NHL lockout in Quebec would be legal: ruling
A request for a temporary injunction against an NHL lockout was rejected Friday, but both the league and it players' union claimed victory.
The Quebec Labour Relations Board turned down the injunction request after an emergency session, but it also ruled that more hearings are needed to make a final decision on an application by 16 members of the Montreal Canadiens and the NHL Players' Association to declare a lockout illegal in Quebec.
No date was set for further hearings.
With the ruling, Canadiens players will be locked out with their colleagues on the NHL's 29 other clubs if a work stoppage goes ahead on schedule for just before midnight on Saturday.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly saw the board's ruling as a win for the league.
"We are pleased but not surprised with the Quebec labour board's ruling that any lockout of players will be effective on a league-wide basis, including in Quebec,'' Daly said in a statement.
"And we are extremely appreciative of the expeditious and decisive manner in which the matter was handled.
"We are hopeful that this ruling will cause the players' association to cease pursuing these needless distractions and instead focus all of its efforts and energies on making progress at the bargaining table.''
The NHLPA and players from the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers have also asked the Alberta Labour Relations Board to declare a lockout illegal in that province.
A hearing is set for Sept. 21, the day NHL training camps were scheduled to open.