The NHL and NHLPA have continued to be busy trying to sort out what a return to play will look like, where it will be located, and when it will happen. If that wasn’t a challenging enough task in these rapidly changing times, they decided to tie in negotiations on extending the CBA and Olympic participation to the mix. With all of the ingredients in this hockey mix, it is believed these sides are close, trying to tie up loose ends and nail down the language, especially with regard to the CBA Memorandum of Understanding.
NHL and NHLPA will be back at it today, trying to finalize the tentative agreement on Phase 3/4 RTP protocols, a CBA extension, transition rules and critical dates calendar. They’re trying to tie up remaining loose ends and finalize language, especially on the CBA MOU.
It’s believed to be close but we’ve been reporting that for two days and it’s still not done. As they like to say, it’s not done at all until it’s all done. Tentative agreement could be reached today but it may well carry over to the weekendBob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie
Now if you think that is it, well, you would be wrong. As Bob Mckenzie explains in his supermassive tweet thread from yesterday morning:
Once tentative agreement has been reached, whenever that might be, it’s expected the NHL and NHLPA will issue a joint statement to that effect. Then the ratification process can begin.
On the NHL side, it can happen fairly quickly. A board of governors conference call can be arranged in short order. Ratification would follow.
On the NHLPA side, it’s a little more involved and time-consuming. When a tentative agreement is reached, the NHLPA executive committee will have a call in order to approve/endorse the agreement and then take it to the full NHLPA membership for a vote.Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie
In a best-case scenario, McKenzie describes what the timeline might look like. Once a tentative agreement is in place the NHLPA committee could have its conference call. If the agreement is accepted in this stage the member vote would then begin. This could happen as quickly as Monday with the Membership voting taking 2 or 3 three days to complete. A simple majority is all that is required to ratify the agreement. If the agreement is ratified the Return to Play protocols can begin to proceed.
All dates are tentative and highly subject to change. If getting an agreement or ratifying drags on, changes can and will be made, but it’s my understanding these are target dates:Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie
July 13: Training camps (Phase 3) open
July 26: Teams report to Hubs
Aug 1: Games begin (Phase 4)
Potential CBA Modifications
Yesterday Elliotte Friedman reported on what he is hearing from the CBA negotiations. He reports that the deal would be extended to the completion of the 2025-2026 season with a provision for a one-year extension if more than $125 million in escrow is owed to the league.
The salary cap would remain flat at $81.5 million for next season with a cap on escrow at 20%
As mentioned previosly Olympic participation was part of the discussions. There is a Guarantee on Olympic participation in 2022 and 2026 on the table pending agreement from the IOC.
Here are some of the interesting CBA items highlighted in Elliotte’s article
No-move and no-trade clauses now travel with a player who has agreed to lift one, even if they haven’t kicked in (previously, the acquiring team had to agree).
Players aged 35 and over can sign multi-year deals that are flat or ascending and there will be no cap hit if they retire before the deal is up (previously, the cap hit stayed no matter what).
Year-by-year variability: six-year contracts that are front-loaded and worth at least 7.5 per cent of the cap cannot exceed 35 per cent between the highest and lowest salary amounts. Rules for other contracts remain the same (I’ve heard players and teams will consider back-loading new contracts because escrow is capped at a lower number and cash flow should improve for clubs).
No changes to signing bonuses
There are no more conditional picks in trades based on a player re-signing with the acquiring team. For example, the New Jersey Devils’ current third-rounder from Arizona in the Taylor Hall deal upgrades if he re-signs with the Coyotes. Agents and NHLPA staff felt it hurt players’ value.Elliotte Friedman @FriedgeHNIC | Article: Potential CBA modifications emerging as NHL/NHLPA continue negotiations