NHLPA considers labour laws to block Habs from locking out players

Erik Cole

Canadiens’ Erik Cole speaks firmly about his distaste for a lockout.
Dario Ayala, Gazette file photo

The NHLPA fired a volley across the bow of the NHL on Sunday night, saying it will consider trying to have the Quebec Labour Board rule illegal any lockout of Canadiens players.

At issue: the NHLPA is not a certified union in Quebec, and as such, the union says it would be illegal for a Quebec-based employer to lock out its employees.

We broke the story tonight; here are the full details, with more to come in the hours and days ahead with a Sept. 15 lockout looming.


  1. shiram says:

    Eminger re-ups with the Rangers.

  2. otisfxu says:

    Not sure what the point of the story is – if nobody else is playing, Habs can practise till the cows come home. Unless they joing the KHL as a team,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  3. db says:

    Scavenger Hunt!

    If there’s someone here (aside from me) that knows where the trophy is that was awarded to the championship team BEFORE the Stanley Cup, I’d like to buy you a beer.

    Here’s a hint.. it’s still in Montreal. It should be in the hockey hall of fame, but they don’t even know it exists. I found it in a box collecting dust at my job at the time. I held it, realized what I had and authenticated it with photos of the last team to hold it.

    When Lord Stanley donated his cup to be used, this small yet wonderful trophy was tossed aside. There’s a huge photo of the first team to be awarded the cup and in the same location you’ll find the other trophy, unless it’s been stolen or junked (since nobody seemed to care about it but me).

    I polished it (for 4 hours) and built a little case for it. This was 10 years ago, I’m not sure if it’s still there but one thing’s for sure… I should have kept it.

    Here’s the cup’s first photo with a team: http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/images/i/855/i02/first-stanley-cup-02.jpg?1324322347

    Oh and in PS3 NHL13, Gomez starts in the minors…. lol

  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …PK , at the level He played last year, no discernable growth going forward, in today’s/tomorrow’s markets = $ 5 to 6 million, IMO

  5. jon514 says:

    Regarding PK most agree that PK is young and has lots of upside left to discover.

    I’m interested to know what people would offer PK if he never progressed passed this point, but continued to play each season exactly as he did last year (35-40 pts, solid +, good defensive zone work, brain cramps, offensive rushes which fail more than they succeed…)

    If that was the player you would get for every year of his next contract, how much would you offer him and for how many years?

  6. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …in My opinion, if a deal is not made by the 15th, I will not last beyond November/December, based upon rationality the business of hockey has never been healthier, for both sides

    …a stoppage, especially in the US, will put the breaks on it’s healthy growth over the past few years

    …I can’t see Bettman, and especially the US-based owners being so obtuse to recognize this

    …but, let’s say the NHL do lockout the players …and there is no existing CBA …I can not understand why that would not automatically make every single one of the players Free Agents, if they should want to go that rout

    …if there is no contract, if there is no ‘product’ (games), if there is no remuneration …ergo, you Mr. NHL owner, YOU no longer ‘own’ me !!!

    • Bripro says:

      I’m not so sure….
      They will have no union agreement with the league, but they’re still employed by their respective teams. They still have to honour their binding contracts.
      I don’t think being employed without a CBA is sufficient to offer them the freedom of choice you’re talking about.

  7. jeffhabfan says:

    Get P.K. signed now he is a great young defenceman.

  8. Ozmodiar says:

    I can’t see Molson having to pay the players in the event of a lockout.

    Just guessing, but… I don’t think players are paid until after the start of the regular season. If/when the season starts, it will be under a new CBA that can stipulate that no player will be paid for games lost to the lockout. Considering that CBA supersedes SPCs, that ought to do the trick.

  9. bsorek says:

    so if the canadiens are the only team playing – does that make them automatic cup winners? πŸ˜‰

  10. Cal says:

    In other sports news,in tennis, the US Open men’s final goes today at 4PM. And people here think the NHL does a poor job of promoting their product? Tonight at 7PM would have been way better.
    Kind of like Canadians and their Saturday night hockey. When the NHL pulls an afternoon game, they awake angry bears!

  11. Malreg says:

    If the NHLPA is not a registered union in QC, does that mean Canadiens players do not need to pay any union dues either? Wouldn’t that also mean that the CBA does not apply to QC based players?

    • Cal says:

      It should, on both counts. Wouldn’t that be hilarious? Habs players would be union busters. πŸ˜‰

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      These are all interesting questions. I guess some of these issues are bare minimums that can’t be negotiated away, and some are. For example, a union can’t bargain for its members to receive less than minimum wage. It can however agree to an ‘averaging agreement’, where they waive the usual overtime rules for the benefit of both parties.

