After a deadlock, the NHL and the NHLPA agree to maintain the economic framework of the new ABC


Quick update on a Monday evening:

The NHL and NHLPA will continue to negotiate protocols for the 2020-2021 season, but have agreed that the newly negotiated CBA economic framework will not be changed.

Last month, the NHL urged players to consider increasing deferred payments and caps on escrow at certain points in the deal. The players reacted negatively and made it clear that they would not consider touching the receiver.

According to several sources, they were prepared to defer additional sums – in exchange for what they saw as a significant concession. One of the suggestions, for example, was to raise the salary cap slightly to invest more money in the system. (Yes, that could increase the amount players will eventually owe to balance the 50/50 split, but with escrow caps that’s not a big concern for the current squad.)

No agreement could be reached and the two parties decided to move on.

And after? The two parties continue to break away from the protocols for 2020-2021. Training camps, opt-outs, tests, the schedule, the playoffs, realignment, you name it.

Goals include a season start on January 13, non-playoff teams reporting on December 28, and others on January 1. No exhibition game seems likely. I believe there is a short term “hub plan” being developed just in case, but that is not the preference. The biggest headache could be the plans for training camps in places like Montreal, San Jose (Arizona?) And Winnipeg, which have strict current restrictions due to COVID-19.

Looks like there is a desire to do something by the end of the week, to be voted on but the board of governors and the players. We’ll see where it goes, but the financial discussions are over.


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