While the NHL and NHLPA’s decision to bring in U.S. federal mediators to help negotiations is a step in the right direction to end the NHL lockout, the threat from the players’ association to decertify may not be.
The NHLPA is hoping that making threats to decertify could be enough to get the owners back to the bargaining table, but since it’s so late in the process, those threats could fall on deaf ears. If the players did choose to decertify, Boston College sports law professor Warren Zola says it could “pull the plug on the season.”
If the NHLPA decertified, it would split up the union and they could then sue the league to end the lockout under anti-trust law, but according to Zola, that could take years to resolve. The threat to decertify could be a last-ditch effort by the league to put pressure on the league to budge on their latest offer to the players.
To hear from Zola and NESN’s Jamie Erdahl on the threat to decertify, watch the video above.