Springfield, MA (Sports Network) - The American Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players' Association announced a new collective bargaining agreement.
The new CBA, which runs through August 31, 2014, was ratified by the AHL's Board of Governors and an overwhelming majority of the league's players.
"The American Hockey League continues to be fortunate to have an extremely positive and open relationship with our players and with the PHPA," said AHL president and CEO David Andrews. "Our previous CBA included several significant elements which have proven over the last several years to be beneficial to our players, our owners, and ultimately our fans, and this new agreement continues in that same spirit of cooperation."
The new CBA includes significant enhancements to the health and welfare plan currently offered to AHL players and their families, provides flexibility to the AHL in Calder Cup playoff scheduling and financing, and allows for increases to per-diem and minimum salary as well as modifications to housing and travel provisions.
"Given the labor uncertainty currently at the forefront of professional sports, we viewed these negotiations as a means to create stability at our level of the sport, advancing the benefits and rights of current and future AHL players and their families, while simultaneously being mindful of the current economic landscape in North America," said PHPA executive director Larry Landon. "We surveyed the players last fall and asked them what they would like us to address in CBA negotiations. We feel this is a deal that incorporates revision or implementation of the various items suggested by the players and adds significant value for present and future AHL players."
The AHL, the top developmental league for the National Hockey League, begins its 75th anniversary season Friday night.