I was perusing some sports related articles, as i often do when I have a couple minutes of free time, and I was reading an update on the ongoing NFL labor issues. It was a rather longish article covering the different positions and all the myriad different legal cases being fought by different groups all around this single issue. Nothing all that new or all that interesting in all of that. That is, of course, until I get to the very end of the article, the last line in fact... and there is a reference to the NHL already preparing for its possible labor issues a year from now. I'll add the line along with the context from the article:
The chamber, like the NFL, noted that the dispute is currently before the National Labor Relations Board in the form of an unfair labor negotiations charge against the players. Until then, the chamber said, the court fight should be on hold and the NFL should be able to lock out its players if needed.
“For the collective bargaining process to work as Congress intended, the parties to the dispute must largely be left by the courts to their own devices,” the chamber said. “The prospect of self-help forces the parties to make difficult choices” with the option of judges coming to their aid.”The NHL, which could face its own labor problem next year, earlier filed a similar brief supporting the NFL
So, what do we have here. It seems that the NHL is already in the courts trying to secure its right to be able to lock out players, and to prevent the union from being able to disband in response. This could prevent further court cases the players could possibly file in order to deal with labor practices. It would enforce the legislations that force traditional, out of court, negotiations between an employer (league and teams) with the union.
This isn't exactly surprising, or at all suggestive of an expected lockout or a hardline by the league and owners. Still, it seems that the NHL is getting its proverbial ducks in a row already.
Personally, I really doubt the union or the league has any intent to let things even get close to another lockout and lost season, especially so soon after the last one. Here's hoping, at least.