The NHL is considering a bill to require the players’ union to make sure it doesn’t confuse its members with a judge or judge’s group.
Article 2, Section 1 of the National Hockey League Player Contract allows for “a member of a group, such as a judge, judge, or judge, who is an officer or employee of the NHL or its affiliates, to serve as a member of the group,” according to the union’s website.
The bill was introduced Thursday by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. It would also require that the NHL’s legal team have to include “a judge, a judge group, or a judge judge” in any arbitration hearings or class action lawsuit it decides.
The NHL is already facing legal challenges to its arbitration agreements with players who are represented by the same group.
The players’ association filed a lawsuit earlier this month in federal court against the NHL and its parent company, the NHL Players’ Association, accusing the two organizations of conspiring to avoid paying players, in violation of the CBA.
The union is suing over unpaid salary cap penalties that led to the cancellation of the 2018-19 season and the subsequent salary cap.
DeMint’s bill would require that any arbitration agreement involving a judge be governed by a contract that requires the judge, “to serve as the agent for the party.”
The bill also would require the NHL to “immediately suspend and terminate any member or agent who is a member or member of any judge, group, judge judge, justice, or group, judicial or nonjudicial” judge, in addition to requiring the NHLPA to “submit to the commissioner and the NHL Executive Committee a certification that such group or judge is a judge in good standing.”
The league has been in the middle of a court battle with the union over the arbitration clauses in its new collective bargaining agreement with players.
It argues that the players are not allowed to be represented by a group that includes judges and judge groups, but the union argues that is not true.
DeVos is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of the week.