National Hockey League players have decided not to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement, guaranteeing labor peace until at least 2022.
The NHLPA announced its decision Monday just before the deadline to trigger its opt-out clause. Not terminating the CBA is a positive sign that negotiations are progressing toward an extension.
Meetings between owners and players have been going on since February and increased in frequency in recent weeks. The league did not opt out of the CBA, with Commissioner Gary Bettman citing momentum and the importance of labor peace overriding the issues owners might have.
Players have bigger issues than owners after making significant concessions in the last CBA agreed to in 2013. Escrow payments, health care, Olympic participation and what qualifies as hockey-related revenue are things players have cited as some of their top concerns — many of which could be addressed in a potential extension.