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Bettman isn’t focused on possibility of PA disclaimer of interest

Jan 2, 2013, 9:37 AM EDT

NHLPA

Remember when the players overwhelming voted to give the NHLPA board the authority to file a disclaimer of interest?

Today’s reportedly the deadline for the union to do just that, but with negotiations ongoing and progress being made, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he’s not focused on the possibility of the union exercising its recently authorized powers.

He might be right to have his mind on other things, especially seeing as it sounds like the union doesn’t really have to make a long-term commitment today.

“The players have authorized the NHLPA to disclaim interest by tomorrow; however if NHLPA doesn’t it can do it later – no real deadline,” TSN sports legal analysis Eric Macramalla tweeted Tuesday night. “NHLPA will only disclaim interest if it believes the sides are too far apart; Fehr has said they are close – so would be a surprise to see it.”

Macramalla thinks you would probably hear lines like “we are just too far apart” and “this just isn’t going to get done” from NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr before the union would actually disband. Given that the NHLPA hasn’t been saying that lately, a disclaimer of interest might not be imminent.

He also warned that if the union decides to dissolve into a trade association, it might stay that way permanently rather than simply revert back at a later date.

“This may not be same as NBPA and NFLPA,” Macramalla said.

Of course, this all could prove to be moot if the two sides continue to make progress towards a new CBA.

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