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NHL already wants financial concessions from players to get 2021 season underway

Uh oh… Are we going to hit a wall in negotiations?

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Later on Tuesday after some encouraging news that  an update on the 2020-21 season could be coming as soon as this Friday, there was some bad news. Larry Brooks of the New York Post came out with a shocking report that “the NHL is seeking financial concessions in the form of a 13 percent deferral on 2020-21 pay from players as an opening gambit in Return to Play negotiations for the 2020-21 season”, according to multiples sources. 

We all know that’s not going to fly with players and you know it. 

While the Post isn’t aware yet on how the NHL’s Players Association will respond to this, it is clear that it will affect negotiations moving forward. This is how Brooks puts it: 

“It is unclear how the NHLPA, which agreed to a 10 percent deferral in the  six-year collective bargaining agreement extension agreed upon by the parties just over four months ago in early July, will respond. Escrow will be capped — and set — at 20 percent for the season.
It is also unclear whether the request represents an ultimatum or if it is the board’s initial position for a negotiation apart from the season’s format and pandemic-related protocols. The original 10 percent deferral is due to be repaid in three equal installments (without interest) in October of 2022, 2023 and 2024.
While the CBA Memo of Understanding effectively rules out prorating for the season, it does state: “The parties also agree to continue discussions regarding the possibility of allowing Players and Clubs to negotiate additional deferrals on a case-by-case basis.”
That seems kind of odd, doesn’t it?”

This could well be the path to a season restart, as we know some players aren’t thrilled about the idea of prorating salaries. This could be a good option, though we will have to see how they feel about this new offer from the NHL.