      So the Labour Board could say that players can have their association and collect dues etc., but it doesn’t have the right to strike and isn’t subject to lockout, since these have grave consequences. These bare minimum protections must be obeyed by all, but others are optional.

      I’m strictly spitballing here, trying to add to the discussion, but this angle is kind of interesting in that it adds novelty to the discourse, and may be an arrow in the players’ quiver.

  12. mark-ID says:

    I know Sportsnet is not most reliable….but here’s what they are saying is the latest on Subban. 3 years/ 4 mil per.


    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Ozmodiar says:

      That would be nice. Money sounds right, and when it’s done he’ll still be an RFA (pending CBA).

      • mark-ID says:

        Yea it would definately be reasonable for both sides.

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Kooch7800 says:

      That has been up for a few days. I am not believing anything until he is signed

      “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out http://www.groovecontrolmusic.com

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, Sportsnet has been horrible this off-season. There was one whopper when Marc Bergevin was announced as the new GM where they said Scott Gomez would be bought out. There was one other big scoop that they came up with that was instantly denied, I forget what it was. Anyway, I get my news elsewhere, I just don’t want to be exposed to the Goon With the Trendy Glasses, I feel dirty when I see him on screen.

      Having said that, it would be a more than fair deal for a player who still has a lot of development left and is coming off his entry-level deal.

  13. You know, I wonder how much less beer Molson sells across Canada if there’s no season — no more hockey parties and BBQs, nobody going to bars to watch the game, probably far fewer armchair jocks drinking Canadians/Exes on the couch at home. I’d guess hard that Molson has a pretty strong incentive to see a hockey season, and isn’t one of the owners holding things up.

    Not to mention the massive refunds that TV and radio stations have to provide their advertisers — given the huge losses they stand to take, it’s surprising that the big media outlets haven’t cast the parties in a darker light. It’s almost like the news is fair and unbiased or something…

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • GrimJim says:

      The Monthly Labour Review journal quotes a Canadian government estimate that the 2004-05 lockout diminished the Canadian gross domestic product by $170 million.

      • Cal says:

        If it is 10% more from the last lockout, that’s now $187 million. And it won’t be circulating, thanks to the lawyers.

      • habsnyc says:

        Back of the envelope says that sounds completely wrong. NHL revenue was just over $2billion in 2003-04 and 6 of 30 teams were in Canada. That represents $400 million of hockey revenue. Each team probably generated 25-50million of local revenue to nearby restaurants, hotels and parking. I would need to see the Canadian government estimate to better understand their estimate. I guess it hinges on their estimate of how much money was spent on other activities that would have been spent on watching NHL games.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • mrhabby says:

        such a tiny amount..stupid.

    • HabsFanMTL says:

      actually i’;ll bet a lot of wives will be pissed cause the only thing that kept thier hubbies at home were the habs games and with no hockey those hubbies will have a great excuse to go out and have a few pints rather than sit and home and watch coronation street…which by the way is my fav soap lmao,,,,,,,So In fact Molson may sell as much or more beer ….just for that reason alone

  14. Habilis says:

    What’s the end game here exactly? Even if the PA somehow procure an injunction or something of the sort for Quebec and Alberta, how does that help the players? Am I wrong in assuming that with their NHL contracts being valid, they would no longer be able to look for work elsewhere?

    Speaking of assuming, I’m thinking that it’s now impossible for PK to receive an offer sheet from any other club because there’s less than 7 days left in the CBA. Anyone know if that’s truly the case?

    • I’m not a lawyer, but if successful I’d guess this would mean that at players on teams in QC and AB would get paid their salary — whether the league arranges games for them to play in or not. That puts pressure on the Canadiens, Flames and Oilers to push the other owners on an agreement, as they don’t want to be the only three teams paying some $60M in salary for players who aren’t playing, and with no ticket and merchandise sales coming in.

      In that sense, it’s a divide-and-conquer strategy. The question is though, will the labour boards go for it?

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        That’s the crux of the matter. I don’t think Labour Boards were created to deal with matters like these and want to enter the fray in any way. I assume they will look for any escape clause to claim they don’t have jurisdiction or cannot rule because blah blah blah.

    • joeybarrie says:

      Players will most likely play elsewhere in order to keep their fitness. But it is a step towards having to pay any players who want to show up for work, get paid.
      If they are getting paid, the owners are losing MORE money in a lockout.
      So hopefully its something that will encourage the owners affected to be more willing to accept a deal.

    • Mustang says:

      Let’s assume that the players do get an injunction and the team is forced to pay them. Would the team not then lay them off as there is no work to do (no other teams to play against)?

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Interesting. This is where the guaranteed contract might prevent a layoff, there may be no provision or language for it. I’m sure the NHL standard contract has a ‘force majeure’ clause in it, but no arbitrator would buy that a lockout qualifies as such.

