In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are a few more details to share when it comes to the discussions on a new CBA, including news about NHL free agency. The NHL, the owners, and the fans may have some answers before the weekend is out.
In other news, the New Jersey Devils may add some veteran players and Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen might have gotten a slap on the writes internally by the organization after posting a video of him out partying.
Devils Looking for Veteran Help
Corey Masisak of The Athletic notes that the New Jersey Devils may use some of their salary cap space this offseason to go after veteran players. Potential free agent targets could include forward Carl Soderberg and defenseman Jon Merrill.
The Devils are probably not going to look to make more additions before the trade deadline if they are in the mix. If this team still isn’t able to compete for a playoff spot, all of the pending UFAs (except for Zajac, unless he changes his mind about not wanting to leave) — Palmieri, Gusev, Hjalmarsson and Carrick — could be on the trading block.source – ‘Projecting the Devils lineup: 2020-21 edition’ – Corey Masisak – The Athletic – 07/01/2020
The Devils moved a number of pieces at the last deadline and another poor season could mean a total overhaul of the organization. Of course, the team still needs to figure out what to do with its coaching and GM situation. Until those items are settled, it’s difficult to really know what direction the team will take.
Canucks Virtanen in Hot Water With Team
The Vancouver Canucks have had a private chat with forward Jake Virtanen after a video posted to Instagram shows him at Celebrities Nightclub in Vancouver, out with other people and not wearing a mask.
While he didn’t necessarily break any laws, for some reason, he thought it would be a good idea to share that he was out with friends, not really social distancing and not taking precautions while the NHL is working to finalize arrangements that would see them bring hockey back. While the NHL is preaching the health and safety of players is the most important thing, Virtanen showing he doesn’t seem to be taking the proper steps is a bad look for the Canucks and the league.
The team has addressed the situation and shared that they are dealing with it internally. “Jake is not yet in phase 2 of the NHL’s return to play plan, nor is he in quarantine. He’ll be tested before he re-joins the team.” they said.
I guess this kind of story goes to show it’s good the NHL is leaning away from Las Vegas as a hub city. Clearly, the attraction to go out and enjoy the nightlife is a draw for players.
New CBA Details, Important Dates Moving Forward
Bob McKenzie of TSN noted Thursday morning that if talks continue to go well, the NHL and NHLPA will finalize and announce they’ve reached a “tentative” deal on: Phase 3/4 Return To Play (RTP) protocols; CBA extension; transition rules; and critical dates calendar today.
Once finalized, as per a tweet by Michael Russo of The Athletic, there will be an NHLPA Executive Board/player call this afternoon where protocols/CBA will be presented to the players. From there, the NHLPA membership will vote. The players would be voting on the entire package and a simple majority would be required to pass.
McKenzie adds that one of the notable dates to keep in mind would be the new Free Agent Frenzy date of Nov. 1, 2020 (contracts set to expire on June 30 have been extended to Oct. 31). It was an odd July 1st for a lot of hockey fans without the traditional fast-paced action that comes with free agency opening up.
McKenzie also notes that amnesty and compliance buyouts are NOT part of agreement. Despite what looks to be three years of a flat salary cap moving forward, GM’s and owners are not being given a “get out of jail free” card.
One thing that is being discussed is that families might get to join the players after a couple of the initial rounds have been completed.
As per Renaud Lavoie:
As of right now, NHL training camps should start on July 13. It’s still can change. Remember that for training camp to start, you need a CBA extension.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”