The NHL and NHLPA agreed on Friday on team sizes and taxi squads for the upcoming 2020-21 NHL season. The report comes from TSN’s Frank Seravalli. This officially means the 2020-21 NHL season is a go pending a vote by both sides.
This includes creation of 4-6 man taxi squad. All 29 players (max) will travel and practice with NHL team. Taxi squad is paid full AHL salary. CBA has been expanded to include for more flexible emergency recalls
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 19, 2020
Agreement Reached for 2020-21 NHL Season
Some of the major points include a flat cap at $81.5 million like the last season. The teams will have a 23-man roster with a taxi sqaud that will be paid full AHL salaries. The taxi squads will be four to six players and 29 players will travel with the squad. However, that could change if the AHL season does start sometime later in the year.
The collective bargaining agree has also been expanded to allow for more flexible emergency recalls. Seravalli’s series of tweets also added that players can opt-out of the NHL season if they or a family member is considered high-risk. However, it may be without pay and teams have the option of tolling contract for the year.
Training camps are also slated to begin on Jan. 3, but the seven non-playoff teams can start either Dec. 30 or 31 according the Seravalli’s report. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman added the playoffs will be the top four in each division and they will produce a semifinalist.
What This Means for the Future
We will have a season, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding the season. The status of Canadian teams is still up in the air as they await word from provincial health officials. Teams could forced into a hub city-like situation a la the playoff bubble or the Omaha pod for the NCHC college hockey teams. Canadian teams may also be forced to move down south to play the entire season in America. The latter option is not popular with the players.
There’s still a few things to iron out, but there will be a hockey season and that’s a good holiday present. Both sides look like they want to play and we may get hockey back sooner rather than later.