      • GrimJim says:

        I would think (and I am no lawyer) that laying them off would void all their contracts and leave the entire team as free agents.

        • Mustang says:

          I’m not a lawyer either but I was thinking that Molson surely would not want to be the only owner paying his players while the league was shut down. Maybe he would pay them and sue the NHL for compensation while the rest of the teams were locked out.

  15. Kooch7800 says:

    So does this news make them delay signing Subban?

    • Kooch,
      Seems like they have already decided to delay signing PK. IMO the Habs will get a better deal (ie lower $`s) post lockout than they will signing him now.

      One of the biggest issues going forward from the leagues perspective is how to avoid the kind of mega contracts that star players are receiving before they reach UFA status.

      The last CBA was supposed to solve that problem but it didn`t and now the NHL is on a mission to fix that.

      It`s in Subban`s interest to sign before the new CBA in the sense that he`d get a better deal based on the recent comparables of star RFA signings.

      It`s in the Canadiens interest to sign him before the lockout in that if they don`t they may end up signing him to lower contract post lockout but then they will have a bitter star player who feels underpaid and will be looking to head out of town the first chance he gets.
      The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
      Twitter: @teliopost

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I thought the deal was all but done though? 4 mill for 3 years? I guess that was more speculation.

        They need to keep Subban in Montreal. He is an exciting player who makes you want to watch and since we don’t have a true sniper we have to have someone on the roster who brings attention and keeps you on your seat

  16. Flames and Oilers are in a similar situation re the legality of locking them out under Alberta labour law.

    It could be that we’ll have a season after all!

    it will be three teams, the Habs, Oilers and Flames!

    I predict Habs and Flames in the finals and the Oilers again manage to finish last in the league!

    Who would win the cup?

    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
    Twitter: @teliopost

  17. The Dude says:

    If any of you had never seen Rogie take on the USSR and voted “No”to a hall of fame Vachon nomination, then you are a Conservative,Stephen Harper butt-kissing ,need to go back to school and expand your mind and horizons,negative Nelly !Rogie was one of the best!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If I liked Tretiak, does this make me a card carrying Commie then also?

    • habsnyc says:

      Rogie beat the Czechs in 1976. I agree that he is Hall of Fame worthy.

      The selection committee is Toronto centric, with five of 18 members, including both co-chairs, having ties to the Leafs. The selection committee has no members representing major hockey centers such as Boston, Philadelphia or Chicago. The majority of seleection committee members have ties to either New York or Toronto. The geographic imbalance creates the appearance of conflicts of interest. In Vachon’s case, there is not a single selection committee member who watched him play at home in person or on tv during his many years in Los Angeles.

      Rick Martin was the dominant NHL left wing in the 1970’s. HIs career was cut short due to two horrific injuries. He had 375 goals by age 28. His HOF teammate Gilbert Perreault had barely 300 goals at that age. Phil Esposito had less than 300 goals at age 28. Marcel Dionne had 380 goals at age 28. Martin was as dominant as any other scorer in the 1970’s.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • If you disagree with me about hockey, then something completely unrelated about your political leanings is also true! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Khrushchev!

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  18. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    The Cup is ours!!!

    • shiram says:

      Who actually owns the Cup, now that’s a good question!
      Here’s the best concise answer I could find, and it does not answer much :

      From what’s available on the internet, it appears that this question was taken to court during the recent lockout in 2005-06, but there was or has been no result. To summarize the background, Lord Stanley took it upon himself in 1892 to award a cup to the best team in the Dominion of Canada each year. Later, in 1947, the authority to do this was delegated to the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHL now believes it owns this trophy and can even decide whether or not it is awarded from year to year.

      • Bripro says:

        I believe it’s owned by the Hockey Hall of Fame. But I could be wrong.

        • shiram says:

          I’m just surprised there is no clear cut answer on this.

        • Cal says:

          You are correct, sir. Your Monopoly money prize is in the mail.

          • shiram says:

            I don’t think that’s correct, but the Hall/League does undertakes the responsibility for the care and safe custody of the Stanley Cup including all necessary repairs and alterations to the cup and sub-structure as may be required from time to time, and further undertakes to insure the Stanley Cup for its full insurable value.

            There are 2 “trustees” for the Stanley Cup, Brian O’Neil and Scotty Morrison.
            The cup remains with the NHL, so long as the League continues to be the world’s leading professional hockey league as determined by its playing caliber, and in the event of dissolution or other termination of the National Hockey League, the Stanley Cup shall revert to the custody of the trustees.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            shiram, I think it goes one step further. The last lockout a group of beer-league hockey players who happened to be lawyers contested that the NHL was the ‘owner’ of the Stanley Cup. By the time it wound its way through the courts, the NHL was back in operation, and there was an agreement whereby the NHL covered all the court costs, provided a charitable donation, and agreed that in the event it didn’t award the NHL one year, the trustees would be allowed to award it as they saw fit. So the beer-league boys won a big one for Canadian fans against a New York business.

