As we previously reported last month, the NHL and the NHLPA are currently in the midst of not only negotiating the final ‘Return To Play’ protocol for the 2020 playoffs, but are also knee-deep in negotiating the structure of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). One of the key negotiating points for the new CBA is escrow and the salary cap.
Back on June 18, Pierre LeBrun reported that the CBA extension, or at least the Memo of Understanding (MOU), has become so intertwined with ‘Return to Play’ that one source suggested it’s probably all going to be presented as one package to the players at some point before the end of the month.
According to Elliott Friedman, as part of the new CBA agreement, the salary cap will be kept close to the current $81.5 million for the next three seasons. There is potential for it to go up $1 million in 2022-23.
Since it is a CBA, the NHLPA’s constitution mandates that every player gets a vote. It is expected, as The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reported Thursday, that Return to Play will be intertwined with the CBA, meaning players will be voting on both safety and financial protocols at the same time. A simple majority is enough for a “yes.”
It will be interesting to see if there are stumbling points in the new CBA negations, and whether or not that will hinder negotiations for ‘Return to Play’.
A new CBA now has benefits, as it 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 suspension of play due to the COVID-19 virus.
The current collective bargaining agreement runs ten years and expires on September 15, 2022. The current Agreement was ratified by NHLPA membership on January 12, 2013, concluding a four-month lockout by NHL owners.
By Jon Sorensen
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#ALLCAPS @siegenthaler34 returns to Washington. “I’m ready,” says Jonas Siegenthaler shortly before departure. “I have to be in quarantine for seven days. I’ll use the time as a break. I am tested four times during this time. If all tests are negative, I can go to training.” (📷 @blickeishockey) #Capitals #Siegenthaler #JonasSiegenthlaer