The NHL is asking players to defer an additional 13 per cent of their 2020-21 pay as part of return-to-play negotiations for the upcoming season, Sportsnet can confirm.
The NHLPA already agreed to a 10 per cent salary deferral in the six-year collective bargaining agreement extension signed in July, ahead of the league’s completion of its 2019-20 campaign in Edmonton and Toronto bubbles.
The news was first reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
Per Brooks, it is unclear how the players’ union will respond and if the request from the league represents an ultimatum or if it is an initial position in the bargaining between the two parties.
The players’ original deferral is set to be repaid in three instalments (without interest) in October of 2022, 2023 and 2024. The CBA extension ruled out the prorating of salaries, as was done in the MLB’s pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but says, “The parties also agree to continue discussions regarding the possibility of allowing players and clubs to negotiate additional deferrals on a case-by-case basis.”
The NHL has previously said it is targeting a Jan. 1 start to the 2020-21 season, but details remain up in the air.
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