With the real possibility of another lock-out looming when the current contract between the players and the NHL expires after next season, it is a big deal today that the American Hockey League has announced a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Professional Hockey Players Association that will cover the league through the 2013-2014 season.
What this will allow, should there be another lockout, is for professional hockey to be continued to be played in North America and a number of players that are on NHL deals will be able to continue to play much as it went in the last lockout five years ago.
Here is the official release:
AHL, PHPA RATIFY NEW COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
The new CBA, which is effective through August 31, 2014, has been ratified by both the AHL’s Board of Governors and the overwhelming majority of AHL players.
The CBA has been modified to include significant enhancements to the health and welfare plan currently offered to AHL players and their families, to provide flexibility to the AHL in Calder Cup Playoff scheduling and financing, and to allow for increases to per-diem and minimum salary as well as modifications to housing and travel provisions.
“The American Hockey League continues to be fortunate to have an extremely positive and open relationship with our players and with the PHPA,” said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our previous CBA included several significant elements which have proven over the last several years to be beneficial to our players, our owners, and ultimately our fans, and this new agreement continues in that same spirit of cooperation.”
“Given the labor uncertainty currently at the forefront of professional sports, we viewed these negotiations as a means to create stability at our level of the sport, advancing the benefits and rights of current and future AHL players and their families, while simultaneously being mindful of the current economic landscape in North America,” said Larry Landon, Executive Director of the PHPA. “We surveyed the players last fall and asked them what they would like us to address in CBA negotiations. We feel this is a deal that incorporates revision or implementation of the various items suggested by the players and adds significant value for present and future AHL players.”
As it begins its historic 75th anniversary season tonight, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 85 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Since its inception in 1967, the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) has continued to serve as an advocate of player interests. Currently, the PHPA is the certified, U.S. National Labor Relations Board collective bargaining representative for over 1,600 players on 67 teams in the American Hockey League, ECHL and Central Hockey League.