NHL: New rules could save teams millions in fees
A new rule designed to cut costs and improve transparency for the league could save the Minnesota Wild from a costly, time-consuming, and expensive lawsuit, according to a legal team representing the NHL.
A new rule, announced Wednesday, would allow teams to pay players for time spent playing, instead of having to provide an itemized accounting of their time spent in the league.
The rules would take effect in 2019-20 and would be rolled out to the rest of the league by 2022-23.
The change is designed to make the NHL more transparent and more accountable to fans.
The goal is to give teams more time to properly assess their players’ contributions to the game and better understand the long-term costs of spending millions on player contracts, said John W. Whitehead, the firm’s director of sports law and strategy.
It could also make it easier for teams to retain talented players.
The rule would allow the Minnesota team to keep the top four picks in next year’s draft, Whitehead said.
The Wild are one of only a handful of teams that have an exclusive agreement with the NHL for their players, which typically runs about four years.
In the past, teams have had to provide a detailed accounting of the money they spend on players, and the Wild and others have been able to negotiate a similar deal with other teams.
The Minnesota team’s agreement is different from that of the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, which each have exclusive deals with the league for players and other assets.
The Wild have long said that its contract with the League is the best in the NHL, but the NHL has since been accused of cheating by its own commissioner, Gary Bettman, in recent years.
The new rule would also eliminate a provision in the current CBA that allows teams to receive payments from their own players for the time spent on the ice, even if the player is not on the team’s roster.
That provision was created to help the Wild deal with the fallout from a lockout that began last year.
In February, the NHL agreed to a $6.5 billion settlement with the union that the union said cost it $11 million in salary cap penalties, a $4 million increase in payroll and an additional $3 million in luxury tax payments.
The league’s agreement with union negotiators for this year’s CBA was finalized earlier this month.
The players association says the CBA is far from perfect, but that it will help players who work with the teams and have a significant impact on their careers.
A few weeks after the NHL’s announcement, the union announced a plan to reach an agreement with other team owners, including the Philadelphia Flyers, who would not be bound by the new rules.
The agreement also calls for the players’ association to work with NHL teams to set salary caps for players who have signed new contracts.