NHL players will still have a few opportunities to work with their team personnel during the offseason.
According to Elliott Friedmanthe NHL and NHLPA are executing a « trial agreement » to allow players and coaching staff to work on skills this summer, but only to a limited extent.
NHL players will be permitted to work with a skills coach during an on-ice session to develop certain aspects of their game. The player must request the session through the NHLPA for it to take place .
It allows players to work on specific skills to develop them, like their shooting, skating, etc. Players working with head coaches or assistant coaches to learn strategies and systems, especially new players acquired during the offseason, don’t seem to be on the table for these types of sessions.
According to the NHL Collective Agreement, at Article 15.11(b), « Clubs are not permitted to involve coaching or hockey operations personnel (e.g., coaches, skating instructors, other club employees, contracted service providers, etc.) -on-ice sessions with players.
This trial agreement modifies this article of the collective agreement, even if for the moment it will only be for this summer. Although there is no word on what the future of this deal will be, but it is likely that if it goes well, there will be an altercation at the ABC’s decision, and if the teams don’t like it, the decision will revert to as it was before this amendment.
The Vancouver Canucks were fined $50,000 in May for staging an on-ice practice session with Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Once superstar players with the Canucks, the Sedin twins work in player development roles for the organization. They were working with centers Dakota Joshua and Jack Studnicka, which was an ABC violation at the time. According to Friedman, the Canucks won’t be waived for the fine with the amendment now in place, and it still technically breaks the rules since they had multiple skills coaches for the session.