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PHT Morning Skate: What if contracts become null and void?

Dec 19, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin AP

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Picturing the glorious, entertaining chaos that would ensue if every NHL contract became null and void because of the legal proceedings. (The Sporting News)

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that it’s possible more games will be canceled by the end of this week. Well, it is the holiday season. (LeBrun’s Twitter)

Harrison Mooney defends David Booth (and attacks having to defend him in the first place). (Vancouver Sun)

Another informative take at the upcoming legal wranglings. (The Globe & Mail)

Want more? Tyler Dellow has two new bits on the CBA talks. (Part I and II)

Move over Barack Obama and Stephen Harper: Michael Buble is weighing in on the lockout. (Josh Rimer, NHL Home Ice)

The name Bill McCreary shouldn’t just be associated with sweet mustaches and officiating. One Bill McCreary also clobbered Wayne Gretzky. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Updated rankings for the Dallas Stars’ farm system. (Defending Big D)

More lockout-related venting. (Puck Daddy)

  1. danaking - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    The voiding contracts article reminds me why i stopped reading The Sporting News. The writer is an idiot. Voiding all the contracts would NOT increase fan interest, other than superficially. Fans build allegiance to teams over time. Walk into an established hockey market, with a guaranteed sell-out every night, and tell them the team is now two guys you know and 18 guys you may have heard of but couldn’t pick out of a photo array, and you’re going to have a lot of pissed off season ticket holders.

  2. antkowiak666 - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    do the players even realise that an entire team,just missed out on their opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup above thier heads??given their short life span in the NHL,money is something you can regain,hoisting the Cup is not.

  3. mountainmantride - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    The better, and more important, question to ask is: “What if the fans don’t show up?” Those contracts that could be null and void WOULD be null and void. Focus people, this is about the fans forking over hard earned money to knuckleheads who do not appreciate the good fortune that finds them…for being not much more than modern day jesters on ice.

    • blomfeld - Dec 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Jester: A jester or a fool, was a historical person employed to entertain a ruler in medieval times and can also be a modern entertainer who performs at mostly medieval themed events. Jesters in medieval times are often thought to have worn brightly colored clothes and eccentric hats in a motley pattern and their modern counterparts usually mimic this costume. As performers jesters have used acrobatics, storytelling, juggling, music and other skills to entertain their audiences.

      Mountainmanride – Asking “whether or not the fans show up” is indeed the better question friend. Your comparison on that other article of “Superbowl vs Stanley Cup” viewership numbers pretty much says it all. These guys are indeed arrogant with their foolish revenue assumptions. If and when they do come back, I suspect that the landscape will have changed for them in no uncertain terms.

      ps: though NHL’ers are indeed like modern day jesters, I somehow doubt that many of these guys could boast the repertoire of their earlier cousins? … maybe the new CBA should make it mandatory for all NHL players to be able to dance, sing, juggle and tell stories as well, eh ? :)

  4. somekat - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    I said the NHL would do it once the PA threatened to decertify, and they will. After they do it, the NHL will win in court. Most of the provisions in NHL contracts are based on agreements with the PA. If they decertify, there is no PA, so the NHL is no longer able to fulfill it’s obligations.
    The reason the threat of decertfication was able to push the ball, as it were, in the NBA and the NFL, is because those guys are making much more money (NBA and NFL owners), so if the league falls apart, they lose a fortune. This is not the case for most NHL teams. There are a few that make a ton of money, but most are barely breaking even, or losing money. There are very few owners that own a hockey team because they love hockey (Snider comes to mind), most of them own a team because it’s a business, first and foremost. After that, it is the status symbol of being an owner of a professional team. The business aspect has been in the toilet for years, and the status symbol of owning an NHL team gets smaller by the day

    • chibimike - Dec 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      Are the owners really going to void the contracts that they have paid large signing bonuses on? Just give away that money. Nashville has already paid $20some million to Weber. They just going to throw that away for the betterment of the crappy teams in the league??

      • chibimike - Dec 19, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        In fact, most stars are playing on contracts that were massively front loaded. Teams would be throwing away 100’s of millions of dollars by voiding the contracts.

  5. manchestermiracle - Dec 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    “14. In the event that the court does not grant the declarations described in paragraphs 9 through 13, the NHL requests a declaration that, if the NHLPA’s decertification or disclaimer were not deemed invalid by the NLRB, and the collective bargaining relationship between the parties were not otherwise to continue, all existing contracts between NHL players and NHL teams (known as Standard Player’s Contracts or “SPCs”) would be void and unenforceable.”

    Typically dry lawyerese, but the gist is simple: Acknowledging that their members cannot control themselves, the NHL has decided to nullify player contracts one way or the other. If they win this lawsuit they have the NHLPA over a barrel. If they lose, they are still asking the court to grant them victory on this one paragraph so they can throw out every contract.

    The Sporting News story is better than some are saying (at least on here), because it opens up the possibility of actually correcting one of the mistakes owners have been making of late: Handing out contracts they have no intention of honoring in the name of competition.

    Whether or not there is any hope left that negotiations can resolve any of the other issues, mostly related to the lack of any real financial acumen by the suits, is an entirely different can of worms.

  6. hockeydon10 - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Void all contracts? That requires no PA, which leads to no CBA, which leads to no salary cap.

    Let’s see, which teams would be rushing to buy championships again with no restrictions on salary? Detroit and NYR for sure. Toronto would spend a ton, but still be unable to win. Pitt? Colorado? Vancouver?

  7. woodstakes - Dec 19, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    So what really happens if they get what they want and all contracts are voided? The reasons they want these voided is because the owners couldn’t control themselves or their GM’s in negotiations which had to follow a CBA guidelines, restrictions and loopholes, a salary cap to spend to and stay under. Yet these guys showed they could not control themselves. So they get they’re wish and contracts get voided, so WHAT exactly is going to stop them from doing it ALL OVER AGAIN? This time they will have ZERO restrictions by a CBA. There are NO LOOPHOLES to exploit… its WIDE OPEN! If they couldn’t control themselves under a CBA what will happen without one governing them… easiest way to predict the future for people is looking at their pasts! The past says these guys will be handing out money hand over fist. ESPECIALLY since now they know they need to get people to actually come back and watch their product.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Maybe that’s their round-a-bout plan for contraction: Just force anyone without deep pockets into bankruptcy and insolvency. Wow, this mess just gets smellier and smellier….

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