A: The union no longer would have the right to collectively bargain and would become something akin to a trade association. This action, if upheld, would remove NHL players from labor law and allow individual players to file antitrust suits against the NHL. Players' association head Donald Fehr would cease negotiating on behalf of the players collectively, but talks with the league on a new collective bargaining agreement could continue — collective bargaining rights would have to be regained for a labor contract to be signed.
Q: Are there other legal matters in play in the dispute?
A: The NHL filed suit in federal court in Manhattan to have the lockout declared legal. The league also sued the union in mid-December, figuring the players were about to submit their own complaint against the league and give up collective bargaining rights to gain leverage in negotiations. On Thursday, the union filed a response with the court arguing the NHL is using this suit "to force the players to remain in a union. Not only is it virtually unheard of for an employer to insist on the unionization of its employees, it is also directly contradicted by the rights guaranteed to employees under ... the National Labor Relations Act." The court scheduled a status conference for Monday. Also on Thursday, the NHLPA filed a motion seeking to dismiss the league's suit.