Monday, September 6, 2010

From Time to Time, the NHL Will Allow Players to Negotiate Their Own Deals.

The distraction: Keeping track of the 10-plus Portland Winterhawk draftees who are off to NHL training camps this week.

The rule: NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Article 5, Management Rights. Article 6, NHLPA Agent Certification.

Refresh me, who exactly is in charge here?: Article 5, Management Rights. Each Club and, where appropriate, the League, in exercise of its functions of management, shall in addition to its other inherent and legal rights to manage its business, including the direction and control of its team, have the right at any time and from time to time to determine when, where, how and under what circumstances it wishes to operate, suspend, discontinue, sell or move and to determine the manner and the rules by which its team shall play hockey. Nothing in this article shall, however, authorize a Club or the League to violate any provision of this Agreement or of any SPC.

Pretty standard stuff, except for 6.2: Article 6, NHLPA Agent Certification. 6.1. Among the provisions in this section: The Clubs may not engage in negotiations for a Player's SPC (standard player contract) with any person other than the Player or an agent certified by the NHLPA ("Certified Agent"). Which is restated in 6.2, Player SPCs. No Club shall enter into a Player SPC with any Player, and the NHL shall not register or approve any SPC unless such Player: (i) was represented in the negotiations by a Certified Agent or (ii) if Player has no Certified Agent, acts on his own behalf in negotiating such SPC.

Morals of the story:

The game: So, how is "time to time" defined, exactly? When the team feels like, say, circumventing rules and paying players more money than God for longer than they'll even be playing in the League? I know. One day I will get over it. Today is not that day. Now, if only he'd acted on his own behalf and didn't have an agent who saw a 20 - 30 percent commission in that ridiculous agreement...

Life: We need Standard Employee Contracts and Certified Agents in corporate America. Only in my collective bargaining agreement, no employee will be permitted to negotiate their own deal because clearly we already do that and we get screwed. We definitely need agents and there definitely need to be some minimum requirements, like say.... 4 weeks paid vacation, immediate firing of bosses who are less qualified than we are for our jobs and permission to hang up on any customer who commits the life version of "Abuse of Officials."

Next up: NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Skipping Ahead to Article 8, Entry Draft.

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