Over the next few days, the membership of the NHL players union will vote to see if they would like to move forward with a disclaimer of interest. While there were lengthy talks of a possible decertification, union boss Donald Fehr went a different route, mostly because a disclaimer of interest takes a lot less time and keeps the possibility of a season in place.
We talked about decertification on this site, but never discussed a disclaimer of interest. What happens in this instance is that instead of the players walking away from the union when decertification occurs, the union basically walks away from the players and ends its right to represent and negotiate for the players.
The players started to vote using an online voting system on Sunday and will have until Thursday to cast their ballots. If the measure passes with a two-thirds majority, expect the NHLPA to file the disclaimer of interest on Friday.
On Friday, the NHL filed a Class Action Complaint against the union and members of the negotiating committee, saying that the union has not negotiated in good faith. If the NHL is successful in its lawsuit, the risk is that all standard player’s contracts become null and void. It’s expected that neither sides will meet until the result of the union vote is tabulated.