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A lot has happened this week with the National Hockey League, and unfortunately we can’t say it’s good news. Late on Tuesday, 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.
Yesterday, NHL insider Nick Kypreos, formerly of Sportsnet, reported that if the players aren’t willing to meet the league’s demands then the entire 2020-21 season could be cancelled.
Insider Elliotte Friedman remains hopeful, though he does mention that “if the season is to begin Jan. 1, a deal needs to be reached by the end of the month.”
He revealed how players are unhappy with the offers and how negotiations have been affected.
“There are several problems with this in the eyes of the union: “We just made a deal, so why should it be changed?” “In the past, when we’ve been unhappy with a CBA, we’ve had to live with it,” “Why did this get proposed so late, we didn’t need a gun to our heads,” “If we agree to this, who’s to say it won’t happen again,” and “They knew this was going to happen all along, didn’t they?””
This prompted Friedman to suggest to players that they should force a change on the playoff schedule for 2021, to get some things to benefit them.
“(If I was a player, I might demand expanded playoffs in exchange for accepting any alterations to the agreement. It’s time and wouldn’t it increase revenues?)”
In the meantime, he hopes to see players calm down and take a moment to get some good negotiating done, because the players want to play and need to get this done soon.