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NHL, NHLPA to resume negotiations on collective bargaining agreement

After deciding against reopening, will discuss extension past 2021-22 season

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The NHL and NHL Players' Association will meet in Toronto on Tuesday to resume negotiations toward an extension of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It will be the first time the sides have conducted formal negotiations since September, when each agreed to waive the right to reopen negotiations after this season, thereby keeping the current agreement in effect through the 2021-22 NHL season.

"As [Commissioner Gary Bettman] alluded to at his press conference in St. Louis (at 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend), we kind of took a breather after neither side determined to reopen, more at the initiation of the Players' Association than our initiation," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday. "But I think given the extended time period, I think [NHLPA executive director] Don Fehr wanted to take the chance to take the pulse of his membership again in terms of what issues are important to them and hopefully how to approach reengaging with us and ultimately agreeing on an extension."

Deputy Commissioner Daly said the NHL and NHLPA engaged in intensive discussions over the course of the summer that likely played a significant role in the determination to allow the current agreement to continue beyond this season.

"I would hope that the constructive dialogue that we had at the time, including some of the changes we were talking about making that would be part of any CBA extension, played a role in the fact that the CBA wasn't reopened," Deputy Commissioner Daly said. "I think on our side they did, and I think it was a real constructive time period. I thought we made a lot of progress, a lot of headway. Our goal hopefully now that we're going to reengage is to continue that progress."

Deputy Commissioner Daly said the future of the World Cup of Hockey, last played in 2016, and a broader international calendar will be part of the discussions.

"If we're fortunate enough to reach common ground on a contract extension, which certainly is our hope, then the World Cup will be part of that," Deputy Commissioner Daly said.

The NHL, NHLPA, International Ice Hockey Federation and International Olympic Committee met in New York on Wednesday to discuss the potential of NHL participation at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The NHL did not send players to the Olympics in 2018 after participating in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

"Even if the IOC does everything we ask for, I think the only way Olympic participation in 2022 is going to happen is if it's really a part of a bigger negotiation with the Players' Association where we can come back to the Board [of Governors] and say we're recommending going to the Olympics and these are the reasons why," Deputy Commissioner Daly said. "Part of it is tied to our labor situation and labor peace for an extended period of time."

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