NHL players, owners, fans and others have been pushing for a referendum in the upcoming Legislative Election.
The NHLPA recently filed a petition to the governor asking for a one-year moratorium on new professional hockey players joining the NHL, which would allow the owners and players to take steps to prevent the sport from becoming more than a niche pastime.
The petition was filed with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, but it has yet to be ruled on by the court.
The NHLPA is seeking to put a referendum issue on the ballot in November in a bid to help it get more support from Maine’s voters.
The Maine State Board of Elections has not yet released a ballot wording.
In the petition, the Maine League says the NHLPA’s petition is an attempt to circumvent the Maine Legislature.
“It is the policy of the Maine Legislative Association that if it is ever decided that Maine’s Legislative Elections should be conducted by a non-partisan, public process, a referendum must be submitted to the Legislative Elections Committee for consideration by the Maine House of Representatives and the Senate,” the petition reads.
“The NHL and other professional hockey leagues throughout the United States are well aware that there is a strong consensus among professional hockey communities that the legalization of professional hockey in Maine is not in the best interest of our league or our players.”
Maine has legalized the recreational use of marijuana for recreational purposes, but the NHL says the league should be allowed to continue playing in Maine despite the legalization.
The Maine State House of Representative and the Maine Senate have already approved the referendum language, but a spokesman for the Maine State Senate said the measure would not be considered for consideration in the House.