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.
The expectation is that NHL players will be paid their 2020-21 contract year signing bonuses tomorrow on July 1, as scheduled. That’s an NHL expenditure of more than $300 million.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2020
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.
Is today the day we find out NHL Hub cities? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the delay is because the NHL and NHLPA are trying to finalize all the Phase 4 protocols/terms before making any announcements.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2020
EDM, TOR, LV and CHI appear to be the final considerations.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2020
Really looks like Edmonton and Toronto for hubs cities. No big issues with the safety protocol, but you know how it is, the devil is in the detail. If the NHL and NHLPA have a CBA extension, we’ll have some hockey this summer. If not, it will be difficult. That’s my understanding— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 30, 2020
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).
Ideally (admittedly not a good word to use in 2020), an NHLPA membership vote on Phase 3/4 RTP protocols and a CBA extension would take place by the weekend but whether that is possible depends on how these talks proceed.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2020
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.
OFFICIAL - Per GM Chayka, we have signed defenseman Dysin Mayo to a one-year, two-way contract:https://t.co/eJu7lw98wu— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) June 30, 2020
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’!
Managing the site was a lot of fun but for a variety of reasons, now is the right time for me to step back. I will still be posting garbage here and maybe even longer form garbage other places at some point. If I do, I will be sure to let the 12 people who might care know.— Replacement Level Analyst (@loserpoints) June 30, 2020