The NHL’s Board of Governors has a conference call scheduled for this evening to vote on the proposed CBA extension and return to play agreement. That vote is expected to go smoothly according to Bob McKenzie of TSN, who points out that it is “virtually unheard of” for the governors to go against something put forward by commissioner Gary Bettman. The NHLPA however, which also needs to ratify the agreement for it to come into effect, has been voting since Wednesday evening and will complete the process tonight.
Though there is plenty of positivity around the player vote, McKenzie does point out that this is likely an all-or-nothing situation when it comes to the 2019-20 season. The veteran scribe does not see a way the two sides could immediately go back to the negotiating table or find a way to finish the 2019-20 season if the players were to reject this package. A rejected proposal would also have far-reaching effects on the league, with some sources even indicating to him a substantial drop in the salary cap ceiling for next season without the CBA extension. McKenzie also mentions the dreaded “lockout” term in his explanation of the importance of this vote, something no hockey fan wants to hear at this point. News of the ratification could come as early as tonight.
- Michael Russo of The Athletic has a few notes about the Minnesota Wild’s front office and coaching structure, including a suggestion that Mike Murray could be joining the organization soon. While Murray has only said he left the AHL to “accept a position with an NHL club” in October, Russo tweets that fans shouldn’t be surprised if that’s Minnesota given his familiarity with Wild GM Bill Guerin. Murray served as the AHL’s vice president of hockey operations.
- While Murray’s connection seems speculative at this point, Russo goes into far more depth on interim head coach Dean Evason and his future with the organization. In his latest piece for The Athletic, Russo lists Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette, Tim Army, Scott Sandelin, Mike Hastings, and Tony Granato as other potential candidates, but notes that Evanson has “elevated himself” into consideration. The Wild are scheduled to face the Vancouver Canucks in their qualifying round, giving Evason even more opportunity to show what he can do behind the bench.