According to a number of reports early on Canada Day — Happy Canada Day, by the way — the NHL and the NHLPA worked late into the night on Tuesday evening trying to hammer out the details of a new CBA so the league and players could get back to work.
We discussed that the NHL is expected to announce officially that the two hub cities are likely to be Toronto and Edmonton, but beyond that, there is lot of news coming in respect to the collective bargaining agreement.
We reported Tuesday night that Bob McKenzie was reporting more than $300 million was going to be paid out to players with signing bonuses today. The bonus payments will not be deferred to the beginning of the next league year, reports TSN’s Bob McKenzie (Twitter link). That said, it could take some time for players like Connor McDavid to get his $12 million since it’s a holiday in Canada today and Saturday is one for the United States.
The escrow rate is still yet to be determined as well.
Traditionally, NHL contracts for the season expired last night. With July 1 often the opening of free agency, this year was going to be different since the season hadn’t been completed.
An interim extension has been agreed upon notes TSN’s Frank Seravalli. A new date for contracts expiring was not revealed but speculation is that contracts will run right up until the start of next season. That could mean players are under contracts until mid-to-late October.
Seravalli adds that players will be allowed to opt out of returning to play for the upcoming postseason. This is a real issue as it has been reported as many as 75% of players aren’t sure they want to come back.
International Entry-Level Deals No Good
Players that were hoping to sign entry-level deals and be eligible to play in the play-in round/playoffs will not be able to do so. In other words, names like defenceman Alexander Romanov of the Montreal Canadiens, forward Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild and goaltender Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders, are out for this season tweets TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
That said, CapFriendly points out that today is also the last day to sign these players to 2020-21 contracts. If those contracts are not signed today, the teams next opportunity would come whenever the Free Agency window opens.
The talks on Tuesday also included a new agreement that likely includes the players being able to participate in the 2022 Games. In fact, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic indicates adds that 2026 in Italy (Milan and Cortina) is also currently part of the agreement.
Salary Cap Implications Moving Forward
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (read here for the entire Twitter thread), the expected salary caps for the upcoming seasons are $81.5 million in 2020-21 and 2021-22 and $82.5 million in 2022-23.
This was expected but the official nature of this announcement is bad news for a number of teams who will have to offload salary as soon as this season is over.
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