NHLPA expected to pass new CBA and Return to Play plan within 48 hours

Late last night, the NHLPA Executive Board voted on and approved the CBA extension. Included in that vote was approval for all Return to Play protocols as well.

NHLPA set to ratify new CBA extension

This now moves to the full NHLPA Membership to vote on. A simple majority is required to pass the deal and it’s fully expected to be approved.

NHL CBA changes

  1. The new extension is for a total of six years with an option to extend for one more.
  2. Players can opt out of RTP this summer without having an underlying condition and can’t be penalized.
  3. Cap ceiling will remain at $81.5 million and can’t go up until revenue hits $4.8 billion.
  4. Escrow will be 20% next season and work its way down to 6% by the 2023-24 season. This is what Artemi Panarin wanted players to hold out for.
  5. Players can participate in the Olympics
  6. No more conditional picks for signing with the team a player was traded to. Ex: no upgrading a 2nd round pick for a 1st if that player signs with the team that traded for him.
  7. No Move/Trade follows the player. In the past if a player was traded before his clause kicked in, the new team could opt out. Think Derek Stepan and PK Subban.
  8. Players in Europe no longer needed to clear waivers if they signed a deal by December 15th.
  9. NHL minimum salary will go from $700,000 to $750,000 next season.
  10. No more front loading deals. The NHL has lowered the salary variability from the first year to the last to 35%. Originally it was 50%. This takes away a little bit of power from teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers who are notorious for front loading contracts to land free agents.

Key Points on NHL Return to Play Protocols and Dates

  • Coaches are not required to wear masks behind the bench
  • All players will be subject to a pre-participation exam
    • If the team doctors determine the player is at risk of serious illness due to COVID-19, that player will be held out of both Phase 3 & 4
    • Players can seek second opinions
  • Players can leave the “bubble” with permission
    • Upon return those players will be forced to quarantine
    • They can return to play after 4 straight negative tests over 4 days
  • Players who leave the “bubble” without permission may be removed from the tournament and the team could face additional penalties
  • Players can opt out without penalty but must tell teams within 3 days of ratification.
  • Phase 3 Training Camp: July 13
  • Arrive at Hub City: ~July 26
  • Phase 4 Qualifying Round: August 1
  • Draft Lottery Phase 2: ~August 10
  • Award Stanley Cup: Early October
  • NHL Draft: Mid-October
  • Start of Free Agency: November 1