The already headache-inducing NHL lockout has taken a turn for the legal side of the dial in the past week, with so many ridiculously specific terms flying around that it's almost impossible to know what exactly is going on.
What we need is a lawyer, and at least one of the major hockey media outlets has not provided that to us.
Eric Macramalla has been providing a series of layman's-terms articles about the recent flurry of legal moves to TSN. For a look at all of his work, including articles on legal issues in other sports, visit the excellent Offside Sports Blog.
Here's his most recent article on the NHL lockout legal wranglings, which include an NHLPA vote on a disclaimer of interest, which is expected to conclude today.
The real question for most hockey fans, though, is not how these legal proceedings will actually work but will they bring a faster end to this interminable lockout. Macramalla attempts to answer that too.
Yes. No. Maybe. It's not unreasonable to share the view that the introduction of antitrust litigation will encourage the sides to settle. The players filing their own lawsuit, which would not be a surprise to see this week, may also result in further pressure to get a deal done.
There is a precedent. On November 14, 2011, the NBPA disclaimed interest, filed an antitrust lawsuit the next day, and twelve days later the sides agreed on a new CBA. On the flip side, though, after the NFLPA disclaimed interest, the case didn't settle for another four months. Of course, the difference between the two is that the NBA was missing games, whereas the NFL season wasn't even underway.
So in summary, it could just be another last-ditch attempt at leverage as the sides reach an inevitable end point, or it could be another move on the path to oblivion. Great.
Also in today's links, more on the legal wrangling, the WJC rosters are falling into place and why effort doesn't matter nearly as much as you think at the NHL level.
- If that wasn't enough legalese for you on the latest maneuverings on the legal side of the battle, Tyler Dellow has more for you. [mc79hockey.com]
- This will be shocking to all of you, I'm sure, but the NHL's brand is taking a very significant hit because of the lockout. [The Globe and Mail]
- I have to admit, I'm thoroughly amused by the mental image of Brett Ritchie staring at Twitter and doing the math to make sure he'd made the World Junior Championships team for Canada. [DallasStars.com]
- Plano native Stefan Noesen was thought to be a lock for the US roster in the tournament, but he was declared ineligible by the IIHF on Thursday because he's serving a 10-game charging suspension in the OHL, and that suspension won't be over by the time the WJCs begin. [SB Nation]
- The Cam Barker experiment in Austin has come to an end as the Texas Stars released the defenseman just before the end of his PTO and recalled Hubert Labrie to take his spot in the lineup. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- It's hard to say there's an upside to the lockout, but the front-office staff of the Texas Stars and the city of Cedar Park are trying to use the lack of NHL hockey to drive people to their city and organization. [Community Impact Newspaper]
- Newsflash - while a high work rate is a really awesome concept in theory, in practice it doesn't make that much of a difference at the NHL level. At least, that's what a former professional hockey player thinks. [Backhand Shelf]
- I have to admit, hockey hugs just aren't the same without the NHL team and an entire cast of characters that I'm familiar with. But it is the season of joy, and there's been plenty of it to go around in the junior and European leagues. [Puck Daddy]
- The fine folks over at Down Goes Brown have the inside track to the upcoming events in the lockout negotiations. [Down Goes Brown]
- In honor of our recent podcast guest Craig Ludwig (seriously, if you didn't listen to that a couple weeks back, check it out), I am taking you back to the infamous 1998 game against Anaheim, which features Ludwig's elbow vs. Teemu Selanne's head and all sorts of ensuing violence. Plus it's Ralph and Razor on the call, and we really miss them too.