The NHL will not exercise its right to reopen the collective bargaining agreement next year, the league announced Friday.
"Based on the current state of the game and the business of the game, the NHL believes it is essential to continue building upon the momentum we have created with our players and, therefore, will not exercise its option to reopen the CBA. Rather, we are prepared to have the current CBA remain in effect for its full term - three more seasons through the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
"It is our hope that a continued, sustained period of labor peace will enable us to further grow the game and benefit all constituent groups: NHL players, clubs, our business partners, and most important, our fans," commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
The NHL had until Sunday to make its decision.
The NHLPA executive board and additional players who wish to attend are scheduled to meet Wednesday in Chicago. The deadline for the NHLPA to reopen CBA discussions is Sept. 15, but both sides could potentially agree to push back the NHLPA's deadline if a deal can't be struck by then, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
If the players opt to reopen negotiations, the current CBA will be terminated, potentially resulting in a work stoppage in September 2020. The current agreement will run through the 2020-21 season should they decline.
The NHL and NHLPA reached a deal for the current CBA in 2013 following a prolonged dispute that shortened the 2012-13 season to 48 games. The league also lost the entire 2004-05 season after the two parties failed to come to terms on an agreement prior to that campaign.