This absolutely had to happen, but I have to wonder how many players that were set to be unrestricted free agents or even restricted free agents at the end of this month are quietly grumbling about this development.
As all of you reading this will already know the National Hockey League was forced to suspend the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season as a result of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. This has in turn resulted in a massive delay in crowing a Stanley Cup Champion in 2020, so much so that player contracts would have expired at the end of this month before they ever played a single playoff game. Many have wondered what will happen to players whose contracts were set to end on that date, and we may now finally have an answer.
Although it is not yet official, NHL salary tracking site extraordinaire CapFriendly is now reporting that both the NHL and the National Hockey League Players Association have come to terms on a deal that will extend those contracts up to the new date when the season is expected to end. That date has not yet been established, but according to the report it will be early November or possibly even late October.
We’ve heard that the NHL and NHLPA have come to a tentative agreement on extending player contracts and work permits for players whose contracts were set to expire on June 30.
We expect that the contracts will be extended to a date in late October or early November.
This is of course great news for fans of the game who all want to see these respective players representing the teams they would have normally been contracted to play for in a normal season, but I can easily see a ton of pitfalls here for the players. What happens to a player who has a very poor performance in the postseason after such a long break, seeing his value drop in the process? What about if a player set to earn a big pay day suffers a career altering injury?
No doubt these concerns have already been raised, but it will be very interesting to see if any of them are manifest during the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.