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Behind the Scenes: The Business Side of the NHL

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
In the coming months will take a look at different aspects of the business side of the NHL, exploring the business decisions NHL teams make each season and the different league rules and regulations that guide the process. Through the series we’ll take an in depth look at the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement as well as other factors the Nashville Predators weigh while making the day-to-day decisions that help the organization succeed. Up first we’ll explore the basic of the NHL’s CBA.

What is the CBA?
Hockey fans – and sports fans in general – have become very familiar with reading a new three letter acronym: CBA. CBA, short for Collective Bargaining Agreement, is a labor law term used to describe a contract between a management organization (employer or group of employers) and a union.

In sports, CBAs are the pacts struck between the league office and the Players’ Association for that league.

In the NHL, the CBA defines the rules and regulations relating to how players are assigned to different clubs, the salary structures for teams and individual players, league bylaws and regulations, and a myriad of other issues among which including guidelines for the NHL schedule, training camp parameters, league travel requirements, endorsement guidelines, Player Agent certification, disciplinary procedures, pension plans, insurance coverage … pretty much anything relating to the business procedure of the league is mentioned in the CBA in some way shape or form.

It’s an extremely lengthy document with a dizzying array of clauses and paragraphs, articles and exhibits, charts and formulas, and, well to be blunt, head-spinning sentences that can be very confusing even for the most trained attorney.

In up coming segments of this feature, will be taking a look at different aspects of the CBA and explaining the sections, the intent, and the practical applications as they apply in the current NHL.

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