The National Hockey League is not budging, for now, from its plan to kick the 2020-21 season on January 13th, with a potential 56-game schedule in order to respect the tight deadline set by the Summer Olympics.
However, we all know that many important details need to get ironed out for NHL Board of Governors and NHLPA Executive Committee approve the deal, and finally on Tuesday night, the insiders of TSN reveal what’s holding things up in NHL/NHLPA negotiations for 2020-21 season. First here is how Darren Dreger explained it on the segment of Insider Trading on TSN:
“A lot of things but to simplify it, there are so many issues around roster size, taxi squads, how that’s going to impact the American Hockey League as an example. Will waivers be required for players to clear to be placed on a taxi squad? How many players can be there? How do you activate that player from the taxi squad and how many moves can you freely make as an NHL club? So, there’s a lot to work through.”
This sure sounds like a lot of questions that still need answering in order to get the season underway, and Dreger’s colleague, TSN senior hockey writer Frank Seravalli added more to the already exhaustive list.
“Part of the focus in these discussions over the last number of weeks has been these transactions between rosters and taxi squads as it relates to the salary cap. We know that’s not changing at $81.5 million but if your roster size is a maximum of 25, then how do you transition players to that taxi squad? We’re told that at this point it would seem to be like a normal AHL transaction in the sense that no, the player is not leaving town but his salary cap hit would come off the books unless it’s one of those larger salaries that you’re trying to bury. Everything except for $1.075 million would count against your cap. So, moving forward, there’s all sorts of permutations and language that needs to be figured out including accrued seasons, pro seasons, all things that relate to the expansion draft. So many things to sort through, guys.”
If the NHL sticks to its projected start date of January 13th for the start of the 2020-21 shortened season, players will need to start quarantining this weekend.
There are still a few days left to go, so we can keep our fingers crossed, however a lot more will need to get done in the coming days or else the start date of the 2020-21 campaign could get pushed back once again…