Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/21/12 at 06:27 PM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The NHLPA decided Friday to keep the results of the vote an internal matter, but several players confirmed to ESPN.com that the membership delivered a resounding "Yes" in giving the executive board the authorization to file a disclaimer of interest before Jan. 2 (they needed two-thirds majority).
Which should surprise no one given that every player quoted in the past week predicted as much.
"What would it say about us if we didn’t vote yes," said one player.
A "No" vote, frankly, would show weakness in the union ranks. A "Yes" vote shows continued solidarity, while at the same time not necessarily meaning the NHLPA will actually go ahead and file the motion.
The prevailing wisdom from the players we talked to is that the NHLPA would wait until the last possible moment before Jan. 2 before deciding whether or not to file the disclaimer, although that’s not a certainty. In fact, if talks with the NHL don’t show any traction next week (we’re assuming they will meet), then I wouldn’t be surprised if the NHLPA filed earlier than Jan. 2.
But for now, the thought is that the focus between now and then should be on trying to once and for all hammer out a deal with the NHL. In other words, the threat of the disclaimer hopefully will produce movement, just like it did in the NBA last year.
And my guess is, the NHLPA will relay that exact message to the NHL: Its board has the hammer, but the focus right now is on getting back together and getting a deal done.
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