The debate whether Major Junior players are professional athletes or not should now end forever.
The CHL, which is comprised of the three Major Junior leagues in Canada has settled the Class Action Lawsuit that began in 2014 when Sam Berg and Lukas Walter filed the original lawsuit as plaintiffs.
Thirty Million is no small settlement, but the CHL got lucky and avoided the 180 Million originally asked for by accepting mediation in February.
As part of the settlement, players in the class who signed an NHL contract will not be eligible to receive any payment.
“We launched these class actions to fight for the rights of the players and to make a positive change,” Berg and Walter said in a statement, “and we’re proud of what these lawsuits and this settlement have achieved. While we can’t do anything about the legislative amendments exempting players from employment standards legislation across the country, this settlement will put millions of dollars into the pockets of the hardworking players and will make a real difference in their lives.”
“This settlement does not mean that we agree with the plaintiffs,” the CHL said in a statement. “It means that we wanted to end the lawsuits so we could continue to focus on being the best development league in hockey. We did this because cases like these are very expensive and are a distraction to the league.”
The CHL is not out of the woods yet regarding legal matters. A Class Action Lawsuit is still pending regarding Concussion issues.
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep all hockey off the ice, this settlement is largely being paid for by insurance policies and little money is coming from the teams themselves.
Look for more important news on Junior Hockey in Canada Monday.