|National Hockey League Collective Bargaining Agreement -1993-2004
Grievances, Arbitration, Impartial Arbitrator
(a) Any dispute (hereinafter referred to as a "grievance")
arising after the effective date of this Agreement and involving
the interpretation or application of, or compliance with, any
provision of this Agreement, an NHL Player Contract or addenda,
will be resolved exclusively in accordance with the procedure set
forth in this Article, except wherever another method of dispute
resolution is set forth elsewhere in this Agreement or in the
(a) A grievance may be initiated by the NHL or the NHLPA
(b) A grievance must be initiated within ninety (90) days
from the date of the occurrence or non-occurrence of the event
upon which the grievance is based, or within thirty (30) days
from the date on which the facts of the matter became known or
reasonably should have been known to the party initiating the
grievance, whichever is later. A player need not be under
contract to a Club at the time a grievance relating to him arises
or at the time such grievance is initiated or processed.
(a) Subject to the provisions of Section 17.02 above, a
party shall initiate a grievance by filing a written notice by
certified mail or fax with the other party. The notice will set
forth the specifics of the alleged action or inaction giving rise
to the grievance or injury grievance.
(b) The party served with a grievance will answer in writing
by certified mail or fax within ten (10) days of receipt thereof.
(c) The answer will set forth admissions or denials as to
the facts alleged. If the answer denies the grievance the
specific grounds for denial will be set forth.
17.4. Grievance Committee.
(a) If a grievance is not resolved within seven (7) days
after the answer has been filed, the grievance shall be referred
to a Grievance Committee (unless the parties jointly agree in
writing to submit the matter directly to the Impartial
Arbitrator), consisting of a representative appointed by the NHL,
and a representative appointed by the NHLPA. Within twenty (20)
days following such reference, the Grievance Committee shall meet
on a date and at a time and place agreed upon.
(b) At the Grievance Committee meeting, the parties shall
discuss with specificity the claims, issues and/or questions
presented by the grievance and review and discuss resolution
and/or settlement of the grievance.
(c) Meetings of the Grievance Committee shall ordinarily be
held in New York or Toronto, but such meetings may also be held
in such other locations as the parties may agree upon.
(d) Evidence of settlement discussions and offers shall be
inadmissible before the Impartial Arbitrator.
17.5. Arbitration. If the Grievance Committee fails to
resolve a grievance within seven (7) days following its meeting
thereon, the NHLPA or the NHL, may, within fifteen (15) days
elect to arbitrate the grievance, by filing a written notice by
certified mail or fax with the Impartial Arbitrator and the other
party. Pre-hearing briefs may be filed by joint agreement and,
if filed, shall be exchanged no later than two days prior to the
17.6. Selection of Impartial Arbitrator. There will be one
Impartial Arbitrator, appointed jointly by the parties, who shall
serve for the duration of this Agreement; provided, however, that
on September 1, 1995 and on each successive September 1, either
of the parties to this Agreement may discharge the Impartial
Arbitrator by serving written notice upon him by that date and
upon the other party to this Agreement. The parties shall
thereupon either agree upon a successor Impartial Arbitrator or,
failing agreement, the Impartial Arbitrator shall be selected
under the Voluntary Labor Tribunal Rules of the American
Arbitration Association then in effect. The Impartial Arbitrator
so discharged shall render decisions in all cases he previously
heard but will hear no further cases.
17.7. Hearing. It is intended that witnesses appear at the
arbitration hearing. The parties shall each use their best
efforts to require witnesses to appear at the scheduled hearing.
If a witness is unavailable, the party offering the witness shall
notify the other party as soon as the unavailability of the
witness is known. If the parties agree, the witness may testify
by telephone. If the parties do not agree, a hearing date shall
be selected for the purpose of taking the witnesses' testimony.
The record shall be closed at the end of the hearing unless
the Arbitrator orders to the contrary. If post-hearing briefs
are permitted in a given case, they shall be filed within ten
(10) days of the close of the hearing unless the parties agree to
a different filing schedule.
17.8. Arbitrator's Decision and Award. The Impartial
Arbitrator will issue a written decision within thirty (30) days
of the close of the record. The decision of the Impartial
Arbitrator will constitute full, final and complete disposition
of the grievance, as the case may be, and will be binding upon
the player(s) and Club(s) involved and the parties to this
Agreement; provided, however, that the Impartial Arbitrator will
not have the jurisdiction or authority to add to, subtract from,
or alter in any way the provisions of this Agreement or any NHL
Player Contract or addenda. In resolving grievances, the
Impartial Arbitrator has the authority to interpret, apply and
determine compliance with any provision of this Agreement, or an
NHL Player Contract. Otherwise, the Arbitrator shall have no
authority to alter or modify the contractual relationship or
status between a player and a Club, other than where such remedy
is expressly provided for in this Agreement.
17.9. Time Limits. If any grievance is not processed or
resolved in accordance with the prescribed time limits within any
step, unless an extension of time has been mutually agreed upon
in writing, the grieving party, after notifying the other party
of its intent in writing, may proceed to the next step.
17.10. Costs. Except as otherwise set forth herein, all costs
of arbitration, including the fees and expenses of the Impartial
Arbitrator, the neutral physician and the joint transcript costs,
if any, will be borne equally between the parties, except that
each party shall bear its own costs of transportation, counsel,
witnesses and the like.
17.11. Payment. If an award is made by the Impartial
Arbitrator, payment will be made within thirty (30) days of the
receipt of the award to the party entitled thereto. The time
limit for payment may be extended by mutual consent of the
parties or by a finding of good cause for the extension by the
17.12. Expedited Arbitration. Upon a showing of good cause,
either party may request an expedited hearing before the
independent arbitrator and he may so direct such a hearing if he
determines that the circumstances so warrant.
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