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How the NHL Can Avoid Antitrust Laws if Union Decertifies


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#1 Daniel

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:35 PM

There's a lot of talk about decertification being the nuclear option. I haven't heard this discussed, but the NHL could probably strike back by changing its ownership structure to what Major League Soccer does. In the MLS, all teams are owned by the league, and each team operates under a franchise agreement in the same way as your local Dunkin Donuts. In the same way, the NHL could issue stock to owners in proportion to the value of each team with the right to operate an NHL franchise in a particular market. The league could then be free to impose all kinds of restrictions on franchises, including on labor, without the need for a collective bargaining agreement. The MLS actually won a lawsuit that confirmed the legality of this system.

It would probably take at least a year to work this out, and it would necessarily result in the season being cancelled this year. But it's more likely to result in lasting labor peace for the foreseeable future.
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#2 Triumph

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:12 PM

I don't believe that teams would go for that. The big-market teams would rather break off and form their own league than participate in something like that.
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#3 Daniel

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:44 PM

I don't believe that teams would go for that. The big-market teams would rather break off and form their own league than participate in something like that.


If you could work it out so the value the big market owners are getting is virtually the same as what they have now, it could work.

Also, the NHL owns the rights to the Stanley Cup, which has its own cache.
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#4 SMantzas

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

In that scenario, do you think the league would impose a hard salary cap?
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#5 Triumph

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:17 PM

If you could work it out so the value the big market owners are getting is virtually the same as what they have now, it could work.

Also, the NHL owns the rights to the Stanley Cup, which has its own cache.


I am almost sure that the NHL does not own that. There were cases to determine this during the last lockout.
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#6 Daniel

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

In that scenario, do you think the league would impose a hard salary cap?


Probably.
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#7 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

I am almost sure that the NHL does not own that. There were cases to determine this during the last lockout.


Exactly. The NHL doesn't own the Cup, and it's trustees can choose to award it to a team outside the NHL if they see fit. However, that will not happen as the trustees have already said that it is an NHL trophy.

http://sports.nation...n-is-cancelled/


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#8 devilsfan26

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:52 AM

Exactly. The NHL doesn't own the Cup, and it's trustees can choose to award it to a team outside the NHL if they see fit. However, that will not happen as the trustees have already said that it is an NHL trophy.

http://sports.nation...n-is-cancelled/

Which in my opinion is an absolute shame. If the NHL is going to throw away an entire season with labor disputes, there should be some other competition for it or something. It was meant to be awarded every year.
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#9 Cachorro Louco

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:03 AM

Which in my opinion is an absolute shame. If the NHL is going to throw away an entire season with labor disputes, there should be some other competition for it or something. It was meant to be awarded every year.


If you do award the cup to some other league this season,the NHL will lose much of it's power/importance...
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#10 devilsfan26

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:17 AM

If you do award the cup to some other league this season,the NHL will lose much of it's power/importance...

Oh well. :cryriver: The Stanley Cup is more important than the NHL.
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#11 Triumph

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:26 AM

Exactly. The NHL doesn't own the Cup, and it's trustees can choose to award it to a team outside the NHL if they see fit. However, that will not happen as the trustees have already said that it is an NHL trophy.

http://sports.nation...n-is-cancelled/


My point is that if the union decertified and the league split in two, the big market teams' championship would be awarded the Stanley Cup.
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#12 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:46 PM

My point is that if the union decertified and the league split in two, the big market teams' championship would be awarded the Stanley Cup.


I don't disagree with you, but I find it impossible to believe we will get to that point even with idiots like Bettman and Fehr still in charge of both sides.
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#13 halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:06 PM

There's a lot of talk about decertification being the nuclear option. I haven't heard this discussed, but the NHL could probably strike back by changing its ownership structure to what Major League Soccer does. In the MLS, all teams are owned by the league, and each team operates under a franchise agreement in the same way as your local Dunkin Donuts. In the same way, the NHL could issue stock to owners in proportion to the value of each team with the right to operate an NHL franchise in a particular market.


I don't think this is crazy actually. The teams would basically merge into one corporation. Although corporate merging has never occurred on that level it's possible. There would have to be a lot of legal issues worked out with regard to current proper ownership of teams v. arenas and the true value of franchises. There would be a lot of benefits though from ensuring a true monopoly on hosting hockey games in top arenas v. the current (and future under decertification) cartel system.

Edit: Also who gets awarded the Stanley cup rates about no. 127 on my list of concerns in this new world order.

Edited by halfsharkalligatorhalfman, 18 December 2012 - 02:07 PM.

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#14 Devil Dan 56

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:08 PM

If you do award the cup to some other league this season,the NHL will lose much of it's power/importance...


It's done plenty to ruin it's own power and importance. Seeing the cup awarded during their lockout would be something else that their limitless greed to cost them.
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#15 Cachorro Louco

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:14 PM

It's done plenty to ruin it's own power and importance. Seeing the cup awarded during their lockout would be something else that their limitless greed to cost them.


But Also the trophy itself will lose its value... I don't know i'm not siding with either in this situation, but i feel that awarding the Stanley Cup to some other league will be bad for the sport in general...
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#16 devilsfan26

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:17 AM

It doesn't have to be some other league, the trustees could organize some sort of tournament and invite the best players in the world to play in it.
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#17 Daniel

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:12 AM

It doesn't have to be some other league, the trustees could organize some sort of tournament and invite the best players in the world to play in it.


Turning the Stanley Cup playoffs, or whatever you want to call it, into some kind of fantasy league would cheapen it even further.
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#18 DaneykoIsGod

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:35 PM

Turning the Stanley Cup playoffs, or whatever you want to call it, into some kind of fantasy league would cheapen it even further.


Good. Further incentive to settle CBAs before they turn into season-ruining lockouts.

Edited by DaneykoIsGod, 19 December 2012 - 02:36 PM.

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#19 devilsfan26

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:03 AM

Turning the Stanley Cup playoffs, or whatever you want to call it, into some kind of fantasy league would cheapen it even further.

I don't think so as long as it still has the best players in the world competing for it. Obviously it won't mean the same as winning it through an NHL season and playoffs, but if the NHL is going to be too stubborn to let its season happen then too bad. It preceded the NHL and was meant to be competed for every season. Imagine what Lord Stanley would think of his trophy not being played for because of a labor dispute.

EDIT: Also, I think if the Stanley Cup is on the line, the players would take it seriously so it wouldn't be like an all-star game or even the World Cup.

Edited by devilsfan26, 20 December 2012 - 12:05 AM.

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#20 thefiestygoat

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

I don't think so as long as it still has the best players in the world competing for it. Obviously it won't mean the same as winning it through an NHL season and playoffs, but if the NHL is going to be too stubborn to let its season happen then too bad. It preceded the NHL and was meant to be competed for every season. Imagine what Lord Stanley would think of his trophy not being played for because of a labor dispute.

EDIT: Also, I think if the Stanley Cup is on the line, the players would take it seriously so it wouldn't be like an all-star game or even the World Cup.

During the last lockout I would've disagreed with you but now I think it makes a ton of sense for the best players in the world to compete for the Cup even if it has to be outside the NHL. As DaneykoIsGod posted in the other thread, maybe the NHL doesn't deserve the Cup. Considering this year is likely to be wiped out and probably another one when this eventual CBA is up, then why not have a tournament for the Cup? The NHL should not be bigger than the great game of hockey.
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