  19. mrhabby says:

    pressure points from all sides, trying to gain an advantage no matter how far fetched it is. geoff molson is not going to pay any players. get on the phone Geoff and give Bettman an ear full.

  20. Bripro says:

    If the NHLPA seeks due diligence through the Quebec Judicial system, they are indeed “opening up a can of worms”.
    The players, employed by a Quebec-based company, with more than 100 on staff, will in fact be obliged by the OLF to transact in french. That means everything.
    They will have to answer the press in french, book their hotels, autograph in french, twitter in french, do public assignments in french, etc. It won’t be pretty.
    They’ll need a fluent translator as well as a french instructor…… I don’t charge much….hmmmm.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am sure Geoff Molson is none to pleased with being used by the NHLPA in this instance. As was pointed out below, given how the league “Effed” over Molson and the Habs as it related to Chara, now the PA is taking its run at them.

      However, as was pointed out much earlier by Tommy B, methinks this is just a minor glitch which will be smoothed over in no time. It is more an attempt to embarrass the Owners.

      As others have said, why sit in a room having a pissing contest when they could actually both be working to fix things.

      Gotta love Lawyers running the Union and League.

      • SmartDog says:

        “why sit in a room having a pissing contest when they could actually both be working to fix things.”

        I am disappointed in BOTH sides. The league are playing hardball and expecting to win (and who gives a flying fark about the fans?) while the NHLPA was too slow to get things started.

        BUT I DISAGREE that this is necessarily a minor glitch. It’s the NHLPA playing harball back and you can bet Molson is none too pleased (at the NHLPA OR Bettman) for the situation he may be in. And other teams are doing similar things. Given where they are, I think it’s good the NHLPA is taking the gloves off. The league is a bully. They were a bully last negotiations, they’re a bully through the year, playing favorites, and giving lip service to changes that are long overdue. And they only way you deal with a bully is to stand up to him. The league will soften – they are going to have to. Compromises will be made, and the more the NHLPA stands up the more a deal will happen.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Bripro says:

        I’m in total agreement that GM isn’t happy.
        Given the efforts made since MB’s hiring, I would think they’re looking forward to a season. If they were in the owners’ corner, do you think that a dozen or so players would have been allowed to practice at their Brossard facility last week? No way.
        The teams either losing money or straddling the fence aren’t as pressed as the rich teams, which will start bleeding come the 15th.
        If you look at how lackadaisical they were in their efforts in negotiating over the last 6 weeks or so, I believe it’s Butthead’s ego that’ll determine if this season can be salvaged or not.
        If I were GM, I’d call him and say “You like your $8MM/year?” Well you can reduce that by the pro-rated amount representing the Canadiens’ portion until you get your a** in gear and get a deal done.”

        • SmartDog says:

          I’d love to know the politics of Bettman’s situation. You have to think that most owners are generally in his corner because they extended his contract. But that’s because he successfully expanded the league and brought in more money through the US because of it (and – no credit to GB – but a strong Canadian dollar added wind to those sails).

          But they can’t be too happy with the way this is going. Owners like Molson want hockey even more than we do. Their companies, their shareholders, their stock and even their credibility depend on it. And at this rate, Bettman’s strategy, and even his “concessions” to get a deal done do not seem to be working.

          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • Cal says:

            45 dates plus per year at Centre is tough to replace. If there is a lockout, Molson will not be happy. Neither will that fresh-faced new owner in Winnipeg.

    • shiram says:

      Heck I wouldn’t mind being your assistant translator!

  21. SnowManHabs85 says:

    @PKSubban1: Thanks #EASports! Excited for the launch of #nhl13cover release. Join me @ #supervideotron in Mtl from8-12pm #gogetit http://t.co/tsEfzh1O

    Anyone know if this is different one than the one advertised in Journal de Montreal?

  22. j2w4habs25 says:


    Carey Price #31

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    So if the Habs players aren’t part of a union, then they aren’t part of the NHLPA, then doesn’t this mean we just found a way out of the Gomez and Kaberle contracts?

  24. Kooch7800 says:

    If that deal goes through in Quebec and makes the habs owners have to pay during a lockout I wonder if they would send everyone to the AHL. They would have to clear waivers but i wonder if the owners would agree not to claim anyone and send them down and agree not to claim when they are brough back up when the league starts……

    this way they would get some revenue for the salaries. The bulldogs attendance would be up LOL

    This would never happen but if it did it would be pretty wild

  25. JF says:

    No word so far of any meetings, informal or otherwise. Are the two sides going to let the week slip by and do nothing? If that happens, we can conclude that both sides knew from the start there would be a lockout and were prepared to screw the fans and everyone who earns their living through activities connected with the games. This would be the ultimate gesture of contempt. I just hope it bites them in the a$$, with the small markets losing more money and some teams having to fold or relocate. The arrogance of these bastards is boundless; they think they can risk losing another entire season with no long term repercussions. It’s up to the fans to show them they’re wrong.

