Rangers’ Artemi Panarin says NHL players should not report to camp without a labor agreement

New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin said that if the NHL and NHLPA cannot agree on a solution for the league’s financial system, then players shouldn’t show up at training camps this summer.

“For nearly two decades, players have protected owners ‘incomes with escrow, even throughout this pandemic crisis, even as owners’ equity continues to grow exponentially,” Panarin said in a published statement Thursday. on social media. “It is time to arrange custody. We as players cannot inform the camp to resume play without having an agreement in place. We are all in this together.”

Panarin had 95 points in 69 games in his first season with the Rangers, with whom he signed a seven-year, $ 81.5 million free agent contract last summer. He is the most outstanding player to speak against returning to training camp without a solution to the custody system.

The NHL and NHLPA target July 10 to return to the camps.

The current financial system in the NHL involves a 50/50 revenue split between players and owners. The escrow system, which requires a retention percentage of players’ paychecks each season, maintains that balance by funneling money to owners in the event of an income deficit or returning it to players.

Players anticipate a massive custody coup after the NHL halted its season on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic and also because the league plans to restart the season with no fans in the stands.

NHL is one of the most important sports in North America.

Sources told ESPN last week that players and owners have an understanding about a range of custody, with a limit of a certain percentage going forward. The speculation is that it will be somewhere in the 20% to 25% range for two to three years. The NHL is seeking an extension of the current collective bargaining agreement, which will expire in September 2022.

Players’ agent Allan Walsh, an opponent of the salary cap system, said Panarin’s statement highlights an example of the “insidious” nature of the NHL financial system.

“One group of players wants the escrow to be removed, the other wants the highest Upper Limit possible, which will bring with it a higher escrow,” Walsh posted on Twitter. “The salary cap pits competing self-interested players.”

Panarin’s statement comes at a critical moment. While the NHLPA has approved the 24-team format for the Stanley Cup playoffs, it has yet to vote on a real return to training camps or to ice to end the season.

“We’ve all been playing the waiting game for the past few months,” Minnesota Wild defender Matt Dumba told ESPN’s On Ice podcast this week. “I think they are going to make it happen, but we’ll see. There are still a couple more potholes along the way, and maybe [camp] is pushed back but I think it will happen. “

Panarin, who was quarantined in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during the NHL shutdown, made waves in April when he joked that he would consider skipping the 2020-21 season if the NHL were to try to cut his salary the way some soccer leagues do. Europeans proposed cutting player pay

“I am looking forward to the playoffs with the New York Rangers. I am concerned not only about the health of the players and their families, but also about the long-term prosperity of the NHL,” Panarin said in his post Thursday.

He ended his message by saying he hoped the Rangers could play in New York.

“I know that the selection process for Hub Cities is ongoing. I sincerely hope that my teammates and I can train and play games at MSG and bring job and economic opportunities safely to New York City for fans of Rangers and all New Yorkers. “