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Realignment Put On Hold

added 8:09pm, Make sure to check out the numerous updated being made below…


NEW YORK (January 6, 2012) - The National Hockey League announced today that it will not move forward with implementation of the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format recently approved by the NHL Board of Governors for the 2012-13 NHL season because the NHLPA has refused to provide its consent.

“It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a Plan that an overwhelming majority of our Clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including Players,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.  “We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to satisfy the NHLPA’s purported concerns with the Plan with no success.
Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already late in beginning the process of preparing next season’s schedule, we have no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format for next season.”

“We believe the Union acted unreasonably in violation of the League’s rights.  We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate.”

As a result of the League’s decision today, the NHL will maintain its current alignment and Playoff Format for the 2012-13 season.

added 7:59pm, adding some rapid reaction from around the league to this below, so check back on a regular basis.

 

The League says it will not consider any simpler moves of one team (Wpg) to other conference, and maintain current schedule and playoffs.

-John Shannon

This means the #jets get one more season in the Southeast Division.

-Chris Johnston

PA had informed NHL it opposed this realignment plan before Board voted to approve…PA concern re added travel…League imposed deadline

Realignment on way to becoming part of CBA negotiation….Though only two teams voted against Bettman plan, many clubs pleased with PA

Told that union had expected to continue talks at least through all star weekend.

-Larry Brooks

For those who have interest in CBA negotiations…get ready for a brawl between NHL and NHLPA in the coming months.

-Darren Dreger

NHLPA says it was willing to continue to talk this through but league had imposed deadline today… So union said No to plan

League needed deadline because schedule maker has to get going next year’s sked

NHLPA says extra travel was major concern as well as playoff structure…. Union says it consulted with players on conf calls ...

-Pierre LeBrun

An email I just received from Wild owner Craig Leipold:

“To say I am disappointed in the actions of the nhlpa to deny consent to implement realignment for next season is an understatement. Our fans were universally excited to be playing against midwestern teams in the previous old Norris Division.

“I’m disappointed for our fans, our employees and our players. It appears everyone wanted this to happen except the leaders of the players union. I pledge to Wild fans to continue to pursue this realignment plan as aggressively as possible.”

Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants, where you can read more...

“We’d be disappointed if it’s on hold for a year,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “This is the first I’ve heard of it, but we’d be disappointed. We voted for realignment.”

via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

It is incorrect+inaccurate to report that the NHLPA “rejected” the NHL’s realignment plan. Never happened. League imposed deadline of tdy.

Remember quote from NHL lawyer: “NHL owners are ranchers, players are cattle”. That about sums up everything.

-Allan Walsh, player agent

PEBBLE BEACH - Commissioner Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors went ahead and announced their realignment without much consultation with the Players’ Association. That was duly noted by Donald Fehr’s side, and we’re going to guess that being dismissed by their “partner” isn’t going to sit real well with the NHLPA.

But will the union stand in the way of realignment?

“They can’t withhold their consent (to realignment) unreasonably,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. “They sent us a letter about a month ago on this issue. We invited their participation in the process. I had two conversations with them in the last week. With Mathieu (Schneider).

“I don’t anticipate there’s going to be any issues.”

-Mark Spector of Sportsnet on 12/6/11 from the BOG Meeting.

An NHL lockout in the social media age would be vicious & fascinating. I predict a “blockout” of the NHL’s Twitter account by its followers.

-Adam Proteau

Spoke with NHLPA source last week on realignment approval. He said travel was major concern. “We’re gathering travel data. It’s a process.”

-Craig Custance

anyone who thought nhl-nhlpa labor talks would be uneventful—that illusion just vanished. nhlpa’s rejection of nhl realignment plan is 1st

-Helene Elliott

In other words, let the jousting begin. Great. Less than seven months to a potential lockout!

-Bruce Arthur

Perhaps I’m wrong, but I really doubt the majority of NHLPA membership has stomach for another work stoppage.

-Lyle Richardson

Here’s a quote from Dallas Stars president Jim Lites on the news that the NHL has delayed realignment because the NHLPA has not provided consent.

“Disappointed,” Lites said. “It’s depressing. I know fans overwhelmingly want this. We fought for this for years, and now to have it there and delayed for reasons that don’t make any sense to me, I don’t get it.”

-ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth

Of course, both #NHL & #NHLPA will now argue their cases in the court of public opinion, spinning facts, fiction & B.S.

-Dave Stubbs

Just spoke with one GM who thinks we’ll ultimately see the realignment plan adopted by the BOG. “We’re still optimistic.”

-Craig Custance

Question: If it was crucial to get the PA’s consent on re-alignment should the NHL not have included them in the discussion from day one?

-Jeff Marek

“I’m disgusted and disappointed but not entirely surprised by that union,’’ Devellano told MLive.com.

via Ansar Khan of Mlive.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

George Malik's avatar

What the HELL is this about, especially given that the league was able to swap a team out late last year, and may have to do the same with the Coyotes this season?

This is bad, this is very, very bad going forward, and I think there’s way more to this than the PA dragging its feet.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/06/12 at 10:52 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I uh…can’t say it any better then George did.

This doesn’t bode well…at all.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 01/06/12 at 10:53 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

I like this. Just swap Columbus and Winnipeg and end it.

Posted by cs6687 on 01/06/12 at 10:54 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

all of a sudden the mighty league offices are helpless….that’s sort of new. Bit of a disappointment,

Posted by Rdwings28 on 01/06/12 at 11:01 PM ET

Avatar

So wait.. we’re heading into the last nine months of a labor contract and on something the NHL felt the players would rubber stamp, they’re putting up a stink. 

Shocking?  Not really.  I think they’re just holding a position they’ll wind up conceding later for something they actually care more about.  It seems pretty straight forward labor ploy to me. 

Why would the NHLPA say yes to anything right now, even if it’s in everyone’s best interest??  It’s just tactics, and now the NHL is firing back to let everyone know it’s the NHLPAs fault this might not happen next year.

The biggest impact that I see is the schedule maker will probably need to devise multiple season schedules to meet different realignment scenarios.

Posted by Aaron from San Jose, CA on 01/06/12 at 11:04 PM ET

behind the net in G.R.'s avatar

This is all about Donald Fehr putting a chip in his back pocket to be used later to get concessions for the NHL during the upcoming CBA negotiations. Pure politics and EGO.

Posted by behind the net in G.R. on 01/06/12 at 11:05 PM ET

behind the net in G.R.'s avatar

from the NHL not for…sorry

Posted by behind the net in G.R. on 01/06/12 at 11:19 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Fehr works for the players, not the other way around.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/06/12 at 11:23 PM ET

behind the net in G.R.'s avatar

Remember quote from NHL lawyer: “NHL owners are ranchers, players are cattle”. That about sums up everything.
-Allan Walsh, player agent

I guess that makes you a cow patty.

Posted by behind the net in G.R. on 01/06/12 at 11:25 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Hell, I am still waiting for the NHL to implement the verification goal line.  Remember that?

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/06/12 at 11:27 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

The announcement that realignment being dead is not the story here.


The REAL story is that LIL gary and his fellow lawyers just revealed their plan to destroy

another whole season. 

F.U. bettman

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/06/12 at 11:29 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

This is nuts. What the hell is really going on here?

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 01/06/12 at 11:33 PM ET

Primis's avatar

If this heads in the direction it sounds like, I’m done with the NHL for good.

The NFL lost me for good a few years ago, and the NHL seems hell-bent on doing the same.  I’m so done with crybaby millionaires that can’t get along with crybaby billionaires.

Posted by Primis on 01/06/12 at 11:37 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

Stricly a leverage ploy by Fehr being they were not asked for their input with the division realignment prior to it shown to the public.

I think the real issue for the owners in negotiations will be guarenteed contracts like the NFL has now.

Didn’t like the realignment divisions anyway. Hope they just switch the Red Wings and Winnepeg for now, and to have the home and home for all the teams.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 01/06/12 at 11:37 PM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

Seriously? Because the players couldn’t meet the deadline of TODAY, they’re gonna scrap the whole idea, inconvenience how many teams one more year and piss off a lot of fans just so the scheduler is not inconvenienced? WTH!

Posted by SandysWingingit on 01/06/12 at 11:46 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Thank god there’s the NHLPA. This was always a joke of a plan. Again, simplest format, Jets to Northwest, Minnesota to Central, Nashville to the Southeast, playoff structure the same. Realignment Done.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 01/06/12 at 11:51 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Any press release from Fehr himself anywhere?

