LOS ANGELES - It's was an expected formality, but it's the first step down what is expected to be a bumpy road to a new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players Association.
The league has served notice to the players it wishes to change the current CBA, something it needed to do 120 days from the expiry of the current deal on Sept. 15. If neither side had served notice of its desire to change the current agreement, it would have been renewed for another year.
This shoudn't come as a surprise to anyone since there has been lots of talk the NHL would like to see the players' percentage of hockey-related revenue reduced -- perhaps from its current level of 57% to 50% -- and a limit placed on the length of contracts, among other issues.
Negotiations on a new deal are not expected to begin until after the Stanley Cup final. The players have put together a large negotiating committee and want all their players available, so it makes sense they would wait until after the season to begin negotiations.