As more players return from across the globe to participate in Phase 3 training camps, the NHL is aggressively working with the NHL Players Association on a deal to provide hockey this season. In fact, the NHL is so eager to return that it’s working through the Fourth of July holiday to hammer it out.
While the NHL slowly continues to move forward with its schedule amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, a significant number of players have already tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, with the health crisis becoming a greater issue, some players are expected to opt out of the NHL’s return.
Despite the hurdles it is facing, the NHL is pressing forward. As TSN’s Bob McKenzie detailed in the league’s “tentative” schedule, key dates are being set for the NHL’s return, but these points can change depending on the severity of the pandemic and how it impacts the league.
While the dates are tentatively set, the NHL still needs to figure out its collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA. While discussions are ongoing, there seems to be very little concern from the league and its owners. However, players from all 31 teams will be voting on this deal and that requires more time for all parties to approve the plan.
Although it is expected to pass, a seed of doubt always remains. Let’s not forget that just last week, Artemi Panarin of the Rangers told players not to return to camp until a fair escrow deal was reached. Hockey seems closer but is still a ways away.
Point being that there’s no separate vote on RTP from CBA. It’s all one big decision. Players on all 31 teams will vote on it. Not just the 24 teams playing.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 3, 2020