NHL Players Will Have An ‘Opt-out’ Clause For ‘Return To Play’

Photo: Nick Wass/AP

According to Pierre LeBrun, there is a group of players who are vocal about their reluctance to come back and play, and until they get more firm answers to their questions they may not change their mind.

Kevin Bieksa caused a stir last week when he went on Sportsnet 650 Vancouver and said, “A lot of friends that I have and a lot of people that I’ve talked to that are going to be playing, they still don’t have their equipment, they still haven’t skated, they’re still very skeptical.”

Bieksa noted that a lack of information was a big issue.

“They haven’t been told anything by their team, so I’m skeptical. I obviously want hockey back. I’d love to cover some games and watch it on TV and get everything back to normal, but I wouldn’t jump the gun if I were the fans. I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much yet…. There’s so much to figure out.”

Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman is reporting that the NHL and NHLPA are working on opt-out language for anyone who may feel uncomfortable about playing. The clause would reportedly allow players to forgo the return to play, without financial or contractual penalties.

The ‘opt-out’ clause is first and foremost a legal requirement by both sides so that the NHL and the NHLPA are not held liable for any future potential lawsuits. The question remains, would a player or players actually utilize the clause? How would they be looked at by other players who decided to play?

By Jon Sorensen

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Washington Capitals’ Captain Alex Ovechkin took to his Twitter account on Tuesday night to deliver a message to the hockey world regarding the death of George Floyd. “RIP George Floyd 💔so sad to see what happening everywhere and DC!! it is so important for us to respect and love each other no matter what we look like!!!! We need listen and do change…pls stay safe….take care each other and family 🙏🙏🙏” #ALLCAPS #Capitals #Caps #LetsGoCaps #RockTheRed #WashingtonCapitals #alexovechkin #Ovechkin #alexovechkin #александровечкин #Овечкин #хоккей #хоккейроссиalexovechkin #Ovechkin #alexovechkin #александровечкин #Овечкин #хоккей #хоккейрос

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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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