the season will start in mid-December or at all. Best case scenario is that the boards of governors meet and review where they stand and tell the commissioner to get the deal done and we play a 60 game inner conference schedule starting December 15th. The worst case scenario is the league decertifies hoping that the owners cave in and agree to their terms, which they will not, and this thing gets tied up in the court system and we lose the entire season.