  26. accp says:

    I don’t know how other fans feel. But I for one feel the unions are a joke, the salaries really are sickening. if they have a lock out than it’s about time we as fans take a stand , speak out, and show them we mean business. when they return. stay away from the rinks by doing so you’re not contributing to the owners and the multimillion dollar salaries. as long as we continue. this will never go away …

    • SmartDog says:

      I think that the situation is as much about the players being tired of being pushed around as anything else. Tired of Bettman’s BS, the slow battle of attrition he waged against them last time as well as his arrogance and sometimes ignorance. This is his mess.

      It’s “his” league. Bettman could have started negotiations earlier. He could have gone around and talked and (more importantly) LISTENED to players. He could have put forward a proposal that DOES change the way things are done, instead of just grabbing for more money.

      It’s clear that Bettman’s plan was a simple one. We’ll table a ridiculous roll-back and then when we cut that by half, aligning with some other major sports leagues, everyone will rejoice and we’ll be seen as having done good. But it didn’t happen that way. The players saw it for what it was – their reaction (led by Fehr) was basically “do you think we’re stupid?” And I think the answer is yes. Bettman DOES think the players are stupid. He talks down to the NHLPA, and treats the league like it’s his more than theirs. He’s wrong about that. There would be no harm in respecting the players, it would build bridges that he burned instead. He might be a good strategist in some ways but he’s blown this one and has nothing left to do but bend. I think the players are doing well in this battle and I don’t think it’s money that’s driving them as much as pride. And players have a lot of pride.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    So Erik Cole gets 2million this year guaranteed, Carey Price is picking up a cool 2million in his new contract, Josh Gorges is grabbing some $750,000 worth of spending money and Travis Moen needed some fuel money for his tractor and is picking up $100,000 in his new contract guaranteed this year.

    Pretty smart on Carey, Travis and Josh to take care of themselves this year with the impending CBA expiry.

    • Cal says:

      These numbers give a very good reason why signing bonuses should not be allowed in the new CBA. Have you ever been forced to pay for services and not received them?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It is another loophole Bettman didn’t have the forethought to see happening. It is reasons like this that I feel he is incompetent. He won the last negotiation yet in truth he lost.

        Minnesota is paying nearly 22million this season, Parise, Suter and Koivu have bonuses.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Cal, teams aren`t “forced” to pay bonuses, they shower them on players in the hope that they can gain/retain their services. A team can choose not to offer signing bonuses, but it will only mean it’s not competitive and will find it hard to ice a decent team.

        If the NHL forbids bonuses in contract terms, it will only give Don Fehr more ammunition when he says that his members are already receiving less than market rates for their services. NHL owners are really big on free enterprise, except when it interferes with their monopolist tendencies.

        If the NHL tries to force too restrictive a bargaining agreement on the NHLPA, they may choose to decertify and let the courts decide how they view business practices such as the universal draft, the reserve clause and salary caps and standard contracts.

    • shiram says:

      With all the ridiculous deals thrown around recently, those bonuses all seem quite reasonable.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Considering the Buffalo Sabres are paying Ville Leino $4Million this year and Tyler Myers is picking up $10 million this season, the Montreal bonuses seem okay. But in going through Capgeek surprised to see some teams like LA Kings and Carolina Hurricanes have no players taking in bonuses this season.

  28. nunacanadien says:

    Why the NHLPA would choose Montreal, one of the scariest teams to play for as far as having a bunch of anal-retentive board committee members who fire the players for speaking the truth….Montreal where Hal Gill tried to find out what the plan was, and only got shipped to Nashville for his question, which was unanswered. Or the Kosty boys telling it like it was in Belarus only to be traded also. Or hey how about Subban fighting it out with Plex and now his contract won’t be renewed.

    Montreal needs to learn how to respect its players.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t think PK wanted his last contract renewed, methinks he is looking for a little more money Nuna.

    • shiram says:

      Management changed recently, so that does not hold any grounds.
      The NHLPA did not choose MTL, they are seeking the same thing in other cities where the same law exist.
      Your thinly veiled hatred and uninformed rant is weak.

    • showey47 says:

      So gill and ak got traded cause of unanswered questions or telling people how it was in belarus? It had nothing to do with them being ufa’s on a team that was going to miss the playoffs and pg getting some compensation vs losing them for nothing? Hey,we all know your a useless,attention seeking troll but at least you should put a little more effort into it so you at least come off looking somewhat credible. If montreal was so disrespectful to its players then why did guys like gorges,price,pleks,moen and pacioretty sign such long tern contract extensions? Subban will be joining that group soon enough. Then what are you going to bitch and whine about?

