Welcome to Daily Faceoff’s daily NHL roundup where we bring you the NHL’s most important news and rumours every day.
NHL and NHLPA not near an agreement for 2021
We’re a little over a month away from the NHL’s ideal starting date for the 2021 season — Jan. 1 — and the league and the Players’ Association don’t appear anywhere close on a deal.
On Wednesday, the NHL submitted two different proposals to the Players’ Association, both of which featured an increase in deferred payment and escrow. Back in July, the NHL and the PA agreed to a 10 percent deferral for the upcoming season and for escrow to be capped at 20 percent.
From the NHL’s perspective, COVID-19 has hammered the league’s revenue harder than expected and, in order to maintain the CBA-mandated 50-50 equilibrium of hockey-related-revenue, the players are going to have to hand back a significant chunk of their salaries over the next few years.
The players were reportedly shocked by the proposals, per Elliotte Friedman.
“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 is a big setback for the NHL. If the league wants to kick things off on Jan. 1 as planned, the two sides need to reach a deal by the beginning of December. The players now feeling “betrayed” by the league isn’t a good place to start. And, of course, this is just the discussion around money. There are still matters like the schedule, travel, hub cities, safety, protocols, and all of the logistics as to how the season will play out.
NHL’s proposed realignment and schedule
The NHL has reportedly proposed a few logistic-based things to the Players’ Association.
First, via Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, is the proposal for divisional realignment for 2021, which features, as expected, an All-Canadian Division…
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 19, 2020
A few things are a little odd about this proposal, such as the Florida-based teams playing in the Central Division and two clear geographical rivals in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia being put into two different divisions. You’d think Carolina could go into the Central Division while the Penguins could shift over to the East.
But, save for that head-scratcher, this is pretty much what we’ve expected from the divisional realignment.
Also, Larry Brooks from the New York Post is reporting that the NHL has proposed a 60-game schedule to the Players’ Association. The league had stated that the goal was playing a full 82-game slate but everybody knows that wasn’t going to be possible. There’s the issue of the Summer Olympics beginning in July and the NHL wants to get back on a normal calendar for 2021-22.
World Hockey Championships moved to Russia
The 2021 World Hockey Championships will now be co-hosted by Latvia and Russia, according to Ryan Kennedy.
The tournament was originally supposed to be co-hosted by Minsk, Belarus and Riga, Latvia, but, instead, it’ll happen in Riga and Moscow. This decision was made in response to the political strife occurring in Belarus right now.