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Report: NHLPA allows players to vote on disclaimer of interest

Dec 14, 2012, 2:39 PM EDT

Donald Fehr: Sidney Crosby AP

The NHLPA has taken the first step to dissolving the union and steering the NHL lockout into uncharted waters.

As reported by, the executive board of the players’ association voted Thursday to let members vote on whether to give the board authorization to file a disclaimer of interest.

If the union does ultimately dissolve (it’s possible this is just a bluff), the NHL has said it would likely lead to the end of the season (also possibly a bluff).

For fans, the hope is the potential consequences (aka oblivion) scare the two sides into making a deal, a la the 2011 NBA lockout.*

Last Thursday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the issue for reporters.

“A lot has been written about decertification,” said Bettman. “For those of you who are actually writing about it, you almost might want to look into something called disclaimer, which is probably more likely to happen if it happens. The [NHL board of governors] was completely and thoroughly briefed on the subject on Wednesday. And we don’t view it in the same way in terms of its impact as apparently the union may.”

Translation: we’re ready if you are.

*NBA commissioner David Stern on Nov. 14, 2011 after the NBPA filed a disclaimer of interest: “It looks like the 2011-12 season is really in jeopardy. It’s just a big charade. To do it now, the union is ratcheting up I guess to see if they can scare the NBA owners or something. That’s not happening.”

Stern on Nov. 26, 2011: “We’ve reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations, but we’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin Dec. 25.”

Related: Spurs’ Bonner cautions NHLers, says decertification “throws everything into chaos”

  1. mrchainbluelightning - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

  2. chef24g - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Please pass the vote so we can be done with this season, and with these players that say they have given so much.. Hope after all is said and done you get the original offer the owners gave. I am done with you rich spoiled babies. I hope you get a whole lot of nothing, and thats what you deserve for bringing in a leader who does not care for hockey….

    • phillyphanatic77 - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      Couldn’t the same exact thing be said about the owners? They’re even richer spoiled babies and Bettman has never shown that he truly cares about the sport. If he did, the owners would have ended this to preserve the health of the league and acknowledged that the only reason they make ANY money off their teams is because we finance them. There’s is plenty of room for a compromise, but every time one side makes a move towards the middle the other mistakes it for weakness and attempts to grab more than they deserve. But it’s the NHLPA doing the majority of the moving. Because Bettman and the owners refuse to throw them a bone they really have few choices other than attempting to file a disclaimer of interest. It apparently can be resolved within weeks, or even days, compared to decertifying which could take months.

      • chef24g - Dec 14, 2012 at 5:31 PM

        So Bettman and the owners have not increased the average salary buy 1million since the introduction of the nasty salary cap( how dare they make the players more money), all of a sudden the players just realized the contracts they signed in the previous CBA would no longer be valid upon becoming expired, they new all along that ther might be a roll back in there salary. I’m not saying the owners are right, but they have made a lot of changes since the original offer. Last time I saw Fehr had the players go on strike, (just before the start of playoffs) owners did ask for negotiation”s to start way earlier then the summer, again Fehr and the player’s chose this path

      • phillyphanatic77 - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:50 PM

        The players may well have known there would salary rollbacks, but then so too did the owners. So when they were handing out huge contracts right up until the 11:59 pm deadline of the last CBA did they purposely mislead the players about the value of the contracts they were giving? I’d say yes, which is a very backhanded maneuver that shows how untrustworthy these career businessmen are. The owners have absolutely moved from their initial offer, but there’s no debate that that proposed deal was a draconian, outrageous offer. Any hockey pundit will tell you that. The difference between the two sides is the players are moving off the actual position they held (whether it be salary, HRR %, or max contract length) under the last CBA while the owners have only moved from a fictional position that they never actually held. Bettman keeps telling us they’re making huge sacrifices when in reality all they’ve done is make huge gains. You can’t be that blind. That’s the whole reason Bettman came to the table with an offer that no union in the history of unions would accept, and then he negotiated off that as if he had all the things listed in that deal. No one’s arguing that it’s smart negotiating, it’s just completely unfair and tyrannical. In my mind the owners are the ones driving this lockout, and people can disagree with me, Idc. Bottom line is I just want hockey, and with every passing day it looks more and more unlikely.

