There were several reports on Thursday that the NHL and the NHL Players Association have begun initial negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The current 10-year agreement expires on September 15, 2022.
TSN’s hockey insider Darren Dreger first reported Thursday morning that CBA negotiations were underway.
CBA discussions between the NHL and NHLPA have been woven into the daily planning for resumption of play, however, sources say the two sides have intensified talks on a CBA extension with escrow, salary cap and HRR main discussion points. A stabilized escrow system is key.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 4, 2020
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman confirmed Dreger’s report. “There are plenty of rumours that the NHL and NHLPA are working hard on a CBA extension, with multiple sources indicating there is a legit attempt to get something done by the time play resumes.”
Friedman also provided some insight as to early negotiation points.
“The league wants long-term stability. The players want a cap on escrow, and word is that it is being considered. If the season does not resume, their hit would be 35 per cent. Even if there are games, they are looking at 27 or 28 per cent. I heard rumblings of a 20 per cent escrow cap over the next few seasons — others said they heard slightly less.”
“A flat salary cap of $81.5 million for a few seasons is possible, too.“
A new CBA now 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 was ratified by NHLPA membership on January 12, 2013, concluding a four-month lockout by NHL owners.
By Jon Sorensen