NHL lockout: Donald Fehr hints at union decertification

Bruce Bennett

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr was asked about the union potentially decertifying to take the NHL to court, but did not tip his side's hand regarding their strategy.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr spoke with the media after meeting with about 25 players at a charity hockey game in Atlantic City, and did not dismiss the possibility of the NHLPA decertifying and taking the NHL to court to try to end the lockout. Rumors have surfaced recently that the NHLPA may be considering decertification, but Fehr did not tip his side's hand:

"The only thing I’m going to say about that is this," Fehr replied, "there are two sets of laws which govern these situations. And what happens is, from time to time, unions and sports unions have officially said that there are circumstances where members would be better off without a union and taking action with the anti-trust laws. That’s all I can tell you about it."

If the players vote to decertify, it would allow them to take the NHL to court for locking them out. Labor laws encourage unions and management to negotiate their way through issues, but do allow recourse through decertification. The NFL players association decertified during its last work stoppage, and it helped get the regular season started without any cancelled games.

The NHL lockout has entered its third month, and the Winter Classic and 2013 All Star Game have both been cancelled. As of Nov. 23, all regular season games through Dec. 14 have been cancelled.

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