Report: NHL, NHLPA Reach Agreement For 2020-21 Season

Photo: Sportsnet

According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the NHL and NHLPA have reached an agreement on a 56-game 2020-21 season, pending votes by each side.

The NHL plans to schedule a Board of Governor’s call and vote on either Sunday or Monday. The NHLPA already had an executive board call scheduled for 8 PM ET on Friday.

Schedule

The agreement calls for training camps to open on Sunday, January 3, and the regular season to open on Wednesday, January 13. The seven teams that did not participate in the NHL’s return-to-play format (Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, and Detroit Red Wings) will be allowed to open training camps on Wednesday, December 30, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli. However, these dates are subject to change.

The NHLPA may begin voting as early as tonight on the tentative deal.

Opt-Out

The deal includes players having the option to opt-out for the upcoming season if a player or immediate family member is considered high-risk for COVID-19. That player would come off of their teams’ salary cap and the club would have the option of tolling contract for the year.

Canadian Border Issues

On Thursday, it was reported that the seven Canadian teams could move south of the border after the NHL’s negotiations with the Canadian government about an all-Canadian Division raised issues regarding health protocols with provinces. The two sides were expected to discuss it again on Friday and the hope is to resolve it by Monday.

Roster Size

Teams will be allowed to carry four-to-six extra players.

Salary Prorations

There will be no extra proration of salaries or exhibition games.

Offer Sheets

Key Dates

Stanley Cup Playoff Format

The 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs will include the top four teams from each division.

Divisional Realignment

If the Canadian government were to grant permission to the seven Canadian teams to travel across the country and play each other, the NHL would have to realign the 24 remaining teams south of the border. If not, the seven teams would relocate to the United States and perhaps, there would be no realignment, or play in a bubble in Edmonton. Four of the provinces are good with the plan while one has some objections, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period.

Note: he meant to put TOR and wrote “OTT” twice.

We could see another realignment if the Canadian government doesn’t approve of the NHL’s plan. A temporary bubble for the seven Canadian teams is unlikely as players do not want to be in a bubble.

Possible Relocations

Season Timeline

2021 NHL Expansion Draft

Free Agency

We should know more about the upcoming season in the next few days.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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