  29. KevinT says:

    This actually creates a good negotiation tactic to bring desired UFAs to Montreal! “Wanna get paid this year? Sign with us for three years….”
    Finally, a reason to sign in Mtl rather than any other place!

  30. Psycho29 says:

    In a completely unrelated subject:

    I’ll be in the front row near the ramp at tonight’s WWE Raw at The Bell Centre….Look for the “OUI ! OUI ! OUI !” sign!

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    So what date do the owners start writing those guaranteed bonus cheques to players like Brad Richards, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber etc. etc. Have to wonder if the day those teams see their bank accounts dip with nothing to show might motivate that side to work a little harder.

    Have to think Shane Doan kind of missed the boat contract wise. Given the impending Lockout I can’t see any team signing him now to a contract loaded with those same guaranteed bonus clauses.

    And finally, I noticed that Nashville and Weber finalized their contract and he didn’t receive a NTC or a No Movement Clause. So he is now signed long term with Nashville (which appears to be a team he didn’t want to play for) and no longer has leverage with the exception of his play and contract size.

    • Bripro says:

      I’m not sure I totally agree with you regarding Doan.
      First, his acknowledgement is pending, awaiting Jamieson’s purchase.
      If Greg Jamieson’s attempts fall short, and Doan exercises his right to go elsewhere, there are but a few teams in the mix, according to him and his agent.
      If the Habs are part of that privileged group, I would bite the bullet and sign him a guaranteed contract, as an enticement to have him play here.
      It’s probably moot by now, but one never knows….

  32. 44har48 says:

    I love this sport, but I am the minority, especially on my side of the border. They just don’t get it. This will set this sport back much more than it did in 2004, and much more than these dildos know.

    I know they like to think Hockey is big in the US, but my friends, it simply is not, and this is not helping its cause at all.

    Arrogant and greedy is all I can say to sum this situation up.

    • Cal says:

      GMs doling out the stupid 12 year + contracts have caused the problem for any small market team trying to be competitive. You are right. Hockey in the US is a curiosity, but no more. I remember seeing a Nelson ratings that showed a high school swim meet getting more viewers than Detroit vs Pittsburgh.
      There is a definite disconnect between reality (the fans) and the dreamworld (NHL owners and players). A pox on both their houses.

  33. shiram says:

    So only Canadian teams could be prevented from locking out their players, while I doubt it happens, I’d like to have a completely Canadian NHL while they sort out their billions…

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    This shows me that the players have great representation as well as the owners, for this fight that will get very dirty before things get moving in a positive direction.

    Not that I want this to go down, as one of the largest sports stand offs in history, but I predict this fight will continue for more than this year. It will be a once and for all settlement when it is finally put on paper.

    Both sides have been preparing for this fight for a very long time, and have built up their war chests to carry them for a two year fight. We may even lose a couple of franchises along the way.

    There are many more strategies to be played out in this fight to come.
    I only feel sad for us the fans in this fiasco. I wonder if either side will take us into consideration as being able to afford taking our families to games? Or will they just continue to use us for their own public relation ploy’s as usual.

    Watch for the NHL to mention that they will be unable to put more franchises into the province of Quebec if a ruling comes down from the Quebec labor board in favor of the players not being locked out in Montreal!

  35. geo_habsgo says:

    I think that this could be a really great ‘powerplay’ move for the NHLPA. Molson is one of the wealthier owners in the league so his deep pockets would allow him to remain relatively comfortable in the midst of a lockout.

    While I don’t doubt that he is one of the few owners in the league who would genuinely like there to be a season this year, I think getting a powerful owner like him to be forced to pay salary might cause him to urge for a faster resolution to the labour dispute.

    It is a gamble for the players and one that Quebec not rally behind though in fear of them burning bridges in their chasing after a new NHL franchise in Quebec.

    • Cal says:

      It’s a bs PR move. The NHLPA and NHL better stop dicking around or it’ll be another lost season for us, the fans. Forcing Molson to pay salaries while the rest of the NHL doesn’t will fly as far as those turkeys from WKRP in Cincinatti, and that’s ain’t far.

      • geo_habsgo says:

        I think that it is more than PR. That is a way of sweeping it under the rug. The NHLPA is supposed to represent the interests of the players and the players are interested in getting paid.

        By stopping one team from locking out its players might lead to a few more being forced to do the same. It is a move on the Players Association to step up and establish themselves as a party holding some negotiating power.

        Some would call it a PR move and others might call it a negotiating tactic. You can think about it any way that you’d like to.

