NHLPA takes NHL to Ontario court over pension dispute

The Canadian Press

9/11/2008 8:00:41 PM

TORONTO - The NHL Players' Association hopes to see a pension dispute with the league solved in court.

The NHLPA announced Thursday that it had filed an application in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice regarding an interpretation of the league's pension plan.

The issue relates to the calculation of the death benefit for players with NHL service prior to July 1, 1986. The NHLPA believes widows and other beneficiaries of players who passed away before taking their pension were paid less than is required by law.

The NHL disagrees.

"This is an important matter as it affects the death benefit paid or payable in the future to former players' families," said Glenn Healy, the NHLPA's Director of Player Affairs.

"This matter is too important to continue on without a resolution. The courts will resolve the matter more quickly and definitively than the arbitration process, and will provide the players and their beneficiaries more confidence that the correct result will be obtained."

The application was filed by the four Trustees the NHLPA has appointed to the board administering the pension plan.

The issue was raised earlier this year by Brad Park and another former player.

The NHLPA has reviewed the matter with the NHL, but the two parties have been unable to agree on a resolution.