New York Rangers star forward Artemi Panarin has had enough and, on Thursday, posted a huge statement on his Instagram page, urging players not report to training camps this summer.
Why? Because he strongly believes that the NHL and the NHLPA need to agree on a fix for the league’s financial system.
“I am very much looking forward to the playoffs with the New York Rangers. I have concerns not only about the health of the players and their families but also about the long-term prosperity of the NHL,” Panarin said in his post Thursday.
“For nearly two decades, the players have protected the owners’ income with escrow, including throughout this pandemic crisis, even as owners’ equity continues to grow exponentially,” Panarin added . “It is time to fix the escrow. We as players cannot report to camp to resume play without already having an agreement in place. We are all in this together.”
“I know the process for selection of the Hub Cities is ongoing. I sincerely wish that my teammates and I could train and play games at MSG and bring employment and economic opportunity safely back to New York City for Rangers fans and all New Yorkers.”
The NHL and NHLPA are targeting July 10 for a return to camps. However if there is a vote and players side with Panarin’s stance, we could have an issue in the league’s return to play plan.
The current financial system in the NHL involves a 50/50 split in revenue between the players and owners. The escrow system, which calls for a percentage of withholding from players’ paychecks each season, maintains that balance by either funnelling money back to the owners in the case of a revenue shortfall, or having it refunded to the players.
As you can expect, players anticipate a massive escrow hit after the NHL paused its season on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. On top of that, the return to play plan is set to restart the season without fans in the stands.
Anaheim Ducks’ Ryan Kesler did not hesitate to support Panarin’s comments and he expects many more players will feel the same.
Panarin’s statement comes at a critical time. And we can’t imagine the impact it will have on the plan to resume play…