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Mulletgate: is a formal grievance next?

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Helene Elliott on Twitter this afternoon (link is broken, sorry):

helenenothelen NHL mediator unable to resolve dispute btween Kings, Oilers over Colin Fraser's fitness. Next step: Kings must decide if they want to file a formal grievance with the league. If so, it would be heard and ruled on by Commissioner Bettman.

Lombardi said they were trying to work out a solution with NHL lawyer David Zimmerman; presumably he is the mediator in question. Lombardi made it seem as though he would accept whatever decision Zimmerman made, but Elliott's tweet makes it sound like Zimmerman made no decision at all; or maybe (since it's now being referred to as "mediation"), Zimmerman's opinion was not persuasive to both parties. I assume this will be cleared up by an LA Times and/or LAKi article in the next few hours. 

A couple of days ago, I wondered if we weren't in the middle of an Article 17 grievance. However, my understanding is that such a grievance would have to be initiated by either the league or the NHLPA. The union, as I mentioned a few days ago, ought to have some interest in whether Colin Fraser is getting a fair shake here; but I don't think it's come to that. I think the league and the union are both spectators at this point. 

The process for resolving disputes between two clubs is described in the NHL Constitution, Article 6.3(b)(1) (Commissioner/Powers and Duties/Dispute Resolution):

"The Commissioner shall have full and exclusive jurisdiction and authority to arbitrate and resolve [...] any dispute that involves two or more member clubs of the league [...]. [T]he decision of the Commissioner shall be final and binding on all parties and shall not be subject to review."

Here's the reaction from Lowetide:

Lowetide: You Wanna Piece of ME?

This is getting interesting now. I don't remember the last time a trade went this route, but I wonder if the option of reversing the trade is a possible outcome. 


THAT would be difficult for both teams to endure.

Yes, reversing the trade is a possible outcome. 

The Commissioner can suspend or fire employees, levy fines, award, strip or transfer draft picks, or transfer players (!), at his discretion. See NHL Constitution, Article 6.3(j), Discretionary Powers. 

Fun times.