The NHL and NHLPA have once again put pride and money aside to potentially save another season and are currently hunkered down figuring out the format for an NHL Return that would see the league hold a 56-game season beginning Jan. 13.
Only this past Friday, it appeared as if the 2020-21 NHL season had a 50/50 chance of being dead on arrival. The players were insulted and flabbergasted that the NHL owners were actually – no matter what they say – asking for a redo of the collective bargaining agreement they just agreed on with the players back in July. To make matters worse, not only were the owners asking for more deferrals in salary from the players but also more escrow. Yes, escrow, the thorn in the collective side of the players since the 2004-05 NHL season was canceled because of a lockout that eventually led to the salary cap being implemented.
On top of that sudden monkey wrench into planning for the 2020-21 season was a group of owners, reportedly led by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, that would rather just not have a season at all because it will add to the money they’re already losing from the pandemic.
For the first time since last July, the Boston Hockey Now Puck links are full of hope though because barring any unforeseen stalemates, another NHL Return is upon us!
Along with NHL insiders like Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun (TSN) and Elliotte Friedman (Sportsnet), our own Adrian Dater was tapped in for the last 24 hours breaking news on the potential NHL Return as it leaked from NHL and NHLPA sources. (Colorado Hockey Now)
Friend of BHN and longtime Ottawa Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch has confirmed that the Ottawa Senators and the seven other teams that didn’t participate in the NHL Return and 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs this past summer, will get to start training camp earlier than the 24 teams that did. (Ottawa Sun)
As reported in the latest Off The Record, it appeared that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was doing his best to convince Jacobs and other owners who were OK with no season that such a scenario would be catastrophic for the NHL right now. For now, it appears he did just that. (Boston Hockey Now)
Could another disaster avoided by the owners and players putting aside their differences mean that labor peace will continue to prevail? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Let’s keep the good news going shall we? Vaccines are happening! (ABC)
That was easily the most positive BHN Puck links I’ve written since early October with the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and beginning of free agency. Maybe now we can start to talk NHL Free Agency and NHL Trade rumors again? Either way, this amazing cover of one of my favorite Van Morrison songs was the first song that came on my Pandora shuffle this morning and it’s quite fitting! Brand new days are upon us both at the rink and in life!
Here’s Murph’s Music Pick Of The Day: