Calgary Flames players pull out of team’s charity golf event
Calgary, Alberta, Canada (4E Sports) – Calgary Flames players have pulled out en masse from the team’s annual charity golf event Thursday to attend the hastily-called NHL Player Association meeting scheduled the same day in New York City
The move came as a surprise for fans as Flames players had given their commitments to participate in the fund-raising event months earlier.
“We’re disappointed but completely understand the uniqueness of the situation for our players,” said Flames president and CEO Ken King.
Despite the absence of the players, the event that aims to raise funds for the Flames Foundation for Life will still proceed as scheduled.
Instead of Flames players, local celebrities, alumni, prospects or staffers will try to fill the void by playing with each group in the golf tournament.
The Flames had given sponsors, who paid upwards for $2,500 per player for the tourney, an option to take their money back but many of them have decided to participate.
“We are very grateful that all our sponsors and participants want to continue to support the tournament. They totally appreciate that the heart of this event is about important fundraising for local charities,” King added.
The players union has called for a meeting amid an impending lockout Saturday when current the collective bargaining agreement expires.
The NHL and the players union should come up with a new deal by Sept. 15 to avoid a lockout.
Earlier, the NHL players union said it is studying labor laws in different provinces in Canada to determine the legalities of a lockout.
The union announced there is a possibility that it will use Quebec labor law to prevent the league and the team from locking out Montreal Canadiens’ players.
According to NHLPA, under Quebec labor law, an employer cannot lockout employees unless they are represented by a union certified by the Quebec Labor Board. In this case, the NHL union is not certified by QLB.
Aside from this, the union is also looking at provisions of labor laws in Ontario and Alberta — where the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames are based — that could challenge the planned lockout.