      • id4joey - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM

        phillyphanayic77, you wrote The players may well have known there would salary rollbacks and they purposely mislead the players about the value of the contracts they were giving and In my mind the owners are the ones driving this lockout, and people can disagree with me

        How can anybody be mislead if when both parties are aware of the consequences during a negotiation? Your allegations are completely false. How much is given back to the owners when a player negotiates a new contract? How much as Gomez given back to the Montreal Canadiens because of his under achievement? The CBA is expired, and it’s time to define new terms. Are the owners not entitles to do so, just like a player will ask for more money when his contract is up for renewal? How is the negotiation unfair for either parties? Both are fighting for what they believe is right for them. How can anyone disagree with you about the owners driving the lockout. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

        Lockout: the withholding of employment by an employer and the whole or partial closing of the business establishment in order to gain concessions from or resist demands of employees

      • phillyphanatic77 - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        Look the players knew they would have to give in to a fairer percentage of HRR which would reduce their salary, but there are also certain assurances when you sign a binding contract. The players still had a certain expectation about what their salaries should be, even with a reduced HRR %. And the owners were handing huge deals minutes before the deadline with the expectation that Bettman would come in and dominate the union. In a negotiation there has to be some basis to move from, and the precedents have been set in prior CBAs. You can negotiate off your dream proposal, like the Owners have off their first offer, but it’s completely dishonest to come out and tell us and the players that you’ve made huge sacrifices when in reality all you’ve done is make huge gains. That’s what is unfair, instead of coming into this negotiation wanting to improve the health of the league, Bettman’s goal was to completely flip the script on the players. Isn’t it obvious that the owners view the players as the cause of the league’s ill’s? Bettman refused to even discuss revenue sharing! It was brought to the table and like a child he flat out refused. The things the owners are fighting for are NOT going to save the struggling franchises, they won’t even come close. They’re negotiating from a place of greed instead considering viable solutions. When, and if, this CBA is ratified, we’ll be back in 8-10 years and the same exact problems the league is facing now will loom even larger. Teams will continue to bleed money. And we’ll miss another season as the owners tell us that once again the players got a better deal than any hockey fan can comprehend. It will continue this never ending cycle of raiding the NHLPA masquerading like you’re trying to help the struggling franchises. That is the problem I have with Bettman and the owners in this negotiation. They can go after more money all they want, but in the end, this deal will only benefit those at the top. The wealth gap disparity will continue to grow because the league decided it was more important to settle a personal vendetta against the players. You can see the contempt both sides have for eachother. Have the players not made large sacrifices on tangible things that they actually possessed at one point? The answer is a resounding Yes. Bottom line is both sides are responsible for continuing this absurd work stoppage, but the owners are holding out for the wrong reasons.

      • id4joey - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        You keep referring to huge deals being handed out minutes before the deadline. Huge deals were also handed out years before the deadline, so I don’t get your point. I can’t comment on their negotiation tactics because I know nothing about negotiating at that level. However, I suspect Batterman from the law firm has more to do with the negotiation strategy than Bettman himself. If teams bleed money because of a CBA with loopholes, then we’ll be back. This new CBA is not the silver bullet to solve all financial problems for those teams, but it’s a starting point. Everyone knows the player agents used those loop holes to get as much as they can from the owners. Crosby, Hossa, Luongo. All guilty of using the system to better their financial income. Is this greed? It sign this deal mr. GM or we are going the RFA route. Bettman and the owners did not foresee this loophole, otherwise they would have closed it.

  3. blomfeld - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Mutual Assured Destruction !

    Mutual assured destruction, or mutually assured destruction (MAD), is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two opposing sides would effectively result in the complete, utter and irrevocable annihilation of both the attacker and the defender,[1] becoming thus a war that has no victory nor any armistice but only effective reciprocal destruction. It is based on the theory of deterrence according to which the deployment, and implicit menace of use, of strong weapons is essential to threaten the enemy in order to prevent the use of the same weapons by the enemy against oneself. The strategy is effectively a form of Nash equilibrium in which neither side, once armed, has any rational incentive either to initiate a conflict or to disarm (presuming neither side considers self-destruction an acceptable outcome).

    • sportsfan69 - Dec 14, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      Very true.

    • badintent - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:07 AM

      Edwin Teller was right ! Thermonuclear weapons =Emc2plus some tax loopholes , massive egos and the right to make as much money as you can !! Wall Street III. “Money making money gets you all the hoes, joes and smoses you can handle.”Then you broke. Then you get $90K a year at 50 for life. All $$$ goes to child support.Then ESPN makes a film about your ragass NHL life.Waaaaaaaaa !

