Players have had their vote. And according to various reports, players have given the NHLPA executive board the power to file a disclaimer of interest if it chooses to do so.
The vote, which was taken over the past five days, gives the executive board the ability to file the disclaimer of interest basically a faster, less-involved version of decertification. Whether or not the board goes ahead with dissolving the union remains to be seen; it has until Jan. 2 to do so. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reported that players overwhelmingly gave approval.
Both the NFL and NBA players associations made similar moves during their labor disputes with their respective leagues; but deals were reached before each union went the dissolution distance.
The NHL and NHLPA havent talked since late last week; a second round of meeting with mediators yielded as little as the first attempt with them. Last Friday, the NHLPA started pursuing the disclaimer of interest, and electronic voting on it began on Sunday. The NHL responded by filing two labor motions.
And on Thursday, the league canceled more games, this time through Jan. 14.
As of now, there are no talks planned between the league and PA.
Michal Kempny was in and out of the Blackhawks lineup last season but he’ll likely get a bigger opportunity this coming season. On Saturday, he was assured of coming back to get that chance.
Kempny and the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year extension, the team announced on Saturday morning.
“Michal’s style of play is an asset to our defense,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He is the type of player who will continue to improve now that he has transitioned to the National Hockey League. We look forward to his continued development on the ice for the Blackhawks.”
Kempny was part of a very crowded blue line last season — he was one of eight defensemen at the start of it — and played 50 regular-season games. He recorded two goals and six assists in those contests but did not play in the Blackhawks’ four postseason contests. With Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell likely not returning, however, Kempny should get a bigger opportunity this season.
The 26-year-old Kempny also had two goals and an assist in eight games for the Czech Republic team at the 2017 World Championship.
With exactly a month to go until Chicago hosts the 2017 NHL Draft for the first time ever, the Blackhawks and league announced Wednesday their plans for Fan Fest held outside the United Center on June 23 and 24.
A handful of Blackhawks players and alumni will be in attendance and made available for photo opportunities, as will the Stanley Cup. Fans will also be able to explore the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, "a 53-foot museum truck with an innovative interior featuring more than 1,000 square feet of interactive digital displays, original video content, one-of-a-kind historical memorabilia, unique photo moments and a social media wall," according to the press release.
A full list of activities, special guest appearances and schedule will be posted at a later date.
Friday's events will run from 3 to 9 p.m. while Saturday's festivites will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot C, north of the United Center.
Additional passes for the weekend will be made available to the public starting June 9. For more information, visit chicagoblackhawks.com/fanfest.