Today it was announced the NHL will not exercise their right to reopen the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Per the CBA both the NHL and the NHL Players Association have the right to reopen the deal. The deadline for ownership was September 1st, with the NHLPA’s deadline being September 15th.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued a statement about the NHL’s decision:
“Based on the current state of the game and the business of the game, the NHL believes it is essential to continue building upon the momentum we have created with our Players and, therefore, will not exercise its option to reopen the CBA. Rather, we are prepared to have the current CBA remain in effect for its full term – three more seasons through the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
“It is our hope that a continued, sustained period of labor peace will enable us to further grow the game and benefit all constituent groups: NHL Players, Clubs, our business partners and, most important, our fans.
“In any CBA, the parties can always identify issues they are unhappy with and would like to see changed. This is certainly true from the League’s standpoint. However, our analysis makes clear that the benefits of continuing to operate under the terms of the current CBA – while working with the Players’ Association to address our respective concerns – far outweigh the disruptive consequences of terminating it following the upcoming season.”
While this is a great sign that the NHL is going to avoid another lockout, the Players Association still needs to agree not to reopen the deal. The NHLPA has released their own statement regarding the League’s decision.
“Today the NHL advised the NHLPA that the league will not exercise its early termination right under the CBA. The NHLPA now has the same option. We will continue to discuss this matter with players as our September 15 decision approaches.”
The players have some very real concerns regarding escrow and the Olympics. Hopefully both sides can resolve these issues without and we lose more games to work stoppage.