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/06/12 at 11:55 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Nada, SYF, been waiting.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/06/12 at 11:56 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I getcha, Paul.  The stuff I’m reading as well were all about the NHLPA and its lawyers being unable to represent and participate as a Union in the realignment talks at the GM meetings that approved the realignment plan.

One report said that Bettman tried to push it through Fehr and Fehr responded with a left hook.

Heh.  And we’re in the last year of the current CBA.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/07/12 at 12:07 AM ET

behind the net in G.R.'s avatar

Heh.  And we’re in the last year of the current CBA.
Posted by SYF from “Balls Hill” on 01/06/12 at 09:07 PM ET

And that is what this is all about. Fehr is a pro and is trying to get the upper hand over Gary.

Posted by behind the net in G.R. on 01/07/12 at 12:15 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

The only story I’ve seen on about 6-7 sites is simply the press release.

The league dumped this story out late on a Friday, which is standard in business and politics.

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/07/12 at 12:17 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Fehr’s official press release is what I want to see and read before I get all pissed off again.

[sigh]

If there is a prolonged hockey strike or lockout, NBC Sports has college hockey willing to take up the usual TV times and I’m looking forward to that.  Watching Dartmouth and RPI right now on NBCSN is a real treat.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/07/12 at 12:31 AM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

Personally I liked the realignment, but wasn’t so sure on the playoff schedule.  I wonder who in the PA objected? The main concern I’ve heard about is travel.  But I thought that the new schedule reduced overall travel.  Was this objection mainly from the Eastern players?

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/07/12 at 12:50 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

This labor news was depressing me, so I dialed up the chicago/colorado game.

Hawks down 3-0 in the 2nd…...and now I’m feeling better.

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/07/12 at 12:53 AM ET

Paul's avatar

NHLPA Statement

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/07/12 at 12:54 AM ET

Avatar

The REAL story is that LIL gary and his fellow lawyers just revealed their plan to destroy another whole season

The brilliance of your analysis has me wanting more. Please explain the master plan going on here?

Posted by timbits on 01/07/12 at 01:07 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

The brilliance of your analysis has me wanting more. Please explain the master plan going on here?

Perhaps the underlying “brilliance” will be revealed on October 5th or 6th, when you turn on your tv/computer/radio/ and are confused because you can’t find any hockey being played?

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/07/12 at 01:26 AM ET

Avatar

Oh COME ON.  Most fans wanted this new plan.  So many fans are sick of the stupid eastern and western conferences already.  This is so stupid.

It’s crap like this that really make me want to stop watching altogether.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 01/07/12 at 01:34 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

So many fans are sick of the stupid eastern and western conferences already.

Really? I’m hoping you’re just referring to the names because you do realize that we’ve had 31 years of eastern/western conference alignment in actual geography, it’s just they were called the Campbell and Prince of Wales conferences before and nobody, before the 3 division format, ever complained about that alignment.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 01/07/12 at 01:57 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Stricly a leverage ploy by Fehr being they were not asked for their input with the division realignment prior to it shown to the public.

Yep. That’s my thought too. The players have been walked on by the league for years on decisions that should be made as partners. I think the PA will agree to it in the end, but they want and deserve the league’s respect. Tough to negotiate a decent CBA if the league doesn’t treat them as equals.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 01/07/12 at 02:12 AM ET

Avatar

Perhaps the underlying “brilliance” will be revealed on October 5th or 6th, when you turn on your tv/computer/radio/ and are confused because you can’t find any hockey being played?

So you think that is Bettman’s plan? He wants a lockout or strike?

Posted by timbits on 01/07/12 at 02:13 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

Tough to negotiate a decent CBA if the league doesn’t treat them as equals.

I’d hardly call them equals. The owners will always have the upper hand because they are the ‘owners’.

While I do agree the PA has been walked over in the past and needs to take a stand, I’m not sure this was the spot. I mean the real losers here are the fans of the teams that are being screwed under the current format. The PA is basically stickin’ it to the fans and that’s not gonna buy them any good PR. Personally I have always been behind the PA when the CBA negotiations were on, but after this BS move it’s going to be a lot harder to garner my support next time…

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 01/07/12 at 06:26 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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