News From The 2018 NHL Board of Governors Meetings in Sea Island, Georgia

Photo: Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI Via Getty Images

The NHL’s Board of Governors wrapped up two days of meetings in Sea Island, Georgia on Tuesday. In addition to approving expansion for the City of Seattle, the meetings covered a wide array of topics, including next season’s salary cap, re-alignment due to expansion, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the All-Star Game and the World Cup Of Hockey. 

[The Board of Governors is the ruling and governing body of the National Hockey League. In this context, each team is a member of the league, and each member appoints a Governor (usually the owner of the club), and two alternates to the Board. The current chairman of the Board is Boston Bruins owner, Jeremy Jacobs.]

2019-2020 Salary Cap
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Monday that the current projection for next season’s salary cap is around $83 million. “It could be a million more, it could be a million less, but if you’re focused on a number and the number we told our clubs to focus on was the $83 million range,” Commissioner Bettman said.

It’s worthy to note that last year’s initial projection was spot-on for the final value used this season ($79.5 million).

Expansion and Re-alignment
With a 32nd team added to the mix (Seattle to begin play in 2021-2022 season), and logically residing in the Pacific Division, a move was required for better league balance. As a result, the Arizona Coyotes will be moving to the Central Division.

Expansion Draft
The expansion draft for the new team in Seattle will follow same rules set for the recent expansion draft for Las Vegas. Here is a recap of the rules from the NHL Network.

Collective Bargaining Agreement
No movement was made on discussions of current/future CBA agreements. The current CBA between the league and the players, ratified on January 12, 2013, is set to expire on September 15, 2022. However, both sides have the option of terminating the agreement after the eighth year, or on January 12, 2021.

All-Star Game
The format for this year’s NHL All-Star game has been changed from formats used in recent years. The game itself is being moved from Sunday afternoon to primetime on Saturday night.

World Cup of Hockey
The NHL would like to hold a World Cup of Hockey in 2020, but Bettman said there needs to be an agreement with the players that neither side will move to opt out of the CBA by January’s all-star break. “We’ve been anxious to anchor plans for a World Cup, but for whatever reason the players’ association hasn’t been prepared to do that,” Bettman said. “I don’t know enough in terms of what the players’ association is thinking right now to have any reason to be either optimistic or pessimistic because there hasn’t been any substantive dialogue.” “They know the time frame. The puck’s in their end.”

Other Bits and Pieces

  • As Nick Kypreos reported, there was discussion about shortening intermissions from 18 minutes to 15. On one side is the desire to resume the game as quickly as possible, and not make fans/viewers wait. On the other is the wish to sell beer, food and concessions.
  • Bettman is on record with his dislike of expanding the playoffs. But, after attending the meetings, it is very clear there are many teams who would like to do it. I don’t know where this goes, because the commissioner is very much in control of his league. It’s really interesting, though.

We will update this post as more information becomes available.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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