NHL Commissioner Speaks About Current Talks with the NHLPA

The commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman spoke with Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on Wednesday in what appears to be a 'clear the air' type of discussion. Bettman touched on the current talks between the league and the NHLPA on a new agreement to restart play and boy oh boy, this is not sounding good at all!

We've been absolutely unequivocal with the players that we're not trying to renegotiate. Under our deal, and the one we've had for more than a decade with the players' association, whatever the revenues are the players only get 50%. And if we overpay them and they don't pay us back in the short term, they have to pay us back over time.

There will be stresses on the system and we've had discussions about what those stresses are and how they might be dealt with, but we're not trying to say 'you must do X,Y, and Z.' We're trying to look for ways to continue to work together.

I know it's been portrayed as something else and it's unfortunate and it's inaccurate, because at the end of the day, if the system gets stressed, it's going to be stressed for us both. 

As Brian Burke mentions in the article above, if the NHL doesn't reach an agreement and doesn't play a 2020-21 season it's going to be horrible for the league and the impact will be felt for years to come. A GM mentioned to him if they play with no fans they lose $60 million and if they don't play at all they will only lose $15 million. Pick your poison.

While it appears fans won't be able to attend at full capacity until 2022, some fans could start attending physically distant in certain markets as soon as January of 2021. Burke blasted the idea of not playing a season and cited the new TV deal that's upcoming and how some markets in the US may fold if they're unable to generate revenue.

Let's all cross our fingers collectively that this agreement gets worked out by the NHLPA and the NHL and we can get back to throwing on our favorite jerseys and watching a game. 

Photo credit: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire