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Financial Disagreements Between NHL and Player’s Association Could Spell Trouble for NHL Season

The clock continues to tick as the NHL and the NHL player’s association pursue a plan to start the 2020-21 NHL season.

One of the biggest issues with getting talks solidified is without a doubt salaries. With the last CBA, which was agreed to in early July of 2020, the players agreed to defer 10% of their gross pay, with 20% escrow.

Now, amid trying to start the 2020-21 season, there is word that the NHL is now seeking to defer 13% of the player’s salary. In an article with Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman pointed out that sources said that this idea hasn’t been made an official proposal just yet, but the idea arose during talks between the league and player’s association.

Nick Kypreos added this information, in a tweet Wednesday afternoon:

As one would expect, the player’s aren’t very interested in changing the salary and escrow rates, just a short months after the financial terms were settled in the July CBA. A few responses by anonymous players pointed out that changing the rates is an absolute non starter, and they absolutely do not want to change it. The players feel that the league is looking to save another $300M.

Could the season really be cancelled if financial problems between the two sides continue to be unsolved? Maybe, but I seriously doubt it would come to that. The NHL and NHLPA are both wanting the season to happen. So it’s expected that the financial issues will sort itself out. The only question is, when? Time is closing in on the targeted January 1st start.

Details Regarding 2020-21 Season Clearing Up?

It is rumored that the 2020-21 NHL season will have between 48 and 60 games. It’ll essentially follow what the MLB did, in terms of fans, scheduling games, and travel. It seems likely that the schedule will be very division and geographically based. There might even b a “Canadian Division” to help solve international travel. Remember, it’s still heavily restricted due to the recent spikes in Coronavirus cases all over North America.

Training camps are expected to last two weeks. The seven teams that did not make the 24 team playoffs last season are being allowed additional time. This is because they haven’t played, practiced, or trained as a team since the league was paused back on March 12th, 2020, a long 251 days ago. The 251 days off for those 7 NHL clubs (Detroit, San Jose, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Buffalo, New Jersey, and Anaheim) could cause them to have historically bad starts.

With a lot to be decided and talked through, these next few weeks will be very interesting. Will the league get everything squared away in short order so the season can start on the targeted date? Or will these issues cause the start to be pushed back to February, or later? Let me know what you think!

-Bradley Whitesell (@Bradiey98)

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