The NHLPA has decided to not opt-out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NHL. Meaning New York Islanders fans and every other fan base doesn’t have to worry about a lockout. Yet.
The players union had until September 16th to decide if it wanted to open up the negotiations on a new CBA. The players union decided not to open negotiations with the League. Instead, we’ll have labor peace for the next three seasons.
So now what?
Three More Years
If the players – or the League – had opted to opt-out of the deal the CBA would have expired at the end of the current season. Meaning they’d have another year to figure out a new CBA to avoid any sort of labor stoppages.
Now, with both sides opting-in to the current CBA, the expiry is extended for another three seasons. Meaning the CBA will expire at the end of the 2021-22 NHL season. So if a lockout is coming it won’t be here until the 2022-23 NHL season.
Or the last year of the Andrew Ladd deal. I know.
But for now, we have labor peace. The NHL and NHLPA have agreed that what they have right now is good enough for both parties to tough it out another few years.
It’s not that either side doesn’t have their own grievances with the CBA as it currently stands. The players aren’t fans of escrow. If you don’t know what escrow is, it’s essentially a mechanism to ensure the owners get their 50 percent of hockey-related revenues (HRR). And the owners would like to have a higher portion of HRR.
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So far the NHL and NHLPA feel like they can co-exist and even take this time to start negotiating the next deal. In their announcement on Monday, the NHLPA indicated that: “We have been having discussions with the League about an extension of the CBA and expect that those talks will continue.”
Here’s hoping they do exactly that and we don’t have to face the fourth labor stoppage under Gary Bettman.