NHLPA Sends Memo On Lockout Preparation To Members

On Wednesday September 5th the NHLPA issued a memo to it’s members informing them of what to prepare for in the case that the NHL locks out it’s players. The NHLPA is also said to be holding meetings next week in New York prior to Friday, September 15th, the day the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire. The memo which was titled “How does the lockout effect me?” reviewed several questions players may have if a lockout does happen.

One issue it talked about was whether currently injured players would still get paid if the NHL locks out it’s players. The answer is yes, if a player was injured and it’s documented prior to September 15th and a lockout occurs, they would still get paid during the lockout. Players such as Chris Pronger who is out with concussion issues, and Marian Gaborik who is recovering from shoulder surgery will still be covered and paid through a lockout. It urged players to get everything documented prior to September 15th and to be sure their team was aware of it. It also mentioned that should they not receive pay when it was due to instantly contact their agent and the NHLPA legal department.

The memo also addressed whether players would be allowed to play for other leagues during a lockout, and stated should they become injured while doing so they could have trouble returning to their team (due to the injury) once the lockout is eventually lifted. Also mentioning that if a player becomes injured in another league and the lockout is lifted, they expect the players club would suspend them without pay until they are fit to play. “If you intend to play for a club in another league during a lockout, we recommend that you ask that club to insure the value of your SPC (standard players’ contract) against injury. If the club is unwilling to do so, we recommend that you purchase disability insurance on your own.” In other words the memo is telling the players to play at their own risk, should they choose to look to another league.

Other than currently injured players, some players may be eligible for payment during a lockout. Such as ones with signing bonuses, returns of escrow or players who were previously bought out of contracts. It also touched on trades and releases during the lockout, which the NHL did not do in previous lockouts, but the memo mentioned it to prepare players just in case.

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