NHL and NHLPA Agree on CBA Extension, Season to Restart August 1
The National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association have agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement until the 2025/26 season.
The parties also approved the protocols for the third and fourth stages of the season renewal plan with the intention to resume play on August 1.
The extension of the collective bargaining agreement and the protocols must now be ratified by the NHL board of directors and its union members. The union is expected to vote in the next 3-5 days.
The current agreement, which was signed following the lockout in January 2013, was due to expire on September 15, 2022. Following the extension, the agreement will be valid until September 15, 2026.
It is noted that the new agreement will allow clubs and players more flexibility in terms of planning their international calendars. In the event of ratification of the agreement and successful negotiations with the IOC, NHL players will be able to take part in the 2022 and 2026 Olympic Games.
The agreement also sets the escrow size to 20% this season. In the 2021/22 season, escrow can make up 14-18% percent, depending on the league’s income in the 2020/21 season. Then the escrow will drop to 10% in 2022 and 2023. Throughout the remaining term of the contract, the escrow will be set at 6%. If the agreement is extended for a year, the escrow will be 9%.
The agreement also introduces a deferral of the payment of 10% of player salaries for the 2020/21 season. This money is to be paid back until 2026.
$ 32 million was allocated for player bonuses during the 2020 playoffs. The size of the payout depends on how far the teams advance in Stanley Cup matches. In the 2020/21 season, the prize pool will be $ 20 million.
The minimum NHL salary will increase from 700 to 750 thousand dollars next season and will reach 800 thousand dollars by 2026.
The clause on the ban on the exchange of the contract of a player who agreed to transfer to another club will remain in place.
If a player who has signed a long-term contract at the age of 35 years or older retires before the expiration of the agreement, his salary will not be taken into account under the salary cap rules.