NHL is waiting for a lockout – Protest

he current agreement between the players’ union and the NHL, represented by its commissioner Gary Bettman owners of clubs, is calculated until the end of the season-2019/20. At the same time, the trade union has the opportunity to use in 2019 the option of unilateral extension of the agreement for another two seasons.

Be such a lever in the arsenal of owners, they would have used it for sure, there can be no doubt. As you can not doubt, and that players from such “joy” will refuse.


Actually, during the negotiations on the participation of hockey players of the strongest league of the world in the 2018 Olympics in Korea, Bettman was just proposing to extend the agreement for three years in exchange for an admission of players to the Korean tournament.

The players considered this as an attempt to manipulate themselves – quite rightly – and refused the offer of a league manager who looked too much like blackmail, considering that

after that the NHL showed no interest in reaching a compromise and soon announced the refusal to release its hockey players to Korea.

Stumbling block

However, the main problem of the current treaty is not even the absence of an item on the mandatory participation of hockey players in the Games.

The main stumbling block is the notorious escrow, adotyuisarius Toronto Maple Leafs tickets, at the mention of which ten players out of ten involuntarily frown.

In North America and so big taxes – hockey players give, depending on the place where they play and its internal order, from 30 to 58% of their earnings to the treasury of the state (USA) or province (Canada).

At the same time, there is a clause in the collective agreement, according to which the incomes of players and owners are distributed in a ratio of 50/50 (before taxes).

Eskrow – deductions from players’ contracts in the league fund – is designed to just regulate this rule. If the clubs do not make a profit, they get money from the fund.

That is, players with their own contracts pay extra profit to owners.

In this case, if the clubs are all right with the income, then at the end of the season, money from the escrow returns to the accounts of hockey players, but this was not from 2013 (when the last contract between the players and owners was signed) yet never. For example, in the season-2014/15 players received back 2% of the 15 paid.

That is, hockey players never once in four seasons have not returned the paid escrow in full, and after all it goes not instead of, but as an additional load to the taxation.

Naturally, players are unhappy with the current situation, especially since the average salary in the league is now $ 3.3 million, which is why the real earnings of most players are really not that great.

Internal problems

If Gary Bettman in the relationship with the owners of clubs, who are actually his employers, full order, then inside the trade union players are traditionally a lot of problems.


And now the situation is such that it is a matter of another revolution, which promises to end with a change of power in the trade union.

At the annual meeting of the Association of NHL players, a real scandal broke out. The executive director of the union, and in the past the star of the league, Matthew Schneider, made an accusatory speech against three agents, saying that they mislead their clients about the rules of the association.

We are talking about quite authoritative figures: Kurt Oberhardt, Anton Tane and Richard Uvere. Among their clients are many star players, for example Marjan Gossa and Ryan Kesler.


The fact that the union began a struggle for power, indicates a preparation for a lockout, and even Bettman with the owners will arrange it with great pleasure.

Another thing is that the power in the players’ trade union is changing with the help of not the most beautiful revolutions on a regular basis, but in the struggle with the owners, the NHLPA suffers one defeat after another.

From all that is happening, there is a conclusion that in the season-2020/21 the strongest players of the world can be seen (at least for some time) in the European leagues, including the KHL.

That’s only the puck in question with the Olympics is likely to remain on the side of Bettman and the owners. However, for Games-2022 it is hardly worth worrying, as they will be held in China, and this market for the NHL is very interesting.

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