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NHLPA will argue that a lockout is illegal in Quebec

Sep 12, 2012, 12:56 PM EDT

Josh Gorges Getty Images

The NHLPA has officially asked the Quebec Labor Relations Board to deem an NHL lockout illegal, the union announced Wednesday in a release.

“The players on the Montreal Canadiens simply want the labor laws of Quebec upheld, so that we can continue to play hockey while we work towards reaching a fair contract with the NHL,” said Habs d-man Josh Gorges.

The union says an emergency hearing has been set for Friday morning in Montreal, one day prior to the expiration of the CBA between the players and owners.

“In Quebec, an employer is not allowed to lock out employees unless they belong to a union that has been certified by the Quebec Labor board,” the union argues. “The NHLPA is not a certified union in Quebec.”


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  1. mclovinhockey - Sep 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    The place that started it all may be the place to save the season

  2. shimshimshiree - Sep 12, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Not so sure about that…. this would only void the lockout for Quebec teams…others could lockout their players hence there is no law like that in other places.

    • davebabychreturns - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      The point is more that the Montreal Canadiens would have to pay their players regardless of whether the rest of the teams in the league could lock their players out or not.

      A team handing out $60m in player salaries without playing any games (ie. zero revenue) is probably going to be a lot more motivated to push for a timely resolution to CBA negotiations than a team with no player costs.

      It’s not the entire league but it’s a big chunk of that $200m payment the NHL will get from NBC this year. Add in the fact that there is some belief that a similar challenge could be raised in Alberta (add another $120m in player costs across the league) and all of a sudden the possibility of a lost season is a lot more daunting for the owners than it is for the players..

      • tealwithit - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Sure, but how do you think the rest of the players are going to feel about these guys getting paychecks? This move would be just as divisive for the NHLPA as for the league, if not more. It makes no sense.

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        The players not getting paid will be in the exact same position they would’ve been in if the Canadiens players did not (hypothetically) get paid during the lockout.

        Hell, as long as the Habs players are paying their union dues, everyone is ever-so-slightly better off.

        If a guy is mad at other players because the team he signed with is located in a state or province where they can lock him out… well I just don’t know what to say, that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day (that’s not directed at you personally). Do these guys get their panties in a twist every time a player signs a bigger contract than theirs, too?

  3. gerryb323 - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I’m not up on my Canada geography. So the Habs could play against….

  4. ribs108 - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:35 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.
    Or if you think this action will save the season, the NHL schedule will become a 3-team league (with Alberta) of the Canadiens, Oilers and Flames, in which case – Go Oilers Go!!!

    • davebabychreturns - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      The league should be situating teams where they can be supported by a sizeable fan base, Quebec City’s metro area may be a fraction of the populations of Phoenix or Atlanta but realistically that has little to do with the size of a potential NHL team’s fan base in each location.

      As for Quebec’s “constant threat” of intervention, I don’t think it’s a significant issue. If you move a franchise losing $20m a season from Phoenix to Quebec City you might be talking about a swing of $30m a year in overall league revenue, two or three years of that and you’ve already made up the difference of having to pay player salaries all year during a lockout (and if the league is planning franchise locations based on how easy it is to lock the players out there, things are vastly worse than I ever imagined).

    • anarchist9027 - Sep 12, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      I just want to see a team in Quebec just so when a fan picks a fight with a hockey player, they get their a** handed to them

  5. shimshimshiree - Sep 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Overall i think this whole thing is stupid..I’m not for either side cause IMO they both are greedy and should realize that WE the FANS are the reason they are making the money they do. As much as it pains me cause i love to watch my Avalanche…I will boycott and I hope others do.. the only way both sides will realize that they can’t have 3 lockouts in what 2 decades? 2 in 8 years. Baseball is the only sport that to me did the smart thing and both sides gave in realizing how detrimental it is to both sides to not be playing games.

  6. phillyphan83 - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Didn’t work the first two times, not gonna work this time, as I said, local laws in Quebec can’t dictate what happens in America with an American company and the NHL isn’t going to start the season with only the Canadian teams playing each other. This is one of the only times I actually agree with the NHL. This attempt to or event the lockot is a complete joke. How about you guys actually try to come to an agreement to avoid the lockout? Novel idea isn’t it?!?!

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