The NHL and NHLPA are… getting along? I don’t want to be too optimistic, but it appears a lockout or labor dispute in 2020 is getting closer to being avoided.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger is reporting that the NHL is expected to announce sometime over the next day or two that it will decline its option to re-open the CBA in 2020 after “progressive discussions with the NHLPA.”
Based on progressive discussions with the NHLPA, expect the NHL to announce within a day or two it’s intent to decline its option to re-open the CBA.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 29, 2019
That seems good, no?
The NHL’s current CBA is a 10-year deal and expires after the 2021-22 season. The NHL has an option to re-open the CBA for 2020 on September 1 while the NHLPA can do the same on September 15. If either side decides to opt out, the CBA would expire September 15, 2020.
8/30 Update: The NHL has formally announced that they will not re-open the CBA. It’s now up to the NHLPA to decide if they want to before the September 15 deadline.
“Based on the current state of the game and the business of the game, the NHL believes it is essential to continue building upon the momentum we have created with our Players and, therefore, will not exercise its option to reopen the CBA,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “Rather, we are prepared to have the current CBA remain in effect for its full term — three more seasons through the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. It is our hope that a continued, sustained period of labor peace will enable us to further grow the game and benefit all constituent groups: NHL Players, Clubs, our business partners and, most important, our fans.
“In any CBA, the parties can always identify issues they are unhappy with and would like to see changed. This is certainly true from the League’s standpoint. However, our analysis makes clear that the benefits of continuing to operate under the terms of the current CBA — while working with the Players’ Association to address our respective concerns — far outweigh the disruptive consequences of terminating it following the upcoming season.”
The players' executive committee — and others who wish to attend — meets Wednesday in Chicago. There is believed to be momentum in talks. It is possible that if a deal cannot be done by the 15th, both sides will agree to move the NHLPA's deadline to later date
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 30, 2019
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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