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Lightning Round: 2020-21 Signing Bonuses to be sent out today

And another update on Hub Cities.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 10: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period at the Scotiabank Arena on March 10, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to July 1st. Today is meant to be the start of a new calendar year for the NHL, a day where Free Agency gets wild, where teams can start shaping their rosters in the fight for success, where there’s always next year! This year is different, obviously, there’s a pandemic. And as a result, we are still waiting for the major portions of the NHL’s spring and summer to be completed.

The NHL Playoffs are set to begin with Phase 3 of the Return to Play Protocol coming within the next month. Games again, finally. The Draft Lottery has happened, though we don’t yet know who’s picking first overall. And Free Agency has been pushed back as the NHL looks to finish its season before players can end their current contracts and find new ones. The NHL hasn’t set a hard date for this extension and the finances associated with it, it’s just been loosely set to when the 2019-20 playoffs end.

One thing that has happened is that players who are owed signing bonuses at noon today will be receiving them. In the thread below Bob’s tweet, he does go on to talk about how money could be arriving late to the players and the potential for players to defer their salaries (10%) for next year in order for teams to be able to afford the dollars going out during this tough financial time for them.

They’ve been saying it for weeks and months, but maybe? Finally? Hopefully? There’s a vote on which Hub Cities the NHL will be going to? Yesterday saw four locations being rumored back and forth, including Toronto as the lone candidate in the East, and Edmonton, Las Vegas, and Chicago “fighting it out” in the West. All three cities in the West have their own challenges; no one wants to go to Edmonton, Las Vegas is spiking in COVID-19 cases, and Chicago doesn’t have a campus-style bubble the way Toronto has in their metropolitan area. It’s going to come down to one of them... Or maybe Vancouver comes back and the NHL accepts their tighter, more restrictive, rules on containment.

In terms of getting this, player approval, and a new CBA done, there’s going to be a lot to consider for the NHLPA vote that’s expected to happen soon (with “soon” meaning within the next week or dozen years, who knows).

One of the aspects of the CBA the players want resolved is participation in the Olympics. Here’s an article linked below on how that’s progressing.

A couple roster updates from around the league. One, the Arizona Coyotes have whisked Dysin Mayo into a one-year, two-way contract. Dysin Mayo is also the name of the vacuum cleaner’s food mixer line.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are getting healthier, with Alexandre Texier activated off the Injured Reserve.

In site news, Alan (loserpoints) is stepping down as Managing Editor of the blog. He is sticking around to provide the fun and insightful analysis he loves, but the day-to-day managing has been handed off to Justin (JustinG.). Good luck, Justin, hockey’s a comin’!