Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

A Win/Win Agreement

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

A strange sensation may have washed over you early Monday evening.

Call it the promise of labour peace in our time.

Unless you are middle-aged, or took a keen interest in labour negotiations before grade school, this isn’t something you’ve experienced courtesy of the NHL. Before this announcement of a memorandum of understanding to extend the collective bargaining agreement through the 2025-26 season, if ratified, you have known the 2012-13 lockout … and the 2004-05 lockout that wiped out the entire season … and the 1994-95 lockout … and the 1992 strike.

That dispute-filled past provides context every bit as important to this agreement as our uncertain present, which underpins the new deal. The transition rules and a four-year extension to the CBA are built around sharing the economic pain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic until more prosperous days return.

Let it be said that this is what leadership looks like in difficult times.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will Any Player Say Pass On The Playoffs?

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

As the NHL inches closer to starting the playoffs, there will be a lot made of the fact that players can opt out of playing out this season for any reason. A player can tell his employer that playing this season will get in the way of his golf game and he’ll be able to skip the playoffs with impunity. This will be seen as a triumph for the players. You have to wonder why the NHL and NHL Players’ Association even bothered to take the time to negotiate this aspect of the agreement.

Here’s a bold prediction, a hot take, if you will. Of the 744 players – 31 for each of the 24 teams taking part – who will be eligible to play in the playoffs starting in August, I don’t believe a single one will opt out of playing. Not one. No number of positive cases of COVID, which is essentially at 35 and counting, no amount of risk and the possibility of not making anything more beyond playoff bonus money will keep these guys off the ice.

The players agreed to hold back their last paychecks from this season as part of their contribution to offset the owners’ losses and reduce the amount of escrow and players never get paid during the playoffs. That will reduce the amount they owe by about $140 million. Players whose teams lose in the first-round play-in series will receive $20,000 each and those whose teams win the Stanley Cup will make an extra $240,000. Neither of those is a insignificant amount of money, but for most of the stars of the NHL, it basically represents money that gets lost in their couches. If the Toronto Maple Leafs manage to win 19 games and capture the Stanley Cup, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Auston Matthews will receive approximately 1.5 percent of what their signing bonuses and salaries were supposed to be this season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- CBA Talk

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman joins David Amber to break down the key points of the NHL & NHLPA’s CBA agreement. Find out who came out a winner, who won’t like the new deal, and when Elliotte plans on shaving his beard.

 

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ice In August

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The next logical question for the NHL after COVID-19 testing and securing the bubble environment for 12 teams in each hub, will be keeping its main stages, Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Place, from becoming mush.

Commissioner Gary Bettman got out in front of that months ago, insisting ice-making technology has advanced to the point where high temperatures wouldn’t be a problem and the experts say there will be another huge advantage for arena staff — the COVID crowd curtain.

“There aren’t going to be fans in the building,” said Bob Hunter, former general manager of SBA/Air Canada Centre and now CEO of Toronto Wolfpack rugby. “That’s just as important as what the weather is outside. You get 18,000 people in there and they generate a lot of heat. By the second and third periods, it’s a challenge to keep the ice hard and fast.

“When I worked there, we were able to get the humidity down. We spent $5.3 million on a de-humidifier many years ago and I know they’ve made improvements since. Just look at Las Vegas hosting a Stanley Cup final in June a couple of years ago.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tentative Agreement Reached Between The NHL And NHLPA

NEW YORK/TORONTO (July 6, 2020) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) have reached a tentative agreement on a Return to Play Plan and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that adds an additional four years to the term of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and includes transition rules and a new critical dates calendar. As part of the tentative agreement, the following dates have been established: July 13 – start of formal training camps; July 26 – Clubs travel to hub cities; August 1 – start of Qualifying Round. The tentative agreement is now subject to approval by the NHL’s Board of Governors, as well as the NHLPA’s Executive Board followed by the full NHLPA membership. The respective review and approval processes will take place over the next few days and there will be no further comment until those processes are completed.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bubble Plan “Could Work”

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

The rules are extreme — if not excessive.

Handshakes and high-fives are prohibited. The same goes for fist bumps. During games, you can’t re-use towels. After games, you can’t use the spa, sauna or steam room to soak those sore muscles. Want to take the elevator to your hotel room? Make sure to use your knuckle or elbow — not your finger — to push the buttons. And remember that talking is strictly off limits once the doors close.

The 47-page return-to-play document, which covers everything from daily tests and disinfecting dressing rooms to preparing team meals and the proper way of behaving in the hotel, still has to be agreed upon by the NHLPA and the Board of Governors. And with a failure-to-comply penalty of a lost draft choice, it might sound a tad draconian.

But according to an infectious disease physician, the strict guidelines is what separates the NHL from the NBA and MLB in being able to safely crown a champion sometime this year.

“I’ll be honest with you — I’m impressed. I think they’ve thought long and hard about this,” said Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, who is based out of Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ont. “This plan could work. It is certainly a possibility. I think the chance of the NBA or MLB (returning) right now is very, very unlikely. But I think this is a good idea.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s All About The Cup For Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has put his two young children to bed almost every night for nearly four months since the NHL paused its season March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Avalanche center now faces the possibility of not being in the same room with his family for a minimum of five weeks if the Avs reach the Western Conference finals in the proposed 24-team playoffs.

The NHL is still working on an official Phase 4 return-to-play announcement to coincide with a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association, but according to a TSN report published late Sunday night, the league will conduct its 24-team playoffs in two “bubble” cities — Edmonton and Toronto. It will also not allow advancing teams to see their families until the conference finals....

“It’s a difficult situation. As the parent of two, it’s going to be really mentally difficult to not see your family for a while. I have mixed feelings about it,” Bellemare said Monday in a phone interview. “But I’m ready to return to play. We have a great team. I’m ready to win the Cup. I’m ready to make some sacrifices to win that Cup.”...

“It’s a different situation right now, but normally when you come to pre-camp, you’re already in town and you’re practicing on the ice in different groups. This is similar but I feel like the intensity is a little bit higher just because everybody realizes what’s at skate,” he said. “So everybody is trying to get back to feeling good on the ice but also thinking about getting that edge quick because it’s going to come fast.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Staying Within The Bubble

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

It remains to be seen if any player even gets inside the “secure zone” the NHL hopes to create in Edmonton and Toronto this summer.

But the consequences for leaving that highly controlled area and re-entering during a season restart are already tentatively set: At least four days confined to your hotel room, with four consecutive negative results needed from coronavirus tests before you’re able to resume practising, playing or just walking around the bubble.

That’s part of a dense booklet of protocols finalized Sunday, but still subject to ratification by NHL players and owners. Voting should happen in the coming days, once the NHL and NHL Players’ Association finish the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement and tie up other loose ends.

The protocols they agreed to for Phase 3 (training camps) and Phase 4 (competition) are at once expansive and open-ended.

For example, it’s not entirely clear how players with an excused absence for the birth of a child, or an illness or death in the family, will be reintroduced to the bubble beyond needing to produce the series of four negative tests.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Your Weekly COVID-19 Report

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Damien Cox

If the NHL can actually pull off this bubble deal, it would be one of the great successes in league history. Problem is, league already encasing entire experiment in secrecy. Public has a right to know facts, not just NHL public relations propaganda.

NHL should and must reveal names of those who test positive, and make public any and all violations by team members. This isn’t their secret to keep.

-Damien Cox via Twitter

added 10:16am,

 

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

« Previous        < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›      Next »

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts