The NHL and NHL Officials Association are meeting in Toronto to start working on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to TSN’s Renaud Lavoie.

Once an agreement is reached, the new CBA will be subject to approval by the NHL’s Board of Governors and the members of the NHLOA.

Referees discussing the play on the ice; now

Referees discussing the play on the ice; now off the ice discussing their CBA with the NHL in Toronto

Their previous deal ran from 2010-2014.  Last time around, both parties negotiated until three days before the start of the regular season before coming to terms, with referees and linesmen working the entire 2010 preseason without a contract.  Negotations had reached the point where the NHL had even explored the possibility of bringing in minor league officials to work NHL games.  Thankfully, everything was resolved prior to the start of the 2010-11 season.

Related: Down Goes Brown took a look at some of the
possible sticking points
in the last NHLOA CBA negotiations.

With seven weeks to go until the start of the 2014-15 season, there should be plenty of time to finalize a new contract for the best officials in the world.

I wonder if the new CBA will allow for referees and linesmen to have Twitter accounts. Tim Peel has his fingers crossed.

Updated 8/29 with a status check from Sportsnet’s John Shannon:

Follow @scoutingtherefs on Twitter, where our CBA does allow us to Tweet