According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the league is happy with how the current CBA is working and doesn’t think “there is anything major that would need fixing.”
Translation: Daly doesn’t foresee another work stoppage, at least from the NHL’s perspective.
“I think there’s a general satisfaction with how the system is working,” Daly told SiriusXMNHL, per Today’s Slapshot. “From time to time, tweaks are needed. I think the sign of any healthy collective bargaining relationship is, particularly when you’re talking about tweaks, you try to deal with them mid-term and try to make adjustments. I think we’ve been successful with the [NHLPA], at least during the first four years of this agreement, in being able to do that, on both sides of the table.”
The NHL and NHLPA each have the right to opt out of the CBA after the 2019-20 season. Otherwise, it’s set to expire after the 2021-22 campaign.
“It’s early, but I don’t see any storm clouds on the horizon, at least yet,” said Daly.
In spite of that optimism, there’s reason to wonder if the players’ association is quite as happy with the current system — specifically with regards to escrow.
Fortunately, there’s still time for that situation to work itself out. Escrow only becomes a concern when league revenues fall short of projections, which they did in 2015-16 due to the dramatic decline of the Canadian dollar.