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Class-Action Lawsuit Accuses The CHL and NHL For Operating Like A Cartel

Published February 14, 2024 at 7:56 PM
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Lawsuits within the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) aren't exactly breaking news. Over the years, the Quebec Major Junior, Ontario, and Western Hockey Leagues have faced their fair share of legal battles, often revolving around issues like hazing, assault, and harassment. However, the latest lawsuit brings a unique twist, accusing the CHL of operating like a cartel.

As reported by the Toronto Sun, the lawsuit, filed in New York, involves divisions of the World Association of Ice Hockey Players Unions and two former major junior players. They allege that the CHL restricts players' choices regarding where they can play, ultimately limiting their compensation. Surprisingly, the NHL is also named as a defendant in the suit.

"The NHL is named as a defendant for its role in supporting and financing the CHL. Lawyers allege in the complaint that the NHL and its teams 'exert substantial influence and control over major junior defendants, thereby facilitating major junior defendants' conspiracy.'" - Toronto Sun

The lawsuit further contends that the CHL and NHL operate as a cartel, ensuring maximum benefits for themselves.


"a cartel (that) artificially suppresses and standardizes compensation by denying players their freedom of choice, freedom of movement and freedom to play for the club of their choice."

https://torontosun.com/sports/hockey/class-action-lawsuit-says-cartel-chl-system-nhl-violates-u-s-antitrust-law

A representative from the CHL declined to comment, stating they needed time to review the lawsuit before preparing a defense. As of now, no court date has been scheduled.

In the CHL, players are prohibited from competing in the AHL until they reach the age of 20, per an agreement with the NHL. Additionally, if a player from these leagues makes it onto an NHL roster before turning 20, they cannot be sent down to the AHL but must return to their respective CHL team.

While stipends and benefits are provided in the QMJHL, OHL, and WHL, they pale in comparison to those offered in the AHL, which appears to be the crux of the issue in this lawsuit.

Source: Bladeofsteel
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February 14   |   66 answers
Class-Action Lawsuit Accuses The CHL and NHL For Operating Like A Cartel

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