Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Peace On One Front

While the NHL and NHLPA draw lines in the sand regarding the new CBA, there will be peace between the NHL and KHL for at least one more year. It was announced today that the NHL and KHL signed a new Memorandum of Understanding regarding respecting each league's contracts so that players cannot be "poached" from a league by teams looking for help. This new peace between the two leagues will undoubtedly help both sides since neither league will lose players under contract. It also prevents either side's franchises from signing a disgruntled player currently under contract as well. Labor peace is always good in the world.

Having been signed for the second straight season by both KHL president Alexander Medvedev and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, the new agreement is set to expire on June 30, 2013. One more year of peace between the two leagues competing for the same players is good for all fans.

The details of the Memorandum of Understanding include the following:
  1. From July 16, 2012, both parties should exchange data on any players who have existing contracts with KHL or NHL clubs. The data should include the player’s name, surname, date of birth, club, contract expiry date and his status. On demand of one of the parties, the other party shall supply a full copy of the player’s contract.
  2. The KHL and the NHL are obliged to update the players’ contracts database every week with the latest information on any changes.
  3. Both leagues should exchange their lists of free agents.
  4. The KHL and NHL respect each other's contracts. Both parties recognize and support the main principle: players under contract with a club from one league cannot fulfill any obligation to a club from another league during the term of the player’s contract.
  5. In the event of any conflict or disagreement arising, both parties shall appoint their official representatives to hold negotiations.
  6. Prior to such negotiations the parties undertake to provide all documents confirming or in any way associated with the player’s signing of a professional contract with any hockey club.
  7. Toronto or New York shall be the venues for the negotiations between the official representatives of both leagues.
  8. The NHL and the KHL are obliged to do everything in their power to reach a consensus concerning each player’s disputed contract status, including cases of labor conflicts, contractual disputes, etc. In the event of any failure to reach a consensus, each party reserves the right to act in the way it considers appropriate in such circumstances.
Seems pretty straightforward to me in terms of these points. Basically, the two sides will ensure that no team is able to sign any player under contract until the terms of the contract have been fulfilled or the player's contract is terminated. Free agent lists will be exchanged to allow both sides access to players not under contract, and those players can be contacted from teams on either side.

While the owners and players may be miles apart in the North American labor negotiations, at least the North American owners and Russian owners won't be tampering with players from the opposite side of the ocean. That's good for business for everyone involved.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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