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NHL lockout looks like it will head to court

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NHL lockout looks like it will head to court

It looks like the NHL lockout might have finally kicked things up a notch, and could be headed for the court room.

The NHLPA informed the NHL that their Executive Negotiating Committee had approved a potential disclaimer of interest for the 700 plus members of the NHLPA to vote on. The disclaiming interest move is essentially a swifter, cleaner decertification process for the players union that starts the wheels turning for individual players to file anti-trust lawsuits against the NHL claiming damages and lost wages.

In the United States, antitrust laws prohibit owners from locking out employees who don't belong to a union. The punishment for doing so is triple the wages lost during the lockout.

It was thought that both sides badly wanted to avoid things ending up in a court rooms hands, but with the lockout rolling into its 90th day of existence the NHLPA didnt see many more options. The NHL had hinted previously that decertification would most likely lead to the entire 2012-13 season being cancelled, but that doesnt seem close to a reality at this point.

The NHL immediately responded by filing a Class Action lawsuit against the NHLPA in New York Federal Court seeking a Declaration confirming the ongoing legality of the lockout. With the filing of the complaint the NHL also filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that by threatening to disclaim interest the NHLPA has engaged in unlawful subversion of the collective bargaining process and conduct that constitutes bad faith bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act.

The NHLPA responded in a released statement by claiming the lawsuit was without merit before actually taking a look at it.

Based on what weve learned so far, the NHL appears to be arguing that the Players should be stopped from even considering their rights whether or not to be represented by a union, said the NHLPA in a statement. We believe that the NHLs position is completely without merit.

The NHL and NHLPA are both ridiculously close in CBA negotiations with an agreement on money and the make whole provision, and only sat in disagreement on a handful of personal player contract rights, the CBA length and the transition rules for the CBA with a 48-game schedule still a very real possibility. The lawsuits and allegations between both sides are clearly not helping matters for either side, but only time will tell which side the law ultimately favors.

Morning Skate: Can BU's Keller break through with Coyotes?

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Morning Skate: Can BU's Keller break through with Coyotes?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while watching the worlds of sports and politics collide this weekend.

-- Can former Boston University standout Clayton Keller become the NHL’s newest rookie sensation for the Arizona Coyotes? The skills and the skating are certainly there, but we’ll have to see if he can remain in one piece all season with a middling team around him.

-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has Kris Letang returning to the Penguins on Sunday. It still blows my mind that Pittsburgh was able to win the Cup without him in its lineup last spring.

-- Speaking of the Penguins, they say they will accept the White House invitation to visit after last year’s Cup win, and offer a pretty non-committal statement about what’s going on in the other three major sports right now.

-- It was a tremendously successful opening of Little Caesar’s Arena for the Detroit Red Wings last night as they stomped the Bruins in preseason action.

-- The Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri is out to prove that last season wasn’t a one-year wonder.

-- For something completely different: Good to see another Stoneham guy getting some accolades for a dead-on impersonation.

 

Kraft 'deeply disappointed' by Trump's comments; praises players

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Kraft 'deeply disappointed' by Trump's comments; praises players

Sunday morning, as President Donald Trump resumed his attack on the National Football League, Patriots president and CEO Robert Kraft issued a statement condemning Trump's call for NFL owners to "fire" players who protest against social injustice during the playing of the National Anthem.

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Said Kraft:

"I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

Trump, meanwhile, was back on Twitter, renewing his demand for punishment -- or employment termination -- against such players:

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