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Source: NHL/PA deadline in one week, and a creative solution to get it done

November 23, 2020, 1:22 PM ET [50 Comments]
I am doing a full rumor chart update for this evening, but here is the latest.

The NHL/NHLPA deadline for a mid-January start is one week from today.. I was told this by two team reps and one NHLPA guy familiar with how these talks are going...
"It's not dire, but time is really short, and a few teams already won't be able to play until around the 15th of January...Unless some special internal issues can be mitigated with their cities, and in one case their building..."

So...what about the 100 or so guys still needing contracts?

The NHL, as part of their negotiations here, may allow some of the teams who are able to withstand the economics of no fans a chance to help the teams who can't. One source said, "some sort of cap raising and luxury tax to help out the lesser teams on a ONE-year basis is really the obvious solution right now."

It is true...there are teams able to go over the cap by a few million on a one-year contract right now and that opens up money for players, while at the same time allowing the players to get a "win" by accepting more deferred money.

My source: "It's unsure of exactly how this would work...If the deals that go above the cap would be only allowed to be one-year deals, or not...either way the teams would have to be compliant per the norm next season..unless of course, the pandemic were to extend this special case"

Another source: "Essentially it is revenue sharing by the wealthy teams and rewarding them with another player or two."

Does this affect the balance of power too much? In hockey, I don't think so....We aren't talking about megastar signings...but this could allow teams to get their RFAs signed and the UFAs would still have options...Depending on how the temporary rule is written Barzal and Dubois could benefit...

Essentially. this gets the teams that simply can't play without fans a little relief...There are a few franchisees who are in fear of being forced to re-locate if fans don't come back this season..."Some will absolutely go under if it stretches beyond this season for any reason."

All this means positive stuff and shows the two sides' willingness to be creative...But ther is no deal yet...and until teams know what the deal is....we will see the NHL rumors and signings continue to sit in limbo....

Once a deal IS made, we will see another fun free agent period and trades a plenty....more on that in the next blog.
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