Widows 1, Bettman 0
The NHL has been underfunding its players’ pension plans by millions of dollars, shortchanging widows over a number of decades, an Ontario Superior Court judge has found.
The decision means the league will have to top up its pension fund by as much as $30-million and may have to make retroactive payments to the widows of deceased players…
This is the second major pension battle the NHL has lost. In a 1993 decision, Ontario Judge George Adams found the league had appropriated surplus cash that should have remained in the pension fund. The league had to restore $50-million to the fund. – Globe and Mail
What are the odds that the NHL decides to appeal? When news of this lawsuit broke, I wrote:
The NHL had better have a very good case. How does it look if they lose? A bunch of billionaires have been ripping off widows and orphans for more than twenty years? That will be great for public relations. It can’t be a huge amount of money, can it?
I’ll never understand why the NHL lets itself get into this type of situation.
And I still don’t understand a level of greed that can trump everything including maintaining a good relationship with the NHLPA or protecting the NHL brand. For what? The chance that they will finally win a court case so they each save $1 MM? This was a PR loser even if they won their case. I just don’t get it.
I hope we eventually get to read the decision. I also hope somebody in the hockey media finds one of these widows and writes her story. Doug Wickenheiser is probably one of the players and the Wickenheisers are, of course, a famous hockey family. Wouldn’t that be a juicy one?