The players were not enthusiastic about the idea of giving up extra money and wanted the owners to stick to the original agreement, delay negotiations and ultimately delay the start of a new season (the NHL originally wanted to start the game on December 1). This week, the owners apparently admitted and agreed to move forward without the players` additional concessions and eliminate the biggest roadblock for a new season. If hockey fans need more reason to be enthusiastic, keep that in mind. The CBA extension represents the stage for NHL players at the 2022 and 2026 Olympic Winter Games. This decision depends on an agreement between the league and the International Olympic Committee, but it is an important step for the future of the NHL. “In Canada, the threat of a lockout during the life of a collective is prohibited by law and with heavy penalties, whether a lockout is complete or not,” said Wassim Garzouzi, an employment law specialist at Raven Law in Ottawa, who represents the union side. “The league will not pronounce the word lockout, but in practice, its actions could be interpreted as such. It would be one thing for the NHL to say that it cannot go at all because of the pandemic. It is quite another for the league to say that it will not continue until it gets other concessions from the players. In this case, the league threatens to block the season in order to force players to accept changes in the collective bargaining agreement. That is the very definition of a lockout, and the league potentially exposes itself to liability.
All of this is academic at this point and, in the end, the quarrel will have leverage. That is what she always does. Asking for changes to a ratified agreement is a big deal, and the NHL knows it. So if you turn to the players` union for new concessions, the league sees something new and material that needs urgent attention. In fact, the NHL believes that its financial assumptions have changed so dramatically that the upcoming season is no longer financially viable in the four corners of the existing framework. The previous contract was signed in 1995 following a deadlock that reduced the 1994/95 NHL season to 48 games, a 34-game loss from the original 82-game game plan.