Connor McDavid thinks players are 'united' when it comes to possible lockout

Yahoo Canada Sports
Connor McDavid says the players seem to be getting on the same page ahead of the NHL’s next CBA negotiations. (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Connor McDavid says the players seem to be getting on the same page ahead of the NHL’s next CBA negotiations. (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

I know, the headline is sure to make your heart skip a beat, but another NHL lockout could be slowly creeping up on us.

While the current Collective Bargaining Agreement still has two years remaining, the NHL and the NHL Players Association have roughly a year to decide on whether or not they will continue with the current deal.

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But it sounds like the players already have negotiations on their mind. Well, that seems to be the case with Connor McDavid.

“It’s already started,” the superstar told Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star with regards to talks about a lockout. “Everyone is talking about it amongst the players. I think you’ve got to feel that sense of a union. That’s the only way you get stuff done. I think the players are united.”

Pretty strong words from one of the leading faces of hockey. But while McDavid and some of the players are already thinking about restructuring the CBA, the man leading the NHLPA, Donald Fehr, says he doesn’t see such a big rush to begin negotiations.

“There’s some generalized view that the earlier you start the better off you are,” Fehr said to Michael Traikos of Postmedia. “But if someone has some urgency or, better yet, they both do, it makes the end result a lot more likely.”

While the NHLPA has obviously begun reviewing some issues they would like corrected for the next CBA amongst themselves, it sounds like they are going to take their time before discussing it with the league.

And it should be expected that the players will be asking for some major changes. In August, Fehr talked to Katie Strang of The Athletic about some of the issues that transpired during the previous negotiations.

“Players are cognizant of the fact that in the last negotiations they made a series of significant concessions. And we’ll sort of leave it at that,” he said. 

When you put both McDavid’s claim and Fehr’s statement about the previous bargaining agreement together, you can see where this may be going. While the PA admitted to making ‘significant concessions’ the last time around, it doesn’t sound like they plan on doing the same when the current deal comes to an end.

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