In a move that will not go over all too well with the rest of the players from the National Hockey League, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller came out and said that he feels it is time to decertify the NHLPA. After watching the negotiations to end the current NHL Lockout go nowhere, Miller feels as the decertification of the NHLPA may be the only thing that can save the 2012-2013 NHL season.
But he also wants to make it perfectly clear that these opinions are his, and his only.
The Sabres’ netminder sent the following to The Globe and Mail:
“After watching the other sport leagues go through labour disputes last year, it is apparent that until decertification is filed, there will not be any real movement or negotiation,” Miller wrote in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail. “Many things in our negotiation are very consistent with the NFL and NBA negotiations, and both of those leagues filed papers necessary to decertify.
“It seems like the players in any league are going to be subjected to the same scripted labour dispute developed by [NHL and NBA law firm] Proskauer Rose in all collective bargaining discussions now and in the future. Decertification becomes part of the script because Gary Bettman and the owners are trying to get a sense of how far they can push us and at some point we have to say ‘enough.’
“They want to see if we will take a bad deal because we get desperate or if we have the strength to push back. Decertification is a push back and should show we want a negotiation and a fair deal on at least some of our terms.”
While there has been some talk about decertification of the players’ union, it is not only seen as the last resort, but highly unlikely, even at this point. The NHL owners will likely make another announcement that will cancel another large chunk of the season, including the All-Star Game. At this point, both sides are running out of time, although the owners still feel as if they have the leverage, and will be willing to wait out the players as long as it takes to get the deal they want.
“I am tired of the disregard and the ego,” Miller said. “Our fans and sponsors are alienated, and this is hurting the game. This process has more of the appearance of brand suicide than a negotiation.”
And it isn’t getting any better either.