After weeks of negotiations and planning to conduct the 2020-21 season in the midst of a pandemic, the NHL and NHLPA officially announced their plans for the season on Sunday evening.
According to a report from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet Canada, the NHL and NHLPA have a tentative agreement on a 56-game season. TSN’s Renaud Lavoie adds that an announcement could come in the next few days with the 2020-21 season beginning on Jan. 13.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke in a panel discussion on Wednesday morning and said the NHL’s target remains a mid-January start and talks are mainly regarding COVID-19 protocols for the season. That start date is far from certain as more time passes.
According to reports from TSN’s Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed that the economic framework of the CBA agreed upon in June will not change. Now, both sides shift focus to planning out a season and everything that will go with it with a target start date of Jan. 13.
With the calendar turned to December, the Jan. 1 target date is no longer realistic to open the 2020-21 season. Instead, the NHL has proposed a mid-January start to the season, according to a report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
Now that it is December, where does the NHL stand in its potential return to play? Is Jan. 1 still a realistic target?
There was hope that there would be some concrete details about the upcoming NHL season, but negotiations on a return have hit a snag during the week. The players are reportedly “blindsided” by a request from the NHL owners to change the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Gary Bettman announced that the NHL and NHLPA have put the focus on a Jan. 1 start date for the 2020-21 season. Estimated timing for the start of training camp will be announced at a later date.
The NHL has worked out a return-to-play plan, CBA extension and used very specific planning to get to the start of Phase 3. For them to complete the season, the next two weeks leading up to the travel to Phase 4 hub cities is critical.
The biggest uncertainty in completing the NHL season remains COVID-19, but after the NHL and NHLPA’s most collaborative labor efforts in decades, it would be a just reward if they can award the Stanley Cup.
The NHL Board of Governors and the NHLPA voted in approval to ratify a Memorandum of Understanding to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Return to Play protocols.
Less than 24 hours after a tentative agreement was reached on return-to-play protocols for Phases 3 and 4, the NHL and NHLPA announced they have reached a tentative agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding that adds four more years to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
On Sunday night, TSN’s Bob McKenzie was first to report that a tentative agreement has been reached between the NHL and NHLPA on Phase 3 and Phase 4 protocols. However, there is not an agreement on a CBA extension just yet, which puts a full membership vote on hold for now.
Phase 3 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan is scheduled to begin on July 10, the earliest possible date based on previous updates. The league will only move to Phase 3 on this date provided that medical and safety conditions allow it.
On Thursday, the NHL announced an agreement with the NHLPA on the remaining details of the return to play format.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made a formal announcement on Tuesday afternoon to detail the rest of this four-phase plan and break down the playoff structure and draft lottery protocols as the NHL strives to make a return to play.
The NHLPA Executive Board had a call on Thursday to discuss the proposed 24-team playoff structure for the NHL’s return to play. On Friday, the NHLPA officially announced approval of the 24-team structure and authorized further negotiations with the NHL in pursuing the return to play.
On Wednesday night, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the NHL and NHLPA is working toward a 24-team playoff setup that would be conference-based and it certainly has an interesting structure.
Wednesday evening brought the latest update from the NHL and NHLPA regarding the possibility of a return to play.
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