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Pens Thoughts: New CBA, Hubs, Olympics and Geno’s $5 million smile

Catching you up on a flurry of activity around the NHL

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of important items and details floating around today, as we reach July 1st and the NHL soon hopes to get going on re-starting the season. Let’s catch up quick hitter style!

Pens all back in town

Always a good thing to have the gang back together, with training camps scheduled to start on July 10th.

New CBA close

For the first time in his 27 years of being commissioner, Gary Bettman is closing in on getting a labor agreement with the players without a stoppage of play.

This is nice to see both sides work in good faith, for once, because the only way this business will survive navigating this pandemic in near the same health it once was will be together.

Montreal loses potential help

Who knows how much it would have helped, but 20-year old Alexander Romanov — a draft pick who signed with the Canadiens in May 2020 — will apparently be ineligible to compete in the “return to play” of the 2019-20 season.

Hub cities soon to be announced

The hub city drama has rotated endlessly. Now it may be settling in as Edmonton and Toronto.

Olympics

As Elliotte Friedman mentioned in the tweet quoted above, it’s widely been reported that the owners will acquiesce and allow NHL player participation in the Olympics again starting in 2022. A perfect Canada Day gift for 2x gold medalist captain Sidney Crosby!

Sochi 2014- Men’s Hockey-Gold Medal Game Photo by Christopher Morris/Corbis via Getty Images

Bonuses

Evgeni Malkin will be thrilled about the Olympic news as well. But he also has 5,000,000 more reasons to smile today too. That’s the amount of his bonus for 2020-21 that was to be paid.

Per CapFriendly, the only other roster player for the Penguins with a salary bonus is Brandon Tanev, whose contract calls for him to be paid $1,000,000 today. That’s a bit surprising that no other contracts have signing bonuses, but a team like Pittsburgh has been able to pay mostly salaries and avoid big bonuses. These payments are subject to future escrow and holdings, so it’s not all sunshine for these guys, but still a nice day to check the old bank account for Geno and Tanev today.