The NHL won one battle, albeit a very minor one, as the Alberta Labour board ruled that the lockout can continue. I was able to obtain via email the reasoning behind this decision.
Following the same thought process of our British Columbia counterparts, we likewiseare of the opinion that the application of the provisions of the Alberta Code with respect tostrikes and lockouts to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers Clubs in this instance would have the same detrimental effect on the league-wide collective bargaining relationship as the British Columbia Labour Relations Board recognized would result from certification of a separate bargaining unit for the Vancouver Canucks. Whether via certification of a separate unit (as with Orca Bay) or by way of the application of Alberta’s strike-lockout provisions, the result would be to carve one or two teams out from the league-wide structure and replace it with their own individualized collective bargaining relationship. Given the unique nature of professional sports and more specifically the NHL and its structure in particular, this makes no labour relations sense.For all of the above reasons, we dismiss the NHLPA’s application in its entirety.
I don’t think this has an impact in the overall negotations, but if it helps both sides focus on the task at hand then this is a small victory for the fans.