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Lawsuit Accuses Major Canadian Junior Leagues of Running 'a Cartel'

Published February 14, 2024 at 7:35 PM

Lawsuits aren't really anything new for the three major junior leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The Quebec Major Junior, Ontario, and Western Hockey Leagues have seen a few class action suits centred around hazing, assault, and harassment. The latest comes with a twist, though as a lawsuit filed in the United States accuses the CHL of running a cartel.

According to the Toronto Sun, the lawsuit has been filed in New York by divisions of the World Association of Icehockey Players Unions and two individual former major junior players. They claim the CHL restricts a player's ability to choose where he wants to play, in turn limiting the compensation they receive. The NHL is also listed as a defendant in the suit.

"The NHL is named as a defendant for its role in supporting and financing the CHL. Lawyers allege in the complaint that the NHL and its teams 'exert substantial influence and control over major junior defendants, thereby facilitating major junior defendants' conspiracy.'" - Toronto Sun

The suit also claims the CHL and NHL are running a cartel that ensures they benefit as much as possible.

"a cartel (that) artificially suppresses and standardizes compensation by denying players their freedom of choice, freedom of movement and freedom to play for the club of their choice."

A representative from the CHL wouldn't comment saying they had just been made aware of the lawsuit, and would need time before filing a defense. No court date has been set yet.

Players in the CHL leagues are not allowed to play in the AHL until they are 20, as per an agreement with the NHL. If you make an NHL roster from those leagues under the age of 20, you can't be demoted to the AHL, and are instead sent back to your respective CHL league. There are stipends and/or benefits in the QMJHL, OHL, and WHL, but it isn't as much as the AHL, which appears to be the main issue behind the lawsuit.

Source: Toronto Sun
February 14   |   112 answers
Lawsuit Accuses Major Canadian Junior Leagues of Running 'a Cartel'

What do you think of this lawsuit?

It has some good points2925.9 %
These rules are in place for a reason5650 %
I'm not sure2724.1 %
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