Will Artemi Panarin ask players to hold out again as NHL demands more concessions
The NHL is asking for its players to renegotiate a CBA that was literally signed just four months ago. Gary Bettman and the owners want the players to defer more salary and raise escrow percentages.
This already has the NHLPA up in arms and very angry. Elliotte Friedman is reporting that players were floored by the proposal. “There were audible gasps when this was presented,” one player told him. Other comments were, “We just made a deal, so why should it be changed?” and “They knew this was going to happen all along, didn’t they?”
Artemi Panarin wanted NHL Players to Hold Out last June
New York Rangers superstar Artemi Panarin back in June dropped a bomb of a statement. At the time both the NHL and NHLPA were working on a Return-To-Play plan and negotiating a new CBA extension. The Blueshirts leading scorer saw this as an opportunity and wrote, “It is time to fix the escrow.”
Panarin’s statement continued with this shocking line, “We as players cannot report to camp to resume play without already having an agreement in place.” In essence, he is asked for all his fellow players to hold out until the NHL’s escrow system is more equitable for the players.
What will Panarin and others do now?
So now that the NHL is asking the players to increase escrow to either 25% next season with a 20% payment deferral. If they don’t like that that proposal an even lesser attractive one from the league is a 26% deferral next season and raising the already agreed to escrow percentages for the entire CBA.
The NHLPA met for over 2 hours recently to weigh these options and are expected to comeback with a counter. While players are speaking anonymously at the moment, you can expect if this drags on some like Panarin will go public with their opinions.
Remember, the players union did not vote overwhelmingly for a return to play. There’s a distinct possibility that certain players may opt to hold-out even if the union agrees to the concessions.
Will Artemi Panarin be one of them? We await to hear what the outspoken star has to say.