  4. phisticuffs - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    So the union will allow a vote on this, but not on the NHL’s offer. Nice. Because a 5 yr. cap on contracts is relevant for most of the players. SMH

  5. flyerfan2 - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Just started a Facebook page for NHL Fan Disclaimer of Interest. Search for it and Like it. Let’s see if the league and players will actually pay attention when the fans speak.

    • lordfletcher - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      as much as I enjoy your enthusiasm … the owners / players / Fehr and Bettman could care less and will never notice. If the players and owners truly cared for the fans, and not their wallets (can’t blame them I guess but it’s incredibly lame) we would have had a deal months ago… I gave you a thumbs up for creativity

      Cheers :)

  6. ducksk - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Chaos. What do we have now? Chaos with no hockey. More chaos please. With a side of chaos.

  7. lordfletcher - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    We are 30 days from the rumored point of no return… I see we are further away from the goal of having a season now, than what we were 3 months ago. I want to congradulate Donald “the man” Fehr for destroying most the potential for compromise between both parties and Gary “the snowbird” Bettman for another lockout.

    I will be spending my nights, excuse me, more of my nights watching the CHL and Tappara hockey games for future prospects. The wrold juniors will be very entertaining and then the NFL playoffs.

    Good bye till next season NHL.

    -Wild fan

    • lordfletcher - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      sorry for the spelling errors.

      this is what I get for not proof reading

  8. id4joey - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Cast your vote if you want me to re-post my comment referencing “disclaimer of interest”. For you kids, a thumbs up = Yes and the other choice you have is a thumbs down = No. LOL! Later bros N hoes!

    • id4joey - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      Minimum number required for a repost is 4. Here you go.

      id4joey | Nov 30, 2012, 7:58 PM EST

      What a mess?

      It’s been reported that the union may leave players in a move formally referred to as a “disclaimer of interests.” It basically means the union refuses to represent the players.

      The league could simply suspend operations until such time as it can deal with a union and negotiate a new CBA. This would be the safest approach for the league as it would avoid any potential anti-trust actions.

      Given that they’ve locked the players out and no games are being played, such a move would not be a stretch for the league.

  9. shotzongoal - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    “The executive board of the players’ association voted Thursday to let members vote on whether to give the board authorization to file a disclaimer of interest.” What that means is the PA leaders CAN ask the rank and file members to vote but the question is WILL they ask them for a vote for a disclaimer of interest. Which brings up this question. How many of the rank and file members want to lose the remainder of the season? More so, how many of the rank and file players will want to put their future in a possible state of chaos that may last into future seasons?

    All over twitter it is rumored that the many of the players wanted the deal that was on the table last Wednesday. I believe those rumors. In a secret ballot, I think the players would vote against the disclaimer of interest which in turn would be a vote for last week offer and the end of Don Fehr.

    • shotzongoal - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      And I forgot even if the player vote yes on the disclaimer it gives the PA executive group the authority to file but it doesn’t mean they will file.

  10. dkphilly1122 - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Amen Lord. Watch them Vikings in the playoffs?? I’m on board with that and so over the NHL at this point. I love watching the young future stars who actually go out and prove themselves to try to make it to the NHL.

    • lordfletcher - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      I highly doubt I will be able to watch my Vikings in the post season but I will be able to watch AP / AD attempt to make history on one knee… I has always been a huge prospect follower myself but this year has been non-stop. I wish we in the states (even MN) had an easier chance of following CHL games.

      I hope once they cancel the season they release the draft formula for 2013 (could be like 05 but who knows)… I badly want to know if my Wild will get stupid lucky or not and possibly end up in the top 4. A man can dream!!!!

  11. trbowman - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    The PA should have decertified ages ago.

  12. drew1969 - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Chill out,GI Joe blomfeld.

  13. jimw81 - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    the least important story of the day

  14. habsman - Dec 14, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    No surprise.

    The PA continues to screw itself under the leadership of Donald Fehr. The owners would be justified in ending the season. And I hope they do.

  15. cspsrbums - Dec 14, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Players are not on strike they are locked out by the owners

  16. sportsfan69 - Dec 14, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    We (NHL fans) want a deal now or we won’t be back.

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