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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 TSN.ca, 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”

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