NHLPA Declines to Reopen CBA; Agreement Runs Through September 2022

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2019

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2012, file photo, National Hockey League Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr, center, is joined by players George Parros , left, and Kevin Westgath after meeting with NHL officials in New York. The NHLPA announces its decision whether to terminate the current collective bargaining agreement and set the clock ticking toward another potential work stoppage in 2020. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The NHL Players' Association announced Monday it has declined the opportunity to reopen its collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA does not expire until Sept. 15, 2022.   

"While players have concerns with the current CBA, we agree with the League that working together to address those concerns is the preferred course of action instead of terminating the agreement following this season," NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said.

"We have been having discussions with the League about an extension of the CBA and expect that those talks will continue."

The original 10-year deal was ratified in 2013, but the association could have decided by Monday to let it expire in 2020, forcing the two sides to come to a new agreement over the next year to avoid a work stoppage.

The league also had an option to reopen the agreement but announced Aug. 30 it would remain with the current CBA.

Journalist Pierre LeBrun broke down the thought process from the NHLPA:

Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun

The players saw enough from CBA talks with the league not to re-open a year from now. Both sides will continue talks in the hope of reaching a CBA extension at some point. Three more years on the current CBA but perhaps 6 more years in total if an extension is reached eventually https://t.co/RgxPOVjJAR

An extension could represent one of the longest uninterrupted periods of labor agreements in recent history for the NHL.

Lockouts caused shortened seasons in 2012-13 and 1994-95, with both being limited to just 48 games instead of 82 and 84, respectively. The entire 2004-05 season was canceled for the same purpose.

Fehr also led the MLBPA during the baseball strike in 1994-95.