NHL, NHLPA agree on CBA Memo of Understanding to resume season

One of the bigger hurdles –outside of the coronavirus of course– to resume the NHL season was a CBA Memo of Understanding (MOU). This required an extension of the current CBA in addition to terms of resuming the current CBA. It wasn’t an easy task, but this is a critical first step in getting the season started. It’s also a critical step in assuring that, for the first time in Gary Bettman’s tenure, an expiring CBA does not result in a lockout.

This goes beyond just resuming the season. Here are some key points of the CBA MOU:

  • Players who would have been free agents this summer are eligible to sign a contract extension with their current team starting three days after the CBA is ratified. For the Rangers, this impacts Ryan Strome, Tony DeAngelo, Jesper Fast, Greg McKegg, Brendan Lemieux, Phil di Giuseppe, and Alex Georgiev.
  • If a player opts-out of this season, then signs overseas, then he cannot play in the 2020-2021 season. That’s an interesting nugget. I don’t believe this impacts Lias Andersson, as he will not be participating in camp, thus never really opting out to begin with.
  • The key dates:
    • July 13 – Camp begins
    • July 26 – Teams travel to hub cities (likely Edmonton and Toronto)
    • August 1 – Play-in round begins

Those are the three big points from the CBA MOU. The other key points were released the other day.

The MOU will need to be voted on by NHLPA leadership before going to the full players union for a vote. The NHL Board of Governors will also need to approve this. If approved, not only will this season resume, but the NHL will avoid a lockout at the end of next season. The new CBA is a six-year extension.

Never thought I’d say this, but prepare for August hockey.