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Stanley Cup Final

NHLPA hoping Quebec law keeps Habs players from being locked out

Sunday, 09.09.2012 / 9:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - The NHL Players' Association is hoping that Quebec's labour laws will keep members of the Montreal Canadiens from being locked out by the league.

The team's players have hired Montreal-based lawyer Michael Cohen, who sent a cease and desist letter to the Habs owners and the NHL on Friday.

They're claiming it would be unlawful for the players to be locked out — something the league plans to do if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't reached by Sunday — because the NHLPA isn't certified by the Quebec Labour Board.

Under Quebec law, a union must have that certification for an employer to enact a lockout.

A request for comment from the NHL late Sunday night wasn't immediately returned.

According to a union source, the Canadiens players plan to submit an application to the Quebec Labour Board this week unless the league stops threatening a lockout.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round