The New Jersey Devils are a team that would be absolutely devastated if they lost any time during the next decade due to an impending lockout, so recent reports are very good news.
The New Jersey Devils are a really young team. They are an organization that has rebuilt their core nicely and with a little bit of luck, they have some cornerstone players that they are building around. This is exciting for Devils fans, except for the fact that there is a chance that there is an option to re-open the NHL and NHLPA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
That happening would mean that they need to collectively bargain a new deal, like what happened in 2012. If they go that route and don’t come to an agreement in time, there would be a lockout. That is something that all parties want to avoid.
TSN insider Darren Dreger reported on Thursday afternoon that the NHL is going to announce within the next day or two that they are going to decline its option to re-open the CBA. That is good news for all hockey fans. That means that the league is happy with the way things are with the current CBA that was signed in 2013.
There is still the idea that the NHLPA could use its option to re-open it due to the desire to play in the Olympic Winter Games and issues with player escrow. The escrow is a function of how high the salary cap is. The higher the salary cap, the higher the escrow. The cap being lower than expected in 2019-20 isn’t a great sign but hopefully, they find a way to avoid the NHLPA re-opening the CBA.
This would be great if there is no lockout within the next few years because the Devils appear to be heading into a period of sustained success. With guys like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Ty Smith getting ready to be in their prime years around that time, it would be horrible for them to lose a season during their good years. You do not want this young team to lose a year together. The last time there was a lockout in 2012-13, the Devils were fresh off a Stanley Cup Final appearance and it was the beginning of the end for that core.
To be honest, lockouts are bad for every team in the NHL. They are especially bad for teams that can make a run at the cup and that could be the New Jersey Devils over the next decade. They should be really hoping that all bargaining goes in the right direction.