As the NHL Lockout continues to drag on, crazy thoughts start to come out on the internet. One of those crazy ideas is the notion that the NHL would use replacement players to play instead of the real players. This idea came from a radio interview by Bill Watters, former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager.
The NHL locked out its own players, so the idea of using replacement players may seem far-fetched. No matter how far-fetched the idea is it is still possible. The hoops the owners would have to jump through are arduous. Here is a synopsis of the process for the NHL from About.com, hat tip to Broad Street Hockey for the link:
The replacement player scenario would likely begin with the league declaring a negotiating impasse - a claim that its dispute with the players cannot be resolved through collective bargaining. It could then impose new terms of employment without consulting the NHL Players' Association.
The Players' Association would almost certainly challenge that move by filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in the United States. That would begin a process of appeals and hearings that could take months, to determine whether the NHL has negotiated in good faith throughout the dispute.
The main question comes down to whether you would actually watch replacement players? If you would watch them, would you spend money to go see them live? Personally, I would just because it would give me something to write about instead of AHL hockey.