The NHL Players’ Association is looking to make it easier for players to work out with other players in the league.
As part of a three-year initiative called Project Play, NHLPA Executive Director David Poile said Thursday that the league is in talks with a number of players’ union representatives about ways to facilitate that type of cooperation.
“The idea is to see if we can work with them to establish the opportunity for them to work with other NHL players and help create a pathway for players and teams to work together in order to help get better,” Poile told reporters.
“We would like to work toward that goal through some type of mechanism, but we’re not going to say if we’ll go that route at this point.”
Poile said the union has been in discussions with NHL Players Association (NPA) representatives in the past few weeks, but no agreements have been finalized.
Poile added that the union would not discuss whether or not any players have reached an agreement.
“It’s a pretty complicated process.
We have a lot of conversations, but the conversations are very preliminary,” Poiles said.
“We have a number players who are very committed to it.”
While the union is hopeful that the new system could create a more seamless and beneficial process for players, Poile did not provide any further details about the proposed process.
“There’s a lot more that needs to be done.
We don’t know if this will actually be effective or if it will be something that we can get behind, but it’s something that’s on the table,” Poily said.”
This is something that has to be talked about.
The players are concerned, and the players have been very supportive of the work that the NHLPA has been doing for a long time.”
According to Poile, the NHL is looking at various approaches, from a potential rule change, to an increase in the salary cap.
Poiles added that both sides are willing to work through any hurdles, including the potential for an increase of the salary-cap threshold to the NHL-wide average of $62.5 million.
“I think this is something we’re going to have to sit down and talk through.
We’ve talked about a few different ways of moving forward,” Poise said.
The NHLPA is also working to improve its own communications strategy.
In a joint statement with NHLPA officials last month, Poiles and NHLPA President Brendan Shanahan said the league had a “significant number of opportunities to work collaboratively with the players, coaches and executives, but had not done so because of the difficult relationship between the players and the NHL.”
“We have reached a point where we are both in agreement that there is no way forward for players,” Poilsaid.
“While we will continue to work on this issue and will continue making recommendations to the owners, we have a significant number of options that we would like our players to have and to have with us if we want to move forward.”