With the rise in COVID-19 numbers across Canada, including Alberta, how concerned is Hockey Canada about the issues that may arise with regard to the upcoming WJC in Edmonton? No start date has been proposed for the next NHL season, but what progress is being made for it? The Insider Trading Panel shares the latest about it and more.
We know the World Junior Championship is set for the Edmonton Bubble at Christmas. How sensitive are IIHF and Hockey Canada to the recently rising COVID numbers in Alberta?
Darren Dreger: I would say very sensitive, Gino. I mean based on the COVID numbers in Alberta, in fact across Canada, across North America and Europe, there is some level of concern and I know that Hockey Canada, IIHF is in constant communication with various levels of government and health officials. . The current plan of course is to move forward. It’s all systems. December 13 is the best time for all participating countries to reach Edmonton by charter, but again among the numbers, 406 (COVID-19 cases in Alberta) is a record day in Alberta on Wednesday. Hockey Canada is paying a lot of attention.
Frank Seravalli: Well drugs, there will be some good news, in fact on Thursday the federal government is considering changing the 14-day detention requirement for international traffic instead of producing a negative COVID test at the airport. It will give Hockey Canada and the tournament organizers more shade as they try to participate in that tournamentోర్ and the National Hockey League will no doubt keep a close eye on that situation as well. This could open the NHL to resume games with American teams and Canadian teams. We heard a lot of talk about the All-Canada Division starting next season. Changing that requirement will definitely give the NHL some way out. At least the league hopes are the same.
The NHL general managers are actually scheduled to meet on Friday as the league is still targeting for a January 1 start to next season. What’s most pressing on GMs right now?
Dregger: Well, development leagues. What happens? What can all NHL clubs, their general managers do with their development plans and especially with their players? Everything related to the start of the 2020-21 season guys, is tied to economics and is an ownership issue. So regular managers are going to ask a ton of questions on Friday, but what if the American Hockey League doesn’t go? What happens if the limitations in Major Jr. are too severe or if there are some other feeder systems. The problem is, top officials at the National Hockey League could not give Friday answers to the general managers that these GMs expect.
Pierre LeBron: While we wait for a joint return to the play committee consisting of players and senior staff from both the NHL and the NHLPA, it should be noted that the senior leadership from the League and the NHLPA had another chat on Thursday. So, there are constant conversations about the upcoming season between Gary Betman and Dan Fehr and Bill Dolly, Matthew Schneider. The joint committee with 10 players on it has not met yet, but I can tell you this – there seems to be a big appetite from the owners and GMs and players, not only on the committee, to have a voice on what the next season will be like and make money depending on whether or not there are fans in the building I think there is a lot of risk with efficiency or incompetence. One thing, the theme that keeps coming back, feels like any season starts, say four regional sections, it doesn’t end by the time the playoffs end and it keeps coming back in my conversations.
Seravalli: One of the big conversations in recent weeks has come out of the cost-benefit analysis of the upcoming season for the NHL and one of the discussions between the NHL and the NHLPA as they negotiate these new collective bargains. The deal is in the worst case scenario of what the revenue projection will be next season if the entire season, even the brief year, is played without fans. That number is 8 1.8 billion. So, when you do that cost-benefit analysis and you pay players a salary of 7 2.7 billion or more, you can see why or why the NHL might not be problematic to move forward. In addition, when you look at the players you are facing and their financial uncertainty, they get at least some benefit, they get 8.1 percent of their salary is the payment to be made on Halloween on October 31st. It helps to lose them whenever the next season starts. This will be their first salary from April.
The Dallas Stars are rewarding Rick Bounes for scoring well in the Stanley Cup Final. Thoughts?
LeBron: Rick Bones and the Dallas Stars are finalizing a new multi-year deal called Head Coaching Contract. He took over as coach under his old associate contract last year to replace Jim Montgomery. Rick earned well for the bounce and was probably the last contract he would sign at his age and a good way to go out for a head coaching salary. I was told it would go in the middle of the pack in terms of where to put him in the 31 coaches. Well earned.