There have been no serious negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA for more than a week, according to Kevin McGran. The two sides have been near-silent, a tactic that reminds McGran of the previous lockouts, including one in 2012 that he details in today’s piece for the Toronto Star. Other reporters and insiders have expressed the same thing over the past few days, but McGran’s piece includes one potentially jaw-dropping nugget—some league governors may have agreed to the memorandum of understanding on Gary Bettman’s recommendation, which guaranteed player salaries for the upcoming season, without actually reading it first.
It’s not clear at all when the two sides will finally agree on something, but McGran predicts an early-January deal that would have the season starting in February. That would potentially line up with the suggestion that Darren Dreger of TSN made on Twitter this morning, noting that even if a deal is reached soon, postponing training camps until after the holidays “has to be considered.”
- Part of that consideration will be the varied county, state, provincial, and federal health guidelines. In Santa Clara County, where the San Jose Sharks reside, new restrictions have limited the preparation even further. Kevin Kurz of The Athletic relates a statement from the Sharks, which explains that the team is reviewing local options for rehab and training while revising their current voluntary programs. The San Francisco 49ers of the NFL, who are also based in Santa Clara, will hold their “home” games the next two weeks in Arizona. Remember, the Sharks are one of seven teams expected to receive an extra week of training camp before the season begins, after failing to qualify for the bubble postseason this summer.
- While the NHL tries to get a season underway, the KHL continues to play as if little has changed. Today saw quite the transaction, with Magnus Paajarvi and Teemu Pulkkinen swapping teams. Paajarvi, 29, played nearly 500 games in the NHL before heading to the KHL in 2019 and will be going from Yaroslavl Lokomotiv to Dynamo Moscow. Pulkkinen, 28, has played the last three seasons in the KHL after a short NHL career and had 14 points for Moscow this season.