The NHL and NHLPA are hoping that they will finalize a six-year CBA agreement today along with a tentative agreement on Phase 3/4 protocols as well as a critical calendar, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Assuming it’s both finalized and ratified, it should provide the league some long-term economic stability with all the issues that have surrounded the league since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Assuming the new CBA is agreed on today, it would need to be ratified by the Board of Governors and the full membership of the NHLPA, where the players would get 72 hours, starting Monday.
- Dates for Phase 3/4 will be finalized with trainings camps scheduled to open on July 13. Teams will then be expected to report to their hub cities in either Toronto or Edmonton by July 26 and games expected to begin on Aug. 1. Assuming there are no setbacks, the Stanley Cup should be awarded in the first week of October. The second phase of the draft lottery is expected to be held on Aug. 10 immediately after the play-in series is over. The NHL draft is expected to be in mid-October, with free agency starting on Nov. 1.
- Players can opt out of the 24-team tournament for any reason without penalty and will receive a playoff share regardless. Bonus pool money has also doubled with players who lose in the play-in round receiving $20K, while the Stanley Cup winners would receive $240K.
- As reported earlier, Olympic participation for NHL players will be included for the 2022 Beijing Olympics as well as the 2026 Milan Olympics, pending negotiations with the IOC and IIHF.
- There will be no changes to signing bonuses. It was believed the NHL was trying to limit signing bonuses in the next CBA to no more than 50 percent of the total contract, but this will not take place.
- Players will now also be allowed to rehab from long-term injuries from any where they want, unless the team can prove it’s not possible from that location.
- Teams will also no longer have to place players playing in Europe on waivers when they wish to return to the NHL. That was an issue back in 2013 for Ryan O’Reilly, who opted to play in the KHL while holding out for a new deal while with the Colorado Avalanche. The Calgary Flames signed him to an offer sheet. However, had Colorado opted not to match the offer, the Flames would have been forced to place him on waivers since he was playing overseas before he returned and likely would have lost him.