After rejecting the NHL Board of Governors’ plan for League Realignment in the 2012-13 season, the NHLPA has clarified its’ objections. Among them are the concerns with ‘increased and more onerous travel’ and ‘the disparity in chances of making the playoffs between the smaller and larger divisions’. While neither of these concerns are unfounded and have been discussed since the announcement of the Plan back in October of 2011, it seems from the statement that the NHLPA is more affronted by the lack of cooperation they were receiving from the Board of Governors’ regarding questions about these issues. From NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr’s statement:
“In order to evaluate the effect on travel of the proposed new structure, we requested a draft or sample 2012-13 schedule, showing travel per team. We were advised it was not possible for the League to do that…On the playoff qualification matter, we suggested discussing ways to eliminate the inherent differences in the proposed realignment, but the League was not willing to do so.”
Beyond these details, there is much speculation that, as usual, the stalemate has more to do with money–that which the teams make and the players don’t–and the fact that the NHLPA wasn’t consulted in the beginning of realignment talks. Either way, these developments are not boding well for smooth CBA talks to take place in this coming off-season.