Monday, January 23, 2006

Labor Relations Board Dismisses Dissidents

A major setback occurred today for Trent Klatt and his band of NHLPA dissidents. They were challenging the way the NHLPA acted against their own constitution to remove Bob Goodenow as its head and end the lockout. They had gone to the US Labor Relations Board to state their case. Today, the Labor Relations Board dismissed their case stating that it is not under their jurisdiction. They rule that they do not have power over the Toronto based NHLPA.

Where does this leave Trent Klatt and the other players who are upset that due process was not followed when Bob Goodenow was replaced by Ted Saskin as NHLPA head? They may try to pursue this further in Canadian court, but it is unlikely to be fruitful. Since Ted Saskin held a (somewhat questionable) vote to show he has NHLPA confidence, he is clearly in charge right now.

Historically, players who are upset with the labor process get old and forgotten as they leave the NHL. Most likely, this may happen and the NHL will go on with the NHLPA leadership propped up by NHL ownership. It is possible that a challenge to the NHLPA may occur if Klatt et al can present a good candidate for Ted Saskin's job with grassroots support or if they push for NHLPA decertification.

This is another chapter in the history of the NHLPA. The union remains divided, but play is moving on. As long as the salary cap continues to increase and escrow is small, the NHLPA will remain mostly happy. If either of those do not occur, these problems will be pushed to the surface.

Here is the TSN story on the Labor Relations Board dismissal.

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