Thursday, July 21, 2005

NHLPA Votes for Truce

The big news of the day is the NHLPA voting to ratify the CBA. TSN's story on the subject is here. I think the players voted for a CBA they largely do not like because they are even more scared of what may come from any of the alternatives.

This is not a labor peace. This is merely the end of the battle. The NHL won this battle by a large margin but the war is not over. There is too much hostility leftover. Whether the war is a hot war fought with future lockouts, strikes or other labor action or a cold war fought as a cold war with players jumping to Europe and looking for loopholes in the CBA big enough to drive a Mack truck through, I cannot predict. I do predict that this is not the end of the NHL labor battles.

Remember this. The NHL is merely a small subset of hockey. If the NHL is not what is wanted by fans, players or owners, they will look elsewhere. There could be plenty of room for a significant elsewhere to develop if this CBA holds player contracts to well below what the open market would provide.

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