Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Craig Adams Gets Caught in Lockout's Legal Moves

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Craig Adams Gets Caught in Lockout's Legal Moves

Article excerpt

Four days ago, Craig Adams finally got something other than headaches and ulcers for serving as the Penguins player representative.

He got named in a lawsuit the NHL filed in federal court in Manhattan.

Adams' offense?

Being a member of the NHL Players' Association's 30-member negotiating committee, a group that has been trying for months, with no success, to work out a collective bargaining agreement with the league.

NHL officials decided to go to court to reaffirm the legality of the lockout that has shut down the league since Sept. 16, and Adams ended up being part of the paperwork.

So did the other 29 members of the negotiating committee, along with a half-dozen players who represent various classifications of players, from unsigned draft choices to unrestricted free agents.

"At first, I was [surprised to be named]," Adams said after a player-organized workout Monday at Southpointe. "Then I realized why the guys were named. I'm not worried about it."

Especially when there are more pressing concerns.

Like what impact the league's lawsuit, along with an unfair labor practice complaint it filed with the National Labor Relations Board the same day, will have on the chances of negotiating a new CBA.

And how 700-plus eligible NHLPA members will vote on the issue of whether to give the union's executive board clearance to submit a disclaimer of interest -- essentially, to proclaim its intention to cease representing its members -- if it determines that would be prudent.

Adams said he regards the league's moves, along with the ongoing NHLPA voting, as "major" developments in the lockout "in the sense that they're not decisions that are taken lightly"

Although the NHLPA is widely expected to give the executive board authority to file a disclaimer of interest -- the balloting won't end until Thursday -- Adams declined to predict how the vote will turn out.

"I'm not going to speculate on it," he said. "Everybody's free to vote the way they want to."

Negotiations are allowed to proceed, despite the NHL's legal action and labor complaint, although neither side seems particularly interested in talking at this point. …

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