You may recall that last week we posted a story from TSN’s Elliotte Friedman, which centered on his speculation that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement might be something that’s considered as a means of dealing with financial issues related to the shutdown do to the COVID-19 pandemic. Well it seems that idea may be gaining some momentum.
During a recent segment of TSN’s Insider Trading, Analyst Pierre LeBrun explained that while the NHL and the NHL’s Players Association have put an end to the formal long-term CBA discussions with each other, both parties are internally considering a possible new CBA emerging as a result from the shutdown and the impact on the league.
“Certainly that’s what everyone hopes and it’s interesting. Donald Fehr, said last week when I chatted with him, a little hint from him. He said listen, he hopes that’s the case in terms of a positive frame of mind for when CBA talks resume and what he said is sometimes when you go through adversity with the other side there are bonds that suddenly form. It was an interesting comment from Don Fehr, who we know went toe-to-toe with Gary Bettman in the 2012 lockout. And the conversations that I’ve had with player agents and team executives around the National Hockey League over the last week, that’s the growing sentiment is that instead of just focusing on some transition rules that’ll get both sides over the hump over the next 12 months in terms of the salary cap, escrow, July 1, all these things that we just talked about. Is there a bigger picture solution? Could there be a long-term CBA extension? Some long-standing ideas that bring stability into what will be a very difficult situation for the NHL business. Who knows what the revenues look like on the other side of all this through this COVID-19 crisis? So I know it’s something that even at the PA and the league that they’re starting to talk about internally. Not with each other, mind you, CBA talks are on hold, but hopefully that could be the solution out of all of this is a way for both sides to find long-term stability.”
A new CBA would allow both the League and the Players Association an opportunity to restructure financially, and provide a mechanism for dealing with potential losses accrued from the suspended play due to the COVID-19 virus.
The current agreement runs ten years, expiring on September 15, 2022. The current Agreement was ratified by NHLPA membership on January 12, 2013, concluding a four-month lockout by NHL owners.
Its still very early in the process, but the fact that both sides are discussing the idea on their own accord could be a sign of things to come.