directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: NHLPA boss Kelly talking a little tougher now

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

NHLPA boss Kelly talking a little tougher now

Just ran across this article via KuklasKorner. I watch the business side of this game fairly close and followed the lockout about as close as you could get without being a key player. Initially in some interview articles I read with new NHLPA boss Paul Kelly I took away a pretty good feeling that there wouldn't be a work stoppage in the future.

Well, in this latest article from The Hockey News the tone becomes a little tougher - check this out:

THN: Some fans remain fearful the NHL will suffer through another lockout or work stoppage. What would you say to those fans?

PK: If the NHL approaches these issues in the coming years in an honest and good-faith manner, then we will not suffer future labor interruptions or work stoppages. If the NHL behaves unreasonably or tries to take unfair advantage of the players or their family, and takes positions which I think are inconsistent, not only with the best interests of the players, but the best interests of the game and the best interests of the fans, then that will be most unfortunate.

But the players won’t be the party to pick that fight. We are very mindful of the fact that another labor interruption in this sport would be extremely harmful, and I intend to do everything in my power to avoid that happening. That said, my entire professional career has been spent as a trial lawyer, as an advocate, as an adversary; if the NHL wants to pick a fight, then frankly, that’s what I do best.

Having said that, I don’t think they want that fight. I know the sport doesn’t need that fight, and I would rather us, as smart businessmen, work through these problems for the benefit of the history of the sport.

From what I recall the NHLPA actually has the right to re-open the CBA after its fourth year which would be after the 08-09 season. If they decline, which with the way revenues are rising I can't see them not declining, then the CBA goes on for an additional two more years and would expire after the 10-11 season.

Lets just cross our fingers that both the NHL and NHLPA are smart enough to know there is no way this sport could take another work stoppage so soon after this league became the only pro sports league to cancel an entire season.


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