In a move that has caught many in hockey circles by surprise it has been discovered that players from Canada’s three major junior hockey leagues, the OHL, QMJHL and WHL have formed a players union under the name the Canadian Hockey League players association.
In a press release that came out on Friday the CHLPA explained that:
“On august 9th 2012 in Montreal Quebec the CHLPA Canadian Hockey League Players association was officially formed. An official constitution was adopted an accepted by the players of the CHL/QMJHL, OHL WHL. The PA then proceeded to elected its board members and form their very first bargaining committee.
After numerous months of interviews and player surveys, the CHLPA has been supported and adopted by the majority of the players and the agents that represent the players.
The player's support on this venture has been over whelming and we fully expect to have the majority of the players signed up within the next coming days.”
One of the biggest concerns on behalf of the CHLPA is both players that are asked to play on the international level in Under 17, 18 and Under 20 tournaments to represent Team Canada as well as to provide players with a better education package once their time is complete in the CHL.
“The PA feels that there is NO reason why players should have so many restrictions on the use of their education packages. As it stands now the player upon finishing his playing career must execute that package in 18 months or forfeit it. That is one of the many unacceptable conditions in the standard contract as it stands now.”
At this point, there has been mixed reaction to the formation on the Union. Some believe it is about time that players have taken this step in the formation of a players union. While others, especially the CHL may well be concerned with the direction the union decides to take on a number of issues.
From the point of view of the Sault, a union would have many pros and cons. One major pro would be that it would put an end to the apparent payment of players by a number of teams that has been rumored for a number of years. However, a union and the payment of players under contract could also mean that the rich teams would be able to acquire better players simply because they could afford to ice a much strong roster using money to their advantage.
For a junior hockey player this comes as great news as it could mean better compensation to play within the CHL. As it stands players receive about 60 to 80 dollars per week, but this could see a very dramatic increase. As well it could mean better educational opportunities in Canada or the USA following their junior careers. The dream for most players has been to make it to the NHL and strike it rich, but now it is conceivable that a player in the CHL could make a decent wage as well should the union be successful in forming and being recognized.
This story has caught many by surprise and will be one that I am sure the Canadian Hockey League, its commissioner David Branch and even the National Hockey League that has a contract with the CHL as a development league, will be keeping an eye on. It will be interesting as well to see the reaction of the CHL in the coming days
The full press release from the CHLPA can be found at: Juniorhockeynews.com
What is your reaction to the news that the CHLPA has been formed?
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Canadian Hockey League Players Form CHLPA
Anthony Bumbacco for local2 sault ste. marie
August 20th, 2012 at 2:14pm | Last Updated at 2:15pm