In case you missed the news yesterday, longtime NHL reporter Larry Brooks of The New York Post reported that the NHL and NHLPA are at odds with regards to how much of the players' salary will be deferred in and when the puck drops on the 2020-21 season. Despite negotiating a new contract with a 10% deferral just 4 months ago, the NHL is now demanding that the players cough up an extra 13% and, in effect, defer a full quarter of their salary for next season.
From Brooks' article:
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, multiple sources have told The Post.
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.
Now, NHL insider Nick Kypreos, formerly of Sportsnet, is reporting that if the players aren't willing to meet the league's demands then the entire 2020-21 season could be cancelled.
Check it out:
Hmmm... on the one hand, what is the NHL supposed to do? There's no revenue coming in. On the other hand, they signed an agreement... an agreement that's so fresh that the ink still hasn't dried. They agreed to these terms just four months ago.
Here's the real kicker though: the players really don't have any leverage in this situation. Does it suck that the NHL is going back on their own word? Of course, but frankly the players either get a smaller percentage of their salary or they get zero salary. Which would you choose?
Suffice it to say, things could get very, very, VERY contentious between the NHL and the NHLPA over the next few weeks. Frankly, I'm just happy that the two sides agreed to a proper Collective Bargaining Agreement ahead of this squabble, because we know that Gary Bettman and company have no problem locking out the players and fans from this sport whenever it serves their bottom line.