The heads of the NHL and NHLPA haven’t spoken directly in almost a week, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic who tweets commissioner Gary Bettman and executive director Donald Fehr last talked on Thursday, November 19. LeBrun notes that the “communication stalemate is noteworthy” because of the near-constant dialogue the two had through the first part of the offseason.
While LeBrun once again tweets his confidence something will finally get done and points at the next week as an important stretch, Darren Dreger of TSN adds that it has been that way for a while now. Many have pointed to the end of November as a key threshold if the NHL still wants a January 1. start, something that looks more and more difficult to accomplish with every passing day. The biggest issue in talks continues to be amending the CBA that was agreed to just a few months ago.
- After the Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed Mikhail Sergachev this afternoon, LeBrun reached out to the agent for Anthony Cirelli, who remains a restricted free agent without a contract for the 2020-21 season. Pat Morris of Newport Sports told LeBrun that there is “nothing new to report” in Cirelli’s contract talks. With the Lightning now close to $2MM over the salary cap ceiling, contracts for Cirelli and Erik Cernak will be very difficult to fit in without a corresponding move.
- Denis Smirnov, a sixth-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2017, has signed his first professional contract, inking a deal with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. The Grizzlies signed a trio of players today, including the 23-year-old Smirnov who became an unrestricted free agent when the Avalanche failed to sign him this summer.