Quick Links

Decertification last viable option for players


Decertification last viable option for players

Now that federal mediators have given up on resolving the NHL’s labor dispute, what options remain for the owners and players before they see the 2012-13 season canceled?

It appears there are three:

  • The players representing themselves
  • The NHLPA filing a disclaimer of interest
  • The players decertifying

Players facing off against owners. NHL commissioner offered on Friday that he and NHLPA executive director Don Fehr remove themselves from the equation and let the league’s owners and players sit down face-to-face to discuss their differences.

While in theory this seems like a conciliatory gesture, the players are not well-versed in all the technicalities of the offers on the table and would need proper representation when going head-to-head with businessmen running multi-million-dollar corporations.

It’s the reason the players hired Fehr in the first place. So while it’s a nice try by Bettman it’s not a viable solution.

Disclaimer of interest.  Essentially, this is when a union refuses to represent its constituents because it’s incapable of getting what they want.

There are two potential problems with a disclaimer of interest.

For one, the action could be denied by the National Labor Relations Board if the NLRB believes the union eventually wants to resume representation at some point, which in this case it would.

Secondly, the NHL could suspend operations until it can deal with a different union leader and negotiate a new CBA.

That leads to the third and most likely option.

Player decertification. In this case, the players refuse union representation and are no longer governed by labor law. Rather, they are able to file individual anti-trust lawsuits. The downside to decertification is the fact that players relinquish the right to collectively bargain issues such as minimum salaries, pensions and insurance. The NHL could also argue that the NHLPA is using decertification as a short-term negotiating tactic, which would be true.

That’s a risk the NHL players apparently are willing to take.

“Right now, it’s a viable option for us,” Capitals right wing and alternate union rep Troy Brouwer told

“If nothing is going to push the owners to even want to negotiate, maybe this will force their hand. We’re discussing it internally. I don’t know if it’ll be our next move, but it’s definitely in the dialogue. If it’s our most viable option, we’ll move toward it and get the process started.”

Last year, NBA players decertified in mid-November and within two weeks the two sides reached a tentative deal and were on the court playing by Christmas Day.

The NHL window is closing. With the owners gathering on Wednesday for a Board of Governors meeting, it is likely that Bettman will ask for a date in which he seizes negotiations and cancels the entire 2012-13 season.

Since the NHL is hoping for a start date of Jan. 1, it is reasonable to assume that the league’s drop-dead date for a tentative agreement is sometime around Dec.20. Any later, and you can kiss another NHL season goodbye.


Quick Links

Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him


Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?

In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.


Quick Links

Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games


Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced an overhauled in-game entertainment experience for the 2018-19 Wizards and Capitals seasons on Wednesday. 

These changes include a new DJ stage, new permanent 3D on ice/on court projection system, along with new Wizards and Capitals entertainment squads, as Capital One Arena undergoes $40 million in renovations.

“We are committed to putting on the best show possible for every fan who comes to a game at Capital One Arena,” said MSE President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone.  “So, as we upgrade the facilities at the Arena this summer, we are also upgrading all of our in-game entertainment to keep the experience fresh and on the cutting edge.”

“We’re excited about these new changes to our game entertainment experience,” said Hunter Lochmann, MSE Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “We work hard to create the best, most engaging entertainment experience in professional sports and we hope fans love this new, revamped energy.”


Some of the other improvement announced were:

  • Digital signage experience throughout the fully-renovated concourses that will pull fans into an exclusively all-Wizards or all-Capitals team experience each night highlighting player and team imagery on each concourse
  • Sponsored quadrants in the Arena where fans will experience concourse takeovers and can expect special offers and giveaways from sponsors
  • Olympia ice resurfacer bus: groups of fans will be able to take pre-game and intermission rides
  • Award-winning, chef-inspired dining experience featuring options from premiere chefs David Chang, Cat Cora and Alex McCoy
  • A transformed and modernized PwC Club offering some of the best sightlines in the Arena and new 100-level lounge, both featuring top-of-the-line comfort seating and exclusive food and beverage options so fans can gather in style during the games 
  • A new in-bowl broadcasting platform for NBC Sports Washington