The National Hockey League and its player association are nearing an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reported Friday.
According to ESPN sources, the CBA would run around six years covering 2020-21 through 2025-26. The current CBA expires after 21-22, so it would over-write two of the remaining seasons.
The National Hockey League Players’ Association is expected to vote on both a new CBA and the return-to-play protocols that would restart the 2019-20 season this summer, and that would require a vote involving all its members. That hadn’t happened as of Friday night. Among the return-to-play issues were the approval of safety protocols and the two “hub” cities that will host 24 teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Under the new deal, the Salary Cap would stay at $81.5-million for the next two years before increasing to $82.5-million in 2022-23. It’s believed the flat cap and increased revenues through the league’s expansion to Seattle would help ease escrow pressures from the NHLPA.
One source on the players’ side said the salary cap might not be linked back to revenue until near the end of the CBA. There’s a theory that with the cap frozen and with additional revenue from the TV deal and the Seattle franchise, escrow could potentially dip into single digits for the players in a few years.
Another factor at play for the 2021-22 season, as first reported by Sportsnet, is a 10% salary deferral for the players.
In the last 30 years, the league has undergone numerous work stoppages due to CBA issues. There was a player strike that postponed 30 games of the 1991-92 season and not long after the 1994-95 campaign saw the season shortened to 48 games.
The entirety of the 2004-05 campaign was shuttered due to a lockout, and most recently, the 2012-13 season was shortened due to another lockout.
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