Earlier today, reports ran rampant that the NHLPA was not only talking about a disclaimer of interest, it was taking steps to give its members the right to vote on whether or not the disclaimer should be filed with the league.
But by Friday evening, the league was taking its own steps.
The NHL filed a class-action complaint in federal court late this afternoon, seeking a declaration to confirm the ongoing lockout is legal.
Heres the statement released by the NHL:
Today, in response to information indicating that NHL Players have or will be asked to vote to authorize the National Hockey League Players Associations Executive Board to proceed to disclaim interest in continuing to represent the Players in collective bargaining, the National Hockey League filed a Class Action Complaint in Federal Court in New York seeking a Declaration confirming the ongoing legality of the lockout.
Simultaneously with the filing of its Complaint, the NHL also filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that by threatening to disclaim interest, the NHLPA has engaged in an unlawful subversion of the collective bargaining process and conduct that constitutes bad faith bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act.
MORE: Enough's enough: NHL owners need to give a little - and end the lockout
The NHLPA released its own statement:
The NHLPA has just received a copy of the National Labor Relations Board charge and has not yet been served with the lawsuit. However, based on what weve learned so far, the NHL appears to be arguing that Players should be stopped from even considering their right to decide whether or not to be represented by a union. We believe that their position is completely without merit.
Friday marked Day 89 of the NHL lockout. So far, games are canceled through Dec. 30. The two sides talked with mediators earlier this week, with little to no progress being made.
The Blackhawks' coaching staff will be intact for the 2016-17 season.
Two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned as head coach, the Colorado Avalanche officially picked Jared Bednar to be his replacement over Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen, who was among the favorites for the coaching vacancy.
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Bednar has no National Hockey League coaching experience, but did guide the Columbus Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate to a 15-2 postseason record last season en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup championship.
Retaining Dineen is good news for the Blackhawks, who start training camp next month, but it goes without saying that Dineen is certainly deserving of a second crack at a head coaching position in the near future.
Dineen, Mike Kitchen and head coach Joel Quenneville will enter their third season together after helping the Blackhawks capture a Stanley Cup in their first year as a group in 2015.
Jonathan Toews was named alternate captain of Team Canada on Thursday for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
Sidney Crosby was named Team Canada’s captain. Crosby, who claimed his second Stanley Cup in June, was also Team Canada’s captain en route to the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
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Toews, who has been the Blackhawks’ captain since the 2008-09 season, was also alternate captain of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad. Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens will serve as Team Canada’s other alternate captain.
Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.
Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.
"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."
Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.