Skip to content

What would decertification mean to the NHL?

Nov 23, 2012, 5:28 PM EST

NHLPA

With the CBA talks seemingly stalled once again and the threat of losing the 2012-13 season entirely looking very real, the players and the media have started to bring up the possibility of the NHLPA decertifying.

So…what does that mean exactly? Well, basically that the union would cease to be, but of course, the potential impact of that move is very difficult to gauge.

Explaining decertification beyond that isn’t a task suited for those without an extensive understanding of the laws involved. Fortunately Gabe Feldman, who is the director of Tulane Law School’s sports law program, recently spoke to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman and gave a thorough analysis of what this all might mean.

Here are the Cliff Notes (the full article can be found here):

  • By dissolving the union, the players can file an anti-trust lawsuit and argue that the lockout is now an illegal group boycott.
  • On the flip side, the players would no longer be protected by labor laws, so in that regard they will have exposed themselves “to the mercy of NHL owners.” For example, without the NHLPA, things like health benefits, the minimum salary, and even guaranteed contracts could be impacted.
  • If the players decertify and then lose the subsequent legal battle, then they will have “lost all leverage.”
  • The NHL will likely attempt to counter the union decertifying by claiming that it’s “just a sham and should not be recognized.”
  • Finally, with regards to the chances of the players being successful if they decertify and take the NHL to court, Feldman said: “If somebody’s telling you they know, they are either delusional or lying to you.”

Related:

Daly says decertification “would likely lead to the end of the season”

Ryan Miller thinks NHLPA should decertify

Specter of decertification looms over lockout

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Flames score on their own empty net

    Dec 20, 2014, 11:20 PM EST

    Canucks goal

    They had pulled their goaltender on a delayed penalty.

  2. Vasilevskiy stops 45 shots in second NHL start, but falls to Islanders

    Dec 20, 2014, 11:05 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Stamkos hopes this loss will serve as a wake up call.

  3. Giroux line takes Leafs ‘to school’ in Flyers’ 7-4 victory

    Dec 20, 2014, 10:43 PM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwuzoduwotrhmju5njfjnwe4mjgyyjllyzyxyzu0odkz AP

    Ray Emery certainly got a lot of offensive help with Steve Mason out.

  4. Ovechkin scores beauty as Caps shutout Devils

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:55 PM EST

    Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

    It’s the third time this month New Jersey has been goalless.

  5. Sabres lose Kaleta, Myers in defeat to Avalanche

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:35 PM EST

    Tyler Myers Getty Images

    Calvin Pickard had another great game.

  6. Video: Willie Mitchell wields Letang’s helmet as a weapon

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:08 PM EST

    Willie Mitchell Getty Images

    It’s been a heated game between Pittsburgh and Florida.

  7. Leafs scratch Gardiner for third time this season

    Dec 20, 2014, 7:20 PM EST

    Jake Gardiner Getty Images

    Carlyle’s been unhappy with his “very erratic” play.

  8. Finally clicking Gaborik, Kopitar add to Coyotes’ woes

    Dec 20, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    Devan Dubnyk, Marian Gaborik AP

    They’ve combined for 13 points in the Kings’ last two games.

  9. Brassard (mumps) set to return Saturday night

    Dec 20, 2014, 5:24 PM EST

    Derick Brassard Getty Images

    He might shatter some career-highs this season.

  10. Columbus hopes Hartnell can play after the holiday break

    Dec 20, 2014, 5:09 PM EST

    Ottawa Senators  v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    He’s shooting for Dec. 27 against Boston.

  11. Devils place Cammalleri on IR, call up Larsson and Sislo

    Dec 20, 2014, 4:24 PM EST

    Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Larsson went to the AHL on a conditioning assignment.

  12. Goalie nods: Corey Crawford returns

    Dec 20, 2014, 3:27 PM EST

    Corey Crawford Getty Images

    Saturday’s slew of starting goalies.

  13. Sickness and uncertainty prompt Pens to recall Pouliot, Chorney (Update)

    Dec 20, 2014, 1:22 PM EST

    pouliot2 Getty Images

    Good luck trying to forecast their lines for Saturday.

Featured video

More than a Stanley Cup hangover?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (4273)
  2. B. Bishop (3503)
  3. C. Crawford (2605)
  4. D. Krejci (2594)
  5. C. Kunitz (2492)
  1. C. Perry (2298)
  2. O. Palat (2179)
  3. B. Elliott (2151)
  4. T. Oshie (1929)
  5. M. Cammalleri (1674)