Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Various sources have reported that members of the National Hockey League Players Association have voted overwhelmingly to give the union the power to file a disclaimer of interest, the first step towards possible anti-trust action towards the league by the players.
TSN.ca stated on Friday that several players had confirmed that the vote had passed, and the NHLPA's board of executives would have until Jan. 2 to file a disclaimer of interest if it chooses to do so.
If the union elects to employ that strategy, it would be terminating its right to represent its members and enable the players to file lawsuits against the NHL seeking anti-trust damages.
It's also possible that the threat of decertification could serve as an impetus towards ending the now three-month-old lockout. NBA players filed a disclaimer of interest during last year's labor standoff, and the league and the union ended up reaching a resolution on a new collective bargaining agreement just 12 days later.
The news comes only one day after the NHL announced it was canceling games through Jan. 14, bringing the total number of contests lost to the lockout to 625 -- which accounts for more than half of the projected schedule. The league also previously scrapped both the Jan. 1 Winter Classic as well as All- Star Classic.