Fans of the National Hockey League are well aware that the NHL and the National Hockey League Players Association have been hard at work recently trying to hammer out negotiations to begin the 2021 regular season. What you may not know however is that the league and the players hit a massive roadblock this week and now the latest paints an even darker picture of where we might be headed.
Andy Scott, an agent who works for Octagon Sports and Entertainment and who represents players like Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl and Winnipeg Jets star Patrik Laine, recently spoke to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun and made it clear he feels the players should not budge.
"The players need to stand firm and they need to set a precedent they aren’t willing to negotiate in the middle of a CBA," said Scott as per Garrioch on Sunday.
The league and the players negotiated a new Collective Bargaining Agreement just 4 months ago prior to the start of their return to play initiative for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and it is clear that Scott feels an attempt to re-negotiate so soon is unfair to his clients.
"The NHL is entitled to ask, they’re entitled to make a proposal and they’re entitled to make a request but the players are also very much entitled to stand firm and I think they should," added Scott.
Garrioch himself now believes that it is doubtful that we will see a start of the season by January 1st as has been projected all along, and Scott also indicated that he feels the same way. Instead he believes that a start some time around mid to late January would be more realistic, and frankly that will only be the case if the two stubborn sides can ever come to an agreement in the first place.
I for one have been frustrated by the lack of hockey during these winters months and if some of the fans out there are anything like me they will be very frustrated to learn that we may have to wait even longer because of a dispute over money between the NHL players and the NHL owners.