National Hockey League (NHL) leaders will not reopen the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) collective agreement, the circuit announced Friday afternoon.
"Based on the current state and business of hockey, the NHL believes it is essential to continue building on the momentum we have created with players. We will not exercise our option to reopen the collective agreement. We are even ready to keep the current term of the agreement, which is three seasons, until the end of the 2021-2022 season, "said Gary Bettman in a statement.
"We hope that keeping this time of administrative peace will benefit hockey and all of its constituent groups: NHL players, our administrative partners and, most importantly, fans."
The League had until September 1 to make an official decision. For its part, the Players Association has until September 15 to make the same decision. These should meet Wednesday in Chicago to discuss.
If the players decide to reopen the debate, the convention will end at the end of the next campaign.
Gauge the pros and cons
The Commissioner also indicated that the owners were dissatisfied with some of the details of the agreement, but preferred the status quo for the time being.
"In any collective agreement, the parties can identify elements that do not make them happy and that they would like to change. This is certainly true from our point of view. However, our analysis clearly shows that the benefits of continuing operations – while working with AJLHN to resolve our differences – far outweigh the disruptive consequences of early termination of the agreement. "
The current collective agreement dates from the end of the 2012-2013 lockout, when the season was shortened to 48 games. The 10-year agreement was signed on January 12, 2013, after lengthy negotiations. The league and the players had suffered heavy financial losses as a result of the labor dispute.