All is quiet on the NHL labor front, and it will continue to be for quite some time.
First, the league and NHLPA agreed not to reopen their Collective Bargaining Agreement, ensuring labor peace for the players through 2022. Now, the officials have followed suit with a deal running through 2023.
NHL officials have reportedly inked a new four-year deal with the NHL. The league’s previous CBA with the NHL Officials Association expired on August 31.
NHL new deal with officials is done, pending ratification by the officials’ association.
— Michael Farber (@MichaelFarber3) September 20, 2019
Negotiations were reported to be “amicable” with little concern of a strike even if the two sides failed to come to an agreement before the start of the season.
No word on the terms of the deal or any possible impact to officials’ salaries or benefits.
Back in 2014, the officials agreed to start the season under the terms of their prior deal while they finalized a new contract. No need to do so this time around, as both sides have come to terms prior to the opening puck drop of the 2019-20 NHL season.
The league and officials have been on good terms for over two decades. You’d have to go all the way back to 1993 – during Gary Bettman’s first season as commissioner – for the last officials’ strike. NHL referees and linesmen, working nearly two months without a contract, held a strike that lasted 17 days. The league called in replacement officials from the minors and junior hockey before an agreement was reached.
With an agreement in place between the NHL and NHLOA, the officials need only provide formal ratification via member vote of the league’s referees and linesmen.
UPDATE: The NHL Officials Association has signed off. Now all that’s left is a stamp of approval from the NHL’s Board of Governors.
NHL on-ice officials have voted to ratify the proposed four-year agreement with the NHL. Now the NHL has to go through its own ratification procedure for it to become official.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 24, 2019