The NHL Players’ Association has announced it will not reopen the current collective bargaining agreement after the 2019-20 season, avoiding a potential lockout next September.
The NHL had the same right and informed the NHLPA last month that it would not terminate the labour deal. The players had until Monday to make their decision, while the league’s deadline was Sept. 1.
The 10-year deal which was signed in 2013 after the last lockout included an opt-out for both parties. By not opting out of the current CBA, it shows a positive side that both parties continue to negotiate for the next extension. The NHL has gone through two work stoppages within the last 15 years.
The entire 2004-05 season was wiped out due to a labor dispute, while a lockout limited the 2012-13 campaign to just 48 games.
The current CBA is working well for owners, but players have voiced concerns after making significant compromise in the last agreement back in 2013 –– including Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, who was quoted saying “I’m no financial expert. All I see is that I’ve signed a contract and to me it’s not exactly being honored. So I don’t care what business you’re in — to me that’s kind of ridiculous.”
Some of the speculation as to why the NHLPA would opt out of the CBA were in liaison of having access to represent their respective countries during the Olympics, the escrow and health benefits. With this news, fans can now get excited that there won’t be another shortage in 12 months time.