"The NHL requests a declaration that, if the NHLPA's decertification or disclaimer were not deemed invalid by the NLRB, and the collective bargaining relationship between the parties were not otherwise to continue, all existing contracts between NHL players and NHL teams (known as Standard Player's Contracts or "SPCs") would be void and unenforceable," the NHL wrote.
However, a source close to the NHLPA states that the League might want to reconsider their decision to go ahead and cancel all contracts, especially if they find success on this front.
"Of interest in the court filings is the NHL's request if it loses on the legality of the lockout to have all player contracts nullified and declared void," the source told the Sun. "So, the NHL is asking the courts to declare every NHL player an unrestricted free agent. I wonder how Pittsburgh would feel with (Sidney) Crosby, (Evgeni) Malkin and (Marc-Andre) Fleury on the free agent market to sign with the highest bidder? What about Tampa with (Steve) Stamkos? Or Minnesota with (Zach) Parise and (Ryan) Suter? A word of caution to the NHL, be very careful what you wish for."
As for the voting process to file a Disclaimer of Interest, players are expected to start voting later today and have a better idea on where everyone stands of dissolving the union. Players in the NBA and NFL both used dissolution in their recent labor disputes to help reach an agreement. After mediation talks broke off on Thursday, NHLPA executives felt this was the route to take.
NBA players filed for a Disclaimer of Interest last December and reunited 12 days later when a new CBA was settled with the association.
With NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly calling the union's process "nonsense" and saying that both sides should head back to the bargaining table, and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr claiming that players are still willing to negotiate, it should be interesting to see where things go this week.
The NHLPA requires two-thirds of its membership to vote in favor of giving their executive board the power to file a Disclaimer of Interest, if they so choose. While the threat is very much there, it is not a foregone conclusion that the NHLPA will move ahead with it, though many believe that to be the case given the NHL's court filings on Friday.