NHL chooses not to reopen the Collective Bargaining Agreement
Li Xiang

The NHL announced on Friday that it will not opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2020, sending a sign to the NHL Players' Association that the league wants to keep things going for at least another three years.

"Based on the current state of the game and the business of the game, the NHL believes it is essential to continue building upon the momentum we have created with our Players and, therefore, will not exercise its option to reopen the CBA," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement.

The current CBA is a 10-year agreement signed by both the NHL and the NHLPA in 2013 which will be effective until September 15, 2022. Both sides maintain the right to reopen it – before September 1 for the league and before September 15 for the Association.

If either side opts out of the agreement and cannot reach a new deal, it will expire on September 15, 2020, meaning a lockout may happen.

NHL Commissioner Gary Betterman /VCG Photo

NHL Commissioner Gary Betterman /VCG Photo

"Rather, we are prepared to have the current CBA remain in effect for its full term - three more seasons through the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. It is our hope that a continued, sustained period of labor peace will enable us to further grow the game and benefit all constituent groups: NHL Players, Clubs, our business partners and, most important, our fans," said Betterman.

"Today the NHL advised the NHLPA that the league will not exercise its early termination right under the CBA. The NHLPA now has the same option. We will continue to discuss this matter with players as our September 15 decision approaches," said the Association in a statement released later on Friday.

The NHL and the NHLPA have been in contact regularly in the offseason to discuss agreement extension. Though the negotiations between the team owners and the players are definitely not Sunday dinners, failing to reach a deal and leading to lockout are in the interest of neither side.