The situation between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association is apparently on rocky ground and that could potentially mean bad news for hockey fans in North America. All of you by now have heard that the NHL plans to resume play on January 1st in spite of the fact that the date has yet to be officially confirmed, but it now sounds like those plans could be in some jeopardy.
Recently NHL insider Elliotte Friedman shared the latest on the ongoing negotiations between the two sides as they look to cement a pathway to playing out what will presumably be a shortened season. The situation was described as "acrimonious" and Friedman went so far as to say that talk of increased escrow isa non-starter, and may in fact be an "impossibility", for the players. There is some good news however, Friedman also went on to describe how agents were hard at work crunching numbers on what could potentially be a solution to the escrow problem.
"When it comes to solutions I think escrow is an almost impossible sell to the players," said Friedman during the broadcast. "A deferral, I have had some people tell me that agents are running the math and they see a reason that is sensible.... I do think there is a path towards deferring money."
Now no doubt there will be some fans who will be frustrated to learn that the league and the players are fighting over money, especially considering just how much people are struggling during this pandemic. There are however good reasons for these squabbles between the two parties as the league is reportedly looking to slash some serious dollars off of its budget. Everyone knows how big of a hit the league has taken due to their inability to have fans in the building, but the number cited by Friedman here might surprise many with just how big it is.
"The commissioner is looking to save about 300 million dollars," revealed Friedman.
In spite of the fact that tensions may be high between the NHL and NHLPA right now the reality is that both sides need games to be played in order to make revenue and for that reason it is in the interest of both parties to work something out. The Tokyo Summer Olympic Games also have the NHL on an extremely tight schedule given that NBC, the league's broadcast partner in the U.S., will want the Stanley Cup Finals wrapped up prior to that event which is set to be held in July of 2021.