The NHL is making strides towards altering the league calendar during the 2020-21 season.
According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, Deputy commissioner Bill Daly is "cautiously optimistic" that recent Collective Bargaining Agreement talks with the NHL Players' Association will lead to a World Cup in 2021.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly says he's "cautiously optimistic" about the direction of collective bargaining talks with the NHL Players' Association and believes the sides are committed to staging the next World Cup in February 2021 if they can extend or renew the current agreement before it expires.
The talks have been ongoing throughout the summer and another meeting is expected to take place next week. In order to make a change such as the World Cup, the two sides would have to terminate the current CBA, which runs until Sept. 1, 2019.
If the current CBA is terminated and a decision is agreed to, the World Cup would replace the NHL All-Star Game in 2021.
"The general state of things, there seems to be a lot of agreement on," Daly said. "It's very kind of amorphous right now but there doesn't seem to be like a huge sticking point on the issues we've talked about. I think there's general agreement kind of directionally. Where we should be going.
"I think both sides have been open that the agreement's not a perfect agreement and could be improved, but nobody's holding out for a home run."
If neither side agrees to early termination of the CBA, the current deal would be in effect until Sept. 2022. In addition, the NHLPA would have until Sept. 15, 2019 to decide if they're going to terminate their end of the current CBA.
According to Daly, the two sides would also like to come up with a new calendar for international events, including the Olympic participation angle as well as the World Cup.
"It would be kind of a mini tournament about a week in length," Daly added. "Tack on a couple days to the typical all-star break and fit in an international event. So that's something I think we have an agreement that if we get past this phase we should work on."
While it appears that both sides are confident that a new agreement is reached, the process is still ongoing this offseason.