NHL's Daly "Cautiously Optimistic" For New CBA, '21 World Cup
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the direction of CBA discussions between the league and the NHLPA, according to Chris Johnston of SPORTSNET.ca. Daly said that he believes both sides are "committed to staging the next World Cup" in February '21 if they can "extend or renew the current agreement before it expires." The NHL and NHLPA have "met regularly throughout the summer and are due to sit down together again next week." The discussions are "being held with each side facing a decision inside the next month about whether to trigger an early termination to the current CBA." But it "remains to be seen" if either side will "pursue the reopener option at a time when there appears to be much more labour harmony than strife." Daly said, "Both sides have been open that the agreement's not a perfect agreement and could be improved, but nobody's holding out for a home run." Johnston notes the league has until Sept. 1 to trigger a '20 end date for the current CBA. Should it "elect not to, the NHLPA would have until Sept. 15 to do the same thing." If neither side "exercises their right for early termination, the current deal would run" through September '22. NHLPA Exec Dir Don Fehr said that he "won't ask the players to make a decision" on whether to trigger an early termination "until they get closer to the deadline." Fehr currently is "holding a series of meetings throughout Europe to update players on the process" (SPORTSNET.ca, 8/16).