The news continues to slow to a trickle, but we’ve still got some things to talk about this morning. First of all, Preston continued our 2020 T25 U25 series with #24 — Finnish F Aapeli Rasanen — yesterday. Pop over and take a look. We’re still sort of in the weeds with some of these guys but (hopefully, very) soon we’ll start profiling guys who are better than a coinflip to play a game or two in the bigs. Stay tuned.
Something that sent the ol’ alarm bills a ring-a-dingin’ yesterday, for me at least:
NHL/NHLPA continue to hammer away in daily calls, trying to put together a plan for the '21 season. The 16-player RTP committee has convened nearly every day over the past week, but internally, not with the NHL. The NHL/NHLPA communication remains at the higher levels (con't)...— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 17, 2020
Both sides as of today still hope for a Jan. 1 puck drop (we'll see), and the Cup awarded by July 15 at the latest (hopefully sooner). Most of the conversations between both sides have focused on 60-plus games. All-Canadian division remains a thing for obvious reasons. (con't)— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 17, 2020
Bear with me, LeBrun didn’t thread this thread, so I’ve gotta incude a few of these to really set the scene:
So, if there's early January puck drop, that means getting this done by the end of the month. As we saw in the spring/summer, these things can drag out, but the hope is that if there's an agreement it's within the next 7-10 days. But we'll see if talks hit a snag or not ($$).— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 17, 2020
So far, so good, right? Nothing even kind of alarming here yet.
NHLPA Board call wrapped up around 6:30 pm ET, went about 2 1/2 hours. No votes taken. Just a discussion. But sources say feeling on the call was that players aren't keen on changing salary deferral/escrow rates from what was already agreed to in June CBA. More discussion needed— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 18, 2020
Oh, interesting. So the players aren’t keen on changing deferral rates that were agreed upon in June? But the ownership is pushing for them to do so, less than six months later? Hmm. Not ideal.
The NHL views this as a timing issue. The players are only entitled to 50 % of HRR. The more they take this year, the more they owe (in debt payments) in future years. Which is true. But the NHLPA factored all those factors when it agreed to the new CBA terms in June. So...— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 19, 2020
OK so maybe it’s a messaging thing. Maybe the NHL just needs a better way of telling the players that they’re absolutely screwed without changing those rates? One thing that sticks out either way: how is the NHL asking the players to do this so quickly? How was the league so confident in a recovery and/or so unprepared for the pandemic to still be impacting literally everything that they’ve got to renegotiate on this so quickly? But regardless, when the two sides have disagreements about money, all of a sudden you start to wonder if the season could be at risk if they don’t find an agreement.
Bottom line, more discussion ahead for both the NHLPA internally (whether or not they're ultimately willing to tweak salary deferral and if so, what do they get in return?); and more NHL/NHLPA discussion. The clock is ticking.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 19, 2020
Keep an eye on this one. It’s probably OK, but maybe it isn’t?
Either way, poor Connor McDavid, right?
Year 1 - Broken clavicle. Roommate traded. No playoffs.
Year 2 - Playoffs.
Year 3 - No playoffs. No Olympics.
Year 4 - Busted knee. No playoffs.
Year 5 - Recovering from busted knee. No playoffs. Global pandemic. COVID-19.
Year 6 - ???
Two major injuries, missing the Olympics in his young prime, and a global pandemic in his first five years. Ouch. Hopefully they don’t bin Year 6.
The 2020 Copper And Blue Top 25 Under 25: #24 Aapelli Rasanen (Copper and Blue)
Hot Links: Wednesday, November 18 (Copper and Blue)
The 2020 Copper And Blue Top 25 Under 25: #25 Ostap Safin (Copper and Blue)
Hard Times Come Again No More (Lowetide)
Weekly Rumours – Money, Money, Money (Oilersnation)
What’s Your Favourite Oilers Jersey Of All Time? (Journal)
LeBrun: NHL players not keen on changing deferral/escrow rates for 2020-21 (TSN)
Shane Wright Hoping To Join Hockey Royalty By Making Canada’s World Junior Team At 16 (CBC)
21 Questions: Can Alex Ovechkin Break Wayne Gretzky’s All-Time Goal Record? (Oilersnation)
NHL Should Listen To Theo Epstein (Oilersnation)
Lowetide: Why Dave Tippett’s Training Camp With Oilers Will Be So Compelling (Athletic)