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The players just want to play, says the NHLPA (for the millionth time)

Sep 10, 2012, 5:18 PM EDT

Josh Gorges Getty Images

If you haven’t heard, the NHLPA is willing to start the season without a new CBA.

We’re not sure how you wouldn’t have heard, unless you’ve been completely ignoring the current labor dispute between the players and the NHL.

All summer long the union has been banging the “players want to play, owners want a lockout” drum, and today the union reiterated its position.

This time, it was regarding the NHLPA’s efforts to convince labor boards in Quebec and Alberta to prevent the league from locking out the players once the CBA expires Saturday.

Speaking to reporters via conference call, Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges said the union is hoping to put pressure on the owners by asking the provincial labor boards to step in.

If the players are successful in their attempts, he expects members of the Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames to continue to have access to their teams’ rinks and practice facilities past Saturday.

Gorges also expects those players to continue getting paid. However, he wants to be clear that this isn’t an attempt to get paid. It’s to demonstrate that the players want to play.

Gorges hopes the labor boards will realize how important hockey is to Canadians, and also how many people would be negatively affected by a lockout.

The Montreal Gazette has the full audio of the conference call, which included Mathieu Darche.

The NHL hasn’t commented extensively on the issue.

“We will do what’s legally appropriate,” is all deputy commissioner Bill Daly would tell the USA Today.

As an aside, if you’re curious why the NHL wouldn’t want to start the season without a new CBA, read this post by “Offside: A Sports Law Blog.” (In a nutshell, it’s all about leverage.)

  1. semin28 - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Someone tell me if I’m wrong but when I read this I thought it was good news?????

    • bcsteele - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      More like the same news; the players want to play but think the owners are asking for way to much. The only difference is they are trying to put extra pressure on the owners to avoid a lock out. We as fans can only hope it works and they can meet in the middle on something.

  2. zachfelchesryan - Sep 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    If the gov’t is able to come in a dictate how to run a private organization, it’s bad news to me.

  3. somekat - Sep 10, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    They won’t win, but I hope they do. It would be hilarious to see the union tear itself apart when 1/6 of the players are getting paid, while the other 5/6 are going broke. Nothing uncomfortable in that union meeting, lol

  4. ducksk - Sep 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Last time I looked Canadian teams are 1/5 of league. If the socialists up north want to make the owners let them in, more power to them. Maybe Canadian teams could use a little extra work if they want the cup back up north after goin on nearly 20 years. Let’s bust this union crap and let the players fend for themselves….it will be over quick. This is not 1900 with them working in sweatshops.

  5. id4joey - Sep 11, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Anybody who calls the folks up north socialists must be a red neck capitalist gun wheeling republican against Onamacare and probably talking to chair.

    • sportmentary - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      I agree. Canada isn’t socialist. Anyone who thinks so, should take a trip up north and see the booming w=economy. Thw only difference is that Canada puts family first, not guns and greed!

  6. ribs108 - Sep 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Good timing with Seattle getting an arena and Quebec rearing its’ ugly head – perhaps this can convince the league that a Nordiques return is not desirable (seriously, I was just there and Quebec City is not big enough to be called a ‘city’). Hopefully the constant threat of Quebec intervention will finally turn the league off of situating any more teams there – one is more than enough.

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