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
Coach Sullivan: "To my knowledge, everybody is in Pittsburgh right now. The last player to arrive was Patric Hornqvist. He's going through the quarantine/testing protocol that the league has mandated. Right now, we have our full complement of players in Pittsburgh."— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) July 1, 2020
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.
Long night of negotiations/hard work between NHL/NHLPA appears to have resulted in agreement on most issues on Phase 3/4 RTP, CBA extension, transition rules. Still a couple of items to finalize today. NOTHING, of course, is actually done until both sides ratify a tentative deal.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2020
10 per cent of next season’s salary deferred; language for right to opt-out of Return to Play. Also, NHL fought for changes to contract structure — limits on signing bonuses and less salary fluctuation on a year-to-year basis. We’ll see how that looks.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2020
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.
With the usual qualifier of nothing is certain until the agreement is ratified — stamp that on every one of my tweets this week — it’s my understanding recently signed players Romanov (MTL), Kaprizov (MIN), Sorokin (NYI) will not be eligible for 2019-20 RTP.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2020
Hub cities soon to be announced
The hub city drama has rotated endlessly. Now it may be settling in as Edmonton and Toronto.
Barring any last-minute complications, and we have seen some of those (Vancouver and Las Vegas), the two NHL Hub cities will be Edmonton and Toronto.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2020
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!
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.
The expectation is that NHL players will be paid their 2020-21 contract year signing bonuses tomorrow on July 1, as scheduled. That’s an NHL expenditure of more than $300 million.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2020
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.