AP source: NHL players closer to dissolving union

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 22, 2012 at 3:10 am •  Published: December 22, 2012
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The NHL is already the only North American professional sports league to cancel a season because of a labor dispute, losing the 2004-05 campaign to a lockout.

The NHLPA now appears set to follow the lead set by NFL and NBA players. Both dissolved their unions during lockouts last year.

The legality of the lockout is already set to be tried in U.S. federal court after the NHL filed a class-action lawsuit last week against the NHLPA. The NHL also submitted an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

The NBA's labor dispute ended less than two weeks after the union was disbanded. Jeffrey Kessler, the lead negotiator for the National Basketball Players Association in that dispute, contends the NHLPA would be wise to go ahead with the "disclaimer of interest."

"I think this is much more likely to lead to a settlement sooner," Kessler told The Canadian Press last week. "The players have concluded that they are on the verge of possibly deciding that it is better not to be a union and using the antitrust laws to attack the lockout, which all fans should be happy with because it'll work."

The league's Board of Governors discussed the possibility of a "disclaimer of interest" on Dec. 5, and Bettman said the NHL didn't see it as a significant threat.

"We don't view it in the same way in terms of its impact as apparently the union may," Bettman said.


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