The NHLPA and NHLPA members reached a tentative agreement to re-negotiate the CBA, which expires at the end of March.
As of Friday, the agreement was the first to be finalized and a final deal was expected to be announced later this week.
The new agreement includes the following elements: A salary cap of $65 million for the 2015-16 season The addition of two new teams, the Nashville Predators and the Philadelphia Flyers, to the NHL in 2019 and 2020, as well as the expansion of the NHL to 20 teams.
The deal also includes the expansion to 25 teams in the 2020-21 season.
The CBA also includes new collective bargaining terms for the NHLPA, including a 10-year contract for each member, up to $6.5 million for players, up from the current seven-year, $5 million per year agreement.
The agreement also gives the NHL a minimum salary of $6 million in each of the next three years.
A new collective-bargaining agreement would have a maximum annual cap of about $50 million, which is not enough to pay for the salaries of all teams.
However, a deal to increase the minimum salary to $5.25 million would still be enough to keep players in the league.
The NHL has also agreed to make the new collective contract public in the next few weeks.
The players’ association also made clear its position on the new agreement.
“The NHLPA has made it clear that it intends to continue to pursue our collective bargaining agreements with the NHL and that we are committed to continuing to negotiate a new agreement that provides fair compensation for our players,” the players’ union said in a statement Friday.
“We are confident that a fair and comprehensive new CBA will provide for our continued success, and we are excited to see it.”
A new Collective Bargained Agreement would have several important benefits for players.
First, the salary cap is expected to go up to around $65-million for the league and around $35-million in each subsequent season.
That’s the lowest in the NHL since the 1997-98 season, when the league allowed players to earn up to a total of $72-million, according to sports-business publication Forbes.
The salary cap has also been lower than the $55-million cap for the past few seasons, though that could change under the new deal.
The cap could also go up for players who are signed through the 2019-20 season, though those deals will likely be more expensive than the new salary cap.
Players would also get more protection under the CAA, which includes a $1.9 million salary cap-exempt bonus for the first time in three years and a $6,000 cap-exempt bonus for each subsequent year.
The second benefit of the new CAA is that it would give the NHL more leeway to spend money on the salary-cap.
As noted in a March article by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, players could be paid more than their market value if the cap went up by $4 million per team.
The third benefit would be the expanded role of the commissioner, who is in charge of the CAB.
“The Commissioner’s position will become more prominent, which will provide greater stability in the CSA, and allow us to continue our pursuit of a fair, reasonable and sustainable CBA,” the CPA said in its statement Friday, calling the commissioner “a strong, effective, independent leader who has been in the game for more than 30 years.”