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POTENTIAL NEW CBA COULD HAVE BIG IMPACT ON SALARY CAP, ESCROW

While the NHL and the association representing players hammer out an agreement to extend the current collective bargaining agreement in order to avoid a lockout, there are reports that a decision has just about been made on the salary cap. According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, that agreement would see the cap remain the same as it is this year for the next three seasons, at $81.5 million per team.

"As part of the agreement, the salary cap will be kept close to the current $81.5 million for the next three seasons," Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Thursday, adding that there's potential for it to go up $1 million in 2022-23.

This is good news and bad news for players. The good news is that the cap won't be going down as many analysts had speculated. NHL owners are definitely losing money after the suspension of the 2019-20 season on March 12th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the planned resumption of the season near the end of July, without fans in arenas owners will be losing millions at the gate. However, for players that are becoming unrestricted free agents in the next three years that were hoping for a large increase in pay, they'll likely have to temper their expectations somewhat.



Other major points of discussion include an escrow cap and salary deferrals for players. According to Friedman, the potential agreement between the two sides caps escrow at 20% for the 2020-21 campaign after original estimates had escrow at 35% if this season was not completed, and 27%-28% if it was.

In order to ensure teams and players split all hockey-related revenue, the NHL and NHLPA retain a percentage of players' salary, known as escrow, during the season.

Both Artemi Panarin and Ryan Kesler have recently expressed frustration with the escrow system, arguing owners have their revenue protected, while players usually end up losing.

The 700-plus players in the league will individually vote either for or against the extension.

TIM TUCKER
JUNE 26, 2020  (19H11)
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