        • Cal says:

          Both sides should be doing some meaningful negotiating instead of trying to dig up lawyers tricks, like this loophole. If Fehr thinks this will endear the fans to his side he is not as smart as some here think. I remember how he screwed over the Expos and their fans. Be prepared for a long lockout if this is the best that this lawyer can do.

    • Mad Habber says:

      Molson might have money but if the Chara incident is any prove he has little pull with the other owners.

    • savethepuck says:

      I think it’s a tactic to pressure owners into not locking out the players and to continue negotiations beyond Sept 15th with business as usual. It’s what the NHLPA has been requesting all along. Affecting one team may not be enough, but if it affects more provinces, then the NHLPA has more leverage.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Is Geoff Molson one of the 20 richest owners in the NHL? The Guys who own the Jets, Flames, Oilers, Sabres, Bruins, Islanders, … are all billionaires. Is Geoff Molson’s wealth even remotely comparable to those guys?

      P.S. I found a Globe & Mail article that claims he’s worth $500 million, so I guess he’s in the same conversation as some of the other owners.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        The answer is no, he isn’t. We should remember that he had to put a partnership together to buy the team, and needed loans from various agencies to effect the purchase. He doesn’t own it outright like other billionaires own their team and arena.

      • HabFab says:

        The Molson family is worth $440 ml. So there are 3 brothers and how many cousins sharing? So that would make Molson one of the poorest owners.

        • geo_habsgo says:

          Geoff Molson does not own the team on his own so his personal net worth doesn’t apply here. He is part of an ownership group which the Molson family owns the controlling share in. Geoff Molson is simply the public presence of that ownership group.

          In any case, I am sure they are close to 400-500 million dollars. Probably in the above-average tier of owners but the difference with him and some other owners is that his pocket is growing. Even after a poor season, the Habs generate a considerable profit. His pocket is growing consistently while the pockets of some other owners are shrinking. He has more to lose than most other owners. All the big-market team owners do.

  36. Greg says:

    So what would it entail if 4-5 teams weren’t locked out but the rest were? Surely the NHL would still refuse to schedule games, provide referees, or count points… If they aren’t locked out, do they still get their salary? Even if they don’t play?

    So many questions…. I miss hockey…

    • savethepuck says:

      I am assuming if this affected 4 or 5 teams that there still would be no hockey but those 4 or 5 teams would have to pay their players during the lockout. That would mean there would be at least 4 or 5 owners extremely anxious to come to an agreement or at the least not willing to agree to a lockout and do what the NHLPA has recommended all along, to continue negotiations beyond September 15th without a lockout.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    THis latest legal wrangling sounds like a case for Matlock, too bad that can’t happen anymore…. Morning everyone. Rough night for my Steelers, glad to see Peyton back in the NFL though, great player.

    • Bripro says:

      Yep! That six-million dollar man has been rebuilt and certainly humbled your team.
      As I’ve stated Gerry, we’ll see by years-end who plays in the Super Bowl. πŸ˜‰

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I don’t disagree. From the minute I heard Peyton was no longer going to be a Colt, I wished Steelers had released your favourite qb and replaced him with Peyton. BUt alas, twas not to be. Steelers will still be a factor, perennial slow starting team.

        • Bripro says:

          You have to admit, Denver looked far more impressive than at any time last year.
          Tracy Porter is one of the best cornerbacks in the game.
          And rookie Derek Wolfe was impressive.
          The Steelers had better hurry and get a healthy offensive line back, or it’ll be a long season.
          And did you happen to notice that TB broke another record as the Pats’ QB? Just sayin’…..

  38. TommyB says:

    This latest “development” makes for some fun reading and discussion, but it will have little impact on how this CBA battle plays out, IMO. What is the worst thing the law in Quebec can do? Impose a fine against the NHL? My experience with owners, or companies, breaking labour laws, is that an easily absorbed “slap on the wrist fine” is levied by the government. Not a real roadblock to preventing any company from pursuing it’s intended agenda.

    The fact that the NHLPA is playing this card (and it’s a deuce) only shows that nothing meaningful is happening at this time between the two parties, and that the union doesn’t see any movement in the near future. I don’t see this development as being anything other than the PA demonstrating that it is trying to get the talks back on, while the NHL and Bettman continue to play the hard line. Just my take on it, for what it’s worth.

  39. Uh…why didn’t the NHLPA do this the last time there was a lockout…nobody thought about it? Sounds like a huge oversite.
    Who is the lawyer Michael Cohen? does anyone know which firm he works for?

    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
    Twitter: @teliopost

    • Chrisadiens says:

      They chose not to use this tactic during the last lockout. It wasn’t an oversight. It’s in the article. Don’t you want to read “real” news? πŸ˜‰

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • I read the article…saying they ‘choose not to’ doesn’t explain why.

