The NHL Players Association met in Chicago yesterday to discuss whether they would opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before the deadline of September 15th. Last weekend the NHL opted to not re-open bargaining and keep the CBA’s current expiry date of September 15th 2022.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported that the NHLPA may use the opt-out to push for more negotiations now, rather than later:
The NHL and NHLPA have been conducting CBA negotiations off and on for the last number of months. Both sides have reported that discussions have been overwhelmingly positive, with some saying that the dialogue and communication has been more constructive and productive than it has been in a decade or more.
In fact, there is even some optimism that a new CBA can be hammered out in the next 10 days before the NHLPA’s deadline to opt out.
If the NHLPA declines, the current CBA will remain in effect for three more seasons, through 2021-22.
The key to remember is that if the NHLPA does indeed opt out this month, nothing would preclude both sides from continuing negotiations over the next months in an effort to agree on a new CBA before it expires on Sept. 15, 2020.
That is why many believe NHLPA executive director Don Fehr will play the opt-out card, using the leverage he has to tackle the items on the union’s agenda.
After the meetings concluded, things were summed up as:
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr says it was a good discussion and update with players tonight. No decisions taken. More CBA discussions with the NHL coming.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 5, 2019
Worth the wait!
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