Though nothing has been confirmed by the NHL or the NHL Officials Association, the two sides are reportedly close to reaching a new deal.
The NHL referees and linesmen worked the whole preseason without a contract. They’ve even started the season while negotiations continued, with not a word of possible work stoppage. “(The officials) had a really good camp and there was absolutely no tension there. Things have been really professional on both sides,” said a source close to the negotiations.
Contract talks between the league and the officials have been going on since mid-August.
Ken Campbell of The Hockey News reported that the sides were nearing the end of negotiations earlier this week:
“It’s within a dot,” said a source with knowledge of the negotiations. “There might be one small thing here or there, but it’s really details. The basis for a deal has been settled and they’re very, very close. I think both sides want to make sure all the details are done before they make anything public.”
“We are very far down the road in our negotiations for a new agreement,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to thn.com. “I hope and expect that we will have a tentative agreement on all material points in the very near future. That agreement will still be subject to the approval of both respective constituencies.”
Once the terms have been finalized, the new CBA would need to be voted by the members of the NHL Officials Association and approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors.
The previous CBA between the officials and the league ran from 2010-2014. The two sides reached an agreement on the eve of the 2010 regular season.