Friday, July 25, 2008

Strange Bed-Fellows?

1) As the saying goes; Politics makes strange bed-fellows. Translation: Amazing who can become allied if an issue benefits two unlikely parties. The two unlikely allies are the NHL Players association (NHLPA) and the new KHL. It seems both have a mutual/converging interest. That is the KHL wants to pilfer as much talent it can from the NHL, and the NHLPA sees this NHL rival as an opportunity for its rank and file (players) to use this as leverage to get more money in the short term an perhaps concessions/an alternative place to play in the next round of CBA talks/lockout.

2) This came to light recently when the NHLPA objected to the International Ice Hockey Federation(IIHF) attempt to ban certain players because they left to play in the KHL. Said the NHLPA:

  • Yesterday's announcement by the IIHF that they have suspended certain Players from international competition has no basis in fact or law, and constitutes a violation of the rights of these Players. The affected Players are being unfairly singled out in a dispute between the NHL and the KHL

3) At first brush we at FAUXRUMORS found it interesting that an NHL players' union is sticking up for players that have signed elsewhere and broken contracts. However, the apparent reasoning for this is very logical. They simply want to encourage movement between leagues as a way of increasing a healthy rivalry/demand of players and thus the amount of cash available to those players. Interesting nonetheless to see the NHLPA in essence align with the KHL?

4) The next question, is this a good idea? We whole heartily believe it is! Supporting the KHL (in this instance) is exactly what the NHLPA should do.

  • It increases the choices of the union membership. More choices/jobs are always the goal of any association/union

  • It could very well increase wages. Not in the NHL in the short term, given the salary cap, but down the road, though, increased competition. Competition for labor is something that tends to drive up wages and as such something a union will always endorse.

  • The NHLPA's reason for existing in the first place is to legally represent the interests of the players involved who are currently members. What happens next is up to the players, the IIHF the NHL and KHL and the union wants to stay relevant in all these manoeuvrings. Always keeping the best interests of the players first and foremost. Good job Mr. Kelly!

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