MONTREAL - The NHL Players' Association has an application to the Quebec Labour relations board Friday to declare the impending NHL lockout illegal in the province.
The NHLPA and 16 Montreal players are asking the board to make an interim ruling before the lockout is scheduled to begin just before midnight ET on Saturday in a bid to allow the Canadiens to attend training camp.
A similar request was filed late Thursday with the Alberta Labour Relations Board.
NHLPA director of operations Alexandra Dagg said the aim was to prevent players from the Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames from being locked out.
"If we avoid a lockout in Quebec and Alberta we could have an all-Canadian final," Dagg added with a smile.
Labour lawyer Michael Cohen presented the players' arguments. Lawyers for the Canadiens and the NHL were to respond Friday afternoon.
The players hope to be allowed to attend training camp and play games. They will also be asking to be paid.
"But that's not the issue," Dagg said. "We don't want a lockout."
The NHLPA argued because it is not certified as a union with the province, it's members cannot be locked out under Quebec labour law.
In Alberta, they will argue that proper procedure wasn't followed, including using a mediator.
No players attended the hearings in Montreal, and no date has been set for Alberta hearings.
Meanwhile in New York, the NHL and the union say they have been in touch but no new negotiating sessions are scheduled in advance of Saturday's deadline.