Friday, July 10, 2015

AHL CBA Negotiations: The Update Is There's No Update

Dave Andrews with Travis Morin (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
This summer, the American Hockey League's Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the league and its players' union expired. Throughout the summer, the league and the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA), which represents players in the AHL and other lower professional leagues in North America, have been in negotiations to work out a new CBA and get ready for the coming season.

Hockey fans are unfortunately rather familiar with the consternation that CBA negotiations can cause. Most notably, fans will remember the NHL lockouts of 2004-05 and 2012-13.

The AHL, in stark contrast to the NHL, has been rather quiet about its negotiations with the PHPA. Negotiations have been ongoing throughout this month with the most recent round wrapping at Hilton Head this week. Texas Stars forward Greg Rallo and former defenseman Maxime Fortunus are the team representatives to the PHPA.

There is surely a lot of discussion about how the new AHL Pacific Division will affect the CBA, given that its players will play fewer games. Many of the stipulations in the CBA are by game or by day and delineate differences between game day and other days. With fewer games for only some players, some things change, and that is surely being hammered out.

At this point, the fact that no one is saying anything should be viewed as a good thing. The league and its players don't want negotiation to happen through the media. The NHL provided a pretty rough vision of what that can look like, and it caused two work stoppages in the last ten years in the top league.

Rest assured that as soon as something comes out, it will be covered here on 100 Degree Hockey. For now, enjoy the summer.

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