NHL

Dreger Report: Flames' mandate on equipment a CBA violation?

{eot}
Darren Dreger
11/5/2013 6:55:38 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

The NHLPA says the Calgary Flames cannot mandate its players wear protective foot and ankle equipment commonly known as "shotblockers."

Flames general manager Jay Feaster instructed his players get fitted for the guards after Calgary captain Mark Giordano suffered a broken ankle and veteran forward Lee Stempniak broke his foot after being hit by pucks last month.

Flames players have informed the Players Association they were strongly encouraged by Flames management to wear the shotblockers, but were told the equipment wasn't mandatory. 

However, Feaster says this is a mandatory team policy which may create a problem as such a policy could be viewed as a CBA violation.

(CBA 30.3 Amendments -- The NHL and its Clubs shall not, during the term of this Agreement or any extension thereof, amend or modify the provisions (or portions thereof) of the League Rules or any of the League's Playing Rules in existence on the date of this Agreement that affect any terms or conditions of employment of any Player, without the prior written consent of the NHLPA which shall not be unreasonably withheld. The NHL shall furnish proposed amendments to and/or modifications of League Rules that affect any terms or conditions of employment of any Player upon the NHLPA's written request.)

"No team can unilaterally make a piece of equipment mandatory," Mathieu Schneider, Special Assistant to NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr, told the Dreger Report.

Equipment discussions and proposed changes are expected to funnel through the newly-formed equipment sub-committee before moving on to the joint competition committee and, ultimately, to the board for final approval.

All Flames players are complying with management's policy and are currently wearing some form of additional foot protection.

The NHLPA intends on reaching out to the NHL to discuss its concerns with Calgary's approach.

While very sensitive to why the Flames are doing what they are doing, Schneider worries about "knee-jerk" reactions by NHL clubs and the potential for unintended consequence, such as another injury if teams are allowed to armor their players without going through the appropriate procedural steps.

Schneider points toward the ongoing work being done between the league and PA on potential changes to shoulder pads as an example of how thorough the process of full-scale equipment changes has to be.

Years ago, players opted for a much larger shoulder pad for added protection. Now, the focus is on developing a smaller and less damaging shoulder pad, in hindsight, correcting an issue that was created by good intentions and in the spirit of safety.

Jay Feaster  (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

2014-15 NHL Preview

From The Hockey Insider

TSN's Bob McKenzie sets up the start of training camp, going one-on-one with the GMs from all seven Canadian teams.


WATCH: Bryan Murray - Ottawa Senators

WATCH: Dave Nonis - Toronto Maple Leafs

WATCH: Kevin Cheveldayoff - Winnipeg Jets

WATCH: Marc Bergevin - Montreal Canadiens

WATCH: Brad Treliving - Calgary Flames

WATCH: Craig MacTavish - Edmonton Oilers

WATCH: Jim Benning - Vancouver Canucks


TSN.ca previews what to expect out of the NHL's 30 teams as we count down to puck drop. Check daily for team previews and updates on each Canadian franchise leading up to Oct. 8.


Latest Preview: Chicago Blackhawks






TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television