        Why didn’t they try this last time? The answer could impact the strategy this time which is why it is important and should have been explained.

        The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
        Twitter: @teliopost

        • Chrisadiens says:

          You asked the question, “Nobody thought of it?” And then concluded, “Seems like an oversite.” I’m letting you know that the article explains otherwise.

          Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  40. Cal says:

    You’d think that 5 days before the deadline that the NHLPA would be looking for ways to solve the impasse instead of looking for loopholes. You’d think that 5 days before the deadline the owners would be doing the same.
    The Beavis (Fehr) and Butthead show continues.

    • JF says:

      Agreed. It is nonsense to hope that a lockout can be avoided on what amounts to a technicality. With five days left, the two sides should get into the negotiating room and hammer out a deal. They should keep at it until it’s done rather than try to play games with the labour laws.

  41. D Mex says:

    ” Hockey Fans Rejoice : NHL Saved By Poutine ”

    This could turn into an interesting development :

    IF it flies, I wonder if, years down the road, history would say that the NHL was ‘ saved ‘ in 2012 by the Province of QuΓ©bec, after the Rocket and his teammates had helped do the same thing decades earlier.
    ON the flip side, I wonder if a ‘ loophole ‘ like this might adversely affect chances of a return to QuΓ©bec City by the Nordiques. Screwed by poutine … why not ? … πŸ™‚

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …a ‘breaking story’ in HIO ???
    …pinch Me !!! …I must be hallucinating πŸ™‚

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

  43. Rainrocket16 says:

    The cup would be ours if there is a full lockout then! Go Habs Go!

  44. matt jordan says:

    I hope it works. I don’t care how much any of those idiots get paid , I just want to watch NHL hockey. I hope Geoff Molson has to pay every one of those contracts he signed in good faith, and the ones he signed in bad faith.

    Montreal ownership will truly prove themselves if they’re committed to winning if they send Gomez to Hamilton to start the season (when there is one). That will be the true test of showing the fans that playing for the Montreal Canadiens is not a joke.

    AND although it is funny ESPN ranks the Leafs as the worst organization in all of hockey, that Ultimate Team Rankings is b—s–t. Phoenix and Tampa Bay the top franchises in hockey? I don’t think so. Phoenix couldn’t even find an owner for over two years and their top draft picks keep skipping town (Turris, Wheeler). No one in Phoenix would blink an eye if the Coyotes skipped town.

  45. Bripro says:

    Interesting development.
    If the NHLPA wins its case in Quebec, then I agree with Curtis.
    We’ll keep winning by default, although I don’t expect attendance figures to be all that high.
    So perhaps we can get a team together, to play them as they tour the various hockey venues around the NHL.
    We could be considered the Washington Generals of the NHL.
    Except, since the court case would be won in Quebec Superior Court, we’d call ourselves “Les GΓ©nΓ©rales de Quebec” or “du Quebec” depending on whether they’re home base is Qc. City or a second team in Montreal.
    I’m in….

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’ll take one of the defenceman spots, but only if I get some powerplay time. I don’t want to be on the roster just for my stalwart defender skills. I want to express myself creatively as well.

  46. Curtis O Habs says:

    If the lock out lasts all year do we win the cup?

  47. ProHabs says:

    THis is a blow that will bring Gary Bettman and the owners down to their knees. There is no way they can survive this hit. An agreement will be reached tomorrow.

  48. Kooch7800 says:

    Seems like a waste of time……but hey I guess you have to do what you have to do.

    Here is hoping everything is resolved before the season starts!

    • chanchilla says:

      i agree, it seems like the nhlpa should be spending their time on more pressing matters. It really made me stop and think about how maybe the NHLPA is as much to blame if a lockout occurs.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        chanchilla please. The NHLPA is to blame for ensuring that the law of the land is respected while dealing with its rogue ‘partners’?

        Larry Brooks among others would disagree with your take on the situation.


        • chanchilla says:

          I never said the NHLPA is to blame, i did say that they will share the blame if a lockout occurs. Negotiations could have started a year ago, the NHLPA refused, we could be a year ahead of where we are today.

          **and again to clarify, i’m not saying one side is right and one side is wrong, there are two sides to the story and both parties should share the blame. With that being said, i do believe that without the marquee players, the owners will not make nearly as much money, and the players deserve to take home their paychecks.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Sorry, we’re getting tripped up on language here, and it’s my fault. I should have been precise and asked whether the players should assume part of the ‘blame’ for exploring their legal avenues.

            My point remains though. The players are trying to bargain but the NHL isn’t showing a lot of flexibility, as innumerable articles have shown, and the owners are the ones who will lock out the players, the latter aren’t going on strike, so the blame clearly lies with the NHL.

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