No NHL work stoppage for at least 3 years as players decline to reopen agreement

The NHL Gamers’ Affiliation has introduced the union is not going to re-open the present collective bargaining settlement after the 2019-20 season, avoiding a possible lockout subsequent September.

The NHL had the identical proper and knowledgeable the NHLPA it could not terminate the labour deal late final month.

The gamers had till Monday to make their choice, whereas the league’s deadline was Sept. 1.

The unique 10-year settlement signed after the final lockout in 2013 included the opt-out clause after eight years for each side.

The present settlement runs via Sept. 15, 2022.

“While players have concerns with the current CBA, we agree with the league that working together to address those concerns is the preferred course of action instead of terminating the agreement following this season,” NHLPA government director Don Fehr mentioned in an announcement.

“We have been having discussions with the league about an extension of the CBA and expect that those talks will continue.”

Escrow funds amongst gamers’ considerations

Conferences between homeowners and gamers have been occurring since February and elevated in frequency in current weeks. The league didn’t choose out of the settlement, with commissioner Gary Bettman citing momentum and the significance of labour peace overriding the problems homeowners might need.

“We are pleased with the NHL Players’ Association’s decision,” Bettman mentioned in an announcement. “We look forward to continuing to work with the NHLPA for the benefit of all stakeholders, especially our fans.”

Gamers made vital concessions within the final CBA, which was agreed to in 2013. Escrow funds, well being care, Olympic participation and what qualifies as hockey-related income are issues gamers have cited as a few of their high considerations — a lot of which may very well be addressed in a possible extension.

Little or no info has come out of the CBA talks both internally amongst gamers or with homeowners. A number of gamers consider that signalled a extra united NHLPA and optimism that progress was being made.

“Every time you have any type of negotiation between two parties, those are the two parties that should be talking and it should not be through media or a third party because there’s a lot of things that get twisted and the more time the story gets told, something will change a little bit,” New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist mentioned lately. “If you can stick to just talking to the other side, I think it’s easier to get to the right answers and solutions.”

By means of Gamers’ Affiliation government director Don Fehr, NHLers have cited escrow funds, well being care, Olympic participation and what qualifies as hockey-related income as a few of their high considerations. Chris Younger/The Canadian Press (Chris Younger/The Canadian Press)

In a departure from labour negotiations of 2004-05 and 2012-13 that have been filled with rancour, Fehr has known as this spherical cordial and nice. Bettman referred to it as “joint problem-solving” reasonably than a combative relationship.

World Cup in 2021?

“It’s a dialogue that continues,” Bettman mentioned. “It’s a relationship that’s important, there’s mutual respect, there’s good communication flow and we’re busy focused on what may for each of our constituents be the appropriate path forward.”

The league and gamers appear to be on the identical web page at the least in drawing up a calendar of extra worldwide play, which may imply one other World Cup of Hockey as quickly as February 2021. Hockey enterprise is booming, and the NHL will be capable to negotiate a brand new U.S. tv rights deal that begins in 2021.

“I’m very optimistic about future possibilities, especially with U.S. media negotiations coming up in an environment that we haven’t yet had an opportunity to negotiate in,” Bettman mentioned. “I remain very optimistic that revenues will continue to grow and will grow at a very healthy rate.”

NHLers went on strike in 1992, whereas homeowners have instituted a lockout on three separate events since. A chunk of the 1994-95 season was misplaced to a lockout and your complete 2004-05 marketing campaign was cancelled.

The present settlement ended the lockout that decreased the 2012-13 season to a 48-game schedule.

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