Players feel they’ve been betrayed by the NHL

The conference call organized by the Association of Players of the National Hockey League (AJLNH) to discuss the proposals of the circuit is far from having gone smoothly.

According to Sportsnet hockey expert Elliotte Friedman, union members “are furious and believe they have been betrayed” by the NHL.

In order to improve the chances of starting the next season on January 1, the two parties have a strong interest in reaching an agreement on the financial and logistical parameters by the end of the month.

As mentioned by Renaud Lavoie, of TVA Sports, the players had agreed to defer 10% of their salary for the 2020-2021 campaign (paid three years later) and to give back 20% of their remuneration through the trust to the owners. However, they ask for more, which does not please the AJLNH.

According to one of the two offers submitted to the Association, the payroll deferral percentage would be 20% and that of the rebate via the trust, 25%, for next season. The second idea launched to the union provides for a postponement of 26%.

“During the call, there were clearly audible noises of protest when this was presented. There was emotion and it must be recognized that for the players, the word “trust” [en anglais, “escrow”] is the worst in the dictionary. There is nothing else that comes close, ”commented a hockey player to Sportsnet.

While the NHL considers the collective agreement to be a matter of equal sharing of revenues and that these are sharply down due to the pandemic, the union does not want to change what was approved a few months ago, valid agreement until the end of 2025-2026.

“Why are these proposals submitted so late? We didn’t need to have a gun at our temples. If we accept the offer, what is to say that these problems will not arise again? ”Friedman said in explaining the position of the players.

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