According to hockey insiders Bob McKenzie (TSN), Elliotte Friedman (Sportsnet), and Chris Johnston (Sportsnet), the NHL and the NHLPA have come to a tentative agreement on the next return-to-play phases crucial to their plans for staging playoffs in 2020 the 2020-21 season.
Late Sunday afternoon, the army of insiders released the proposed information regarding the plans for the NHL’s proposed playoff plans. They also indicated that, in conjunction with the return-to-play memo of understanding, both parties are determined to agree to an extended collective bargaining agreement, which would avoid a labor-related work stoppage for the first time in Gary Bettman’s tenure.
NHL and NHLPA have finalized tentative agreement on RTP Phase 3/4 protocols but are continuing to work on finalizing the details of the CBA MOU.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 5, 2020
NBCSC’s Charlie Roumeliotis outlined several of the top points in the memo of understanding, which includes how the league will handle players who opt out of the return-to-play playoff tournament:
- Any player that opts out of Phases 3 and 4 will not be penalized in any way, but they must notify their NHL teams in writing three days after the ratification vote is complete.
- There will be a limit of 30 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies in Phase 3, and only players eligible to play in the 2019-20 season resumption are permitted to skate. A maximum of 52 personnel members — a minimum of three coaches and a maximum of 31 players — will be allowed to travel for Phase 4.
- Each of the 24 NHL teams in Phases 3 and 4 must submit its list of participating players by Thursday. Formal training camps are expected to open on Monday, July 13.
- Players must undergo a pre-participate medical exam, and if both the doctor administering the exam and the team’s infectious disease expert determine that a player is at “substantial risk of developing a serious illness,” the player will be deemed unfit to play. The player will, however, be allowed to seek a second opinion.
- If a player who tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms in either Phase 3 or 4, the team is not permitted to share that information with the media or public, absent prior approval from the NHL, in consultation with the NHLPA.
- If an individual leaves the bubble environment in the two respective hub cities without permission, the individual may be subject to consequences up to and including removal. In addition, violations could result in significant financial penalties for the club and/or loss of draft choices, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
- Players’ families will be allowed to join the players for the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, which will be hosted by Edmonton.
This announcement comes on the heels of more players in Major League Baseball testing positive, including two Chicago White Sox players who tested positive during the initial intake process.
As far as the CBA negotiations are concerned, a huge point of contention is the salary escrow that the players will be subjected to. Friedman also noted that noticeable changes in the new agreement are regarding Olympic participation, strengthening no-movement clauses, 35-plus contract relaxation, and the elimination of conditional draft picks for players re-signing or not re-signing with the target teams.
More news should be released in the coming days.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 6, 2020