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NHL OK'S NOLAN DEAL, BUT FILES GRIEVANCE OVER LOCKOUT CLAUSE
Published November 3, 2000
In a letter sent to Sharks RW Owen Nolan and forwarded to every NHL GM, NHL Exec VP & CLO Bill Daly said the league "would grieve a clause" in Nolan's "controversial" five- year, $30M contract that gives him the "right to guarantee the sixth and club option year" if there is a work stoppage during the '04-05 NHL season, according to Eric Duhatschek of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. The clause "in question" does not mean Nolan would be paid during a work stoppage, but the club option on the final year becomes "a player option as well." Because the NHL dismissed arbitrator Lawrence Holden in September, Daly did not "establish a time frame" for the grievance process (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/3). CBS SportsLine's Keith Gave wrote that Nolan's contract "stands as negotiated" but the NHL will "challenge any future deals" with a similar clause (CBS SportsLine, 11/2). In San Jose, Victor Chi writes, "It is unclear exactly what the NHL's grievance will seek in terms of action. Will it specifically look to overturn the clause in Nolan's contract? That could be tricky because the NHL has approved the contract, which would, in essence, leave the league to argue against itself. ... Will the league simply look to establish a concrete precedence to prevent any other player from receiving the Nolan clause?" (MERCURY NEWS, 11/3). In Toronto, Alan Adams writes the NHL "does not want other players to request the same language in their contracts because it would take the sting out of a lockout" (NATIONAL POST, 11/3). Sharks President Greg Jamison received a call from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Daly on Wednesday asking Jamison to "clarify the clause," which he believes he did "to the league's satisfaction." Sharks GM Dean Lombardi said that the NHL wanted to "make sure" that Nolan would not be paid during a work stoppage (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 11/2). BRYDEN SAYS NOT IN OUR HOUSE: Senators Chair Rod Bryden said that there will not be a lockout protection clause in any contract signed with his team. Bryden: "Forget whatever (the league) says. There won't be any (lockout) clauses in any one of our contracts" (OTTAWA SUN, 11/3).