The Game Haus
NHL

One Step Closer to Play

The NHL and NHLPA reach a tentative agreement on the return to play plan and extending the collective bargaining agreement. This comes just one day after the protocols were finalized to resume play this summer.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
Commissioner Gary Bettman has always been certain about restarting the season and it looks like play will resume soon. Image courtesy: Winslow Townson

What happens next?

The NHL Board of Governors, NHLPA executive committee and full membership of all players must vote to approve the package.

Tentative dates

The tentative dates are for phases three and four of the league’s return to play plan. Here are the tentative dates and details should the NHL Board of Governors, NHLPA executive committee and a full membership vote approve the package:

Phase 3: July 13

  • Opening of training camps in team facilities

Teams traveling to hub cities: July 26

  • All 24 teams will travel to either Toronto or Edmonton
    • Eastern Conference teams will play in Toronto
    • Western Conference teams will play in Edmonton
  • Series of exhibition games will be played before the 24-team tournament begins

Phase 4: August 1

  • 24-team tournament begins
  • Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals will be held in Edmonton

Players can decide to opt out of the season restart within a three day window after the full membership vote approves the new CBA without being questioned.

What’s in the new CBA?

The current CBA was set to expire in September 2022. The new CBA will overwrite the current one set for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. The new CBA will be extended for four more years. Here is the full breakdown of the details in the new CBA according to sources:

  • A flat salary cap of $81.5 million for next season
    • This will remain until hockey-related revenues reach $4.8 billion
      • Amount projected for this season before the pause
  • One time 10% salary deferral by the players next season
    • Will be paid back through the next three seasons starting in 2022-23
  • Capped escrow withholdings each season
    • Starting at 20% next season to make up the revenue shortfall for owners before falling to 6% in the last year of the deal
  • A return to the Winter Olympics in 2022 and 2026
    • A deal is still pending between the NHL and the International Olympic Committee

The CBA was a key aspect for the league and NHLPA if play were to resume this season. The new CBA will cover revenues generated from the NHL’s next U.S. broadcast contract the newest expansion team in Seattle. Their set to play for next season.

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