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NHL Lockout: NHLPA Sends Letter To Players Preparing For Lockout

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Unless the NHL and the NHL Players Association come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL will be headed to a lockout, starting on Sept. 15.

It looks like the NHLPA has prepared for this unfortunate circumstance --and even sent a letter to players, outlining how the lockout will affect them.

The lockout will have some odd effects on players, including this strange bit of information:

"If you are unfit to play because of a hockey-related injury when a lockout begins, you are entitled to receive your salary until you are fit to play," the memo said. "If you are currently injured, you should make sure that your condition is fully documented and that your club is aware of it. If you do not receive your salary payment when it becomes due, you should contact your agent and/or the NHLPA legal department immediately."

To break it down simply: hockey players will continue to receive a paycheck if they're hurt, and once they're healthy enough to play hockey, they'll stop receiving a paycheck.

Players, however, will receive signing bonuses.

The NHLPA informed players that signing bonuses, buyout payments and return of escrow payments will be paid even if there is a lockout. Escrow payments are expected to arrive in mid-October.

Lastly, players have been warned about signing with teams in other leagues.

The memo also explains that players can sign to play in other leagues when they are locked out, but could face problems with their current NHL team should they be injured while playing elsewhere.

"We expect that your NHL club would suspend you without pay until you are fit to play," the NHLPA memo said. "There also is a possibility that the club might take other disciplinary action. The NHLPA may be able to dispute such suspensions and disciplinary actions under the grievance and arbitration procedure.

The NHLPA is certainly ready for a lockout. Here's hoping that the two sides someway, somehow get a deal done prior to Sept. 15.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.