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NHL and NHLPA Reach Tentative Agreement on Return-to-Play and CBA Extension

NHL games are set to resume on August 1, CBA extension runs through 2026

The NHL and the NHLPA announced yesterday that they have reached a tentative agreement for Phases 3 and 4 of their return-to-play plan as well as a four-year extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This extends the CBA through the 2025-2026 season.

Below is the official statement from the league:

NEW YORK/TORONTO (July 6, 2020) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) have reached a tentative agreement on a Return to Play Plan and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that adds an additional four years to the term of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and includes transition rules and a new critical dates calendar. As part of the tentative agreement, the following dates have been established: July 13 – Start of formal training camps; July 26 – Clubs travel to hub cities; August 1 – Start of Qualifying Round. The tentative agreement is now subject to approval by the NHL’s Board of Governors, as well as the NHLPA’s Executive Board followed by the full NHLPA membership. The respective review and approval processes will take place over the next few days and there will be no further comment until those processes are completed.

The agreement to Phase 3 and Phase 4 protocols still needs to be formally approved by the NHL’s board of governors, NHLPA’s executive board, and the full NHLPA membership. Notable aspects of the tentative agreement include:

  • NHL players will be allowed to participate in the 2022 and 2026 Winter Olympics, pending negotiations with the IIHF and IOC.
  • The 2020-2021 salary cap limit will be frozen at $81.5 million and stay there until hockey-related revenue returns to $4.8 billion (the projected pre-pandemic HHR for the 2019-2020 season).
  • The NHL’s minimum salary will increase from $700,000 this season to $750,000 next season.
  • Rookie NHLers will be able to earn more on their ELCs for the first time since 2005 - individual “A” Bonus maximum will increase from $850,000 to $1 million.

For a full list of CBA framework, check out Frank Seravalli’s analysis for TSN.

The results of the formal approval vote should be announced within the week.