If the players lost the lawsuits, which is entirely possible specially consindering the NFLPA lost the 1st part of their lawsuit to the NFL. Which I beleive with the amount of players playing across seas weakens the NHLPA's case compared to the NFL or NBA PA's. So if they lost wouldn't the players basically put themselves in a much worse situation?
Not withstanding my previous statement (the whole world of bad thing), I don't think the players would lose their lawsuits nor do I think the number playing in Europe would have any effect. The owners locked out the players despite year after year after year of record revenues under the system the owners themselves designed and the law very clearly puts the responsibility for ensuring profit on the owners, guaranteeing employees get paid regardless of the health of the company. The players offered to continue playing under the old CBA (which was profitable for many teams, certainly more than not playing) while negotiating on a new one, the owners refused without a single shred of evidence that the players didn't intend to do just that. Any speculation that they would have gone on strike or drug their feet in the negotiations is just that, speculation and can't be used against them. So, the owners locked out players who offered to play, denied them their right to work despite signed contracts due to their own business problems for SOME teams, and have not shown an eagerness to negotiate despite the union offering multiple concessions. I think everyone knows the NHL is playing hard ball, with almost all of their "concessions" simply being reducing their wish list of demands which they purposefully overinflated from their first offer just so they could appear to be "giving" something when in reality they are just demanding slightly fewer new concessions from players.
As for players playing in other leagues, that's entirely within their right to do so as it is the owners preventing players from fulfilling their contracts. (Players playing in other leagues during a strike would be an entirely different matter.) Not only is it within their right to do so legally (it's called mitigating your damages), the NHL and KHL, for example, even have a signed agreement between them that deals with just such a situation (that limits locked out NHLers to I believe 65% of their NHL salary while playing in the KHL and I would assume requires they be released by the KHL once the NHL starts working again). Given those facts, I don't see how some of the players playing in other leagues could be used against them. Plus then there's also the fact that some of the multiple lawsuits wouldn't involve any players who did play abroad.
Maybe I'm wrong and making a few wrong assumptions here and some of you seem to have better understanding of this but can someone tell me where I am because this sounds like a horrible move, and one that could jepordize us seeing any NHL soon.
Nope, I think you understand perfectly. Like I said, a world of bad for both sides and quite possibly far worse for fans as it would mean no NHL hockey for years, and that's assuming the league survived at all.
The sad fact is, however, that at least moving in that direction may be the only power move the union has if the NHL can't show any flexibility or willingness to negotiate. They're already winning just with the lowered players' share and the union's offer to penalize teams signing new back diving contracts. Those are the meat and potatoes of a CBA. Everything else is just dessert, and I for one hope the owners' eyes aren't bigger than their stomachs. Or ours.