(SB Nation) - It was a foregone conclusion, but as required by the current collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association, the league has informed the union that it wishes to "terminate or modify" the current deal, according to a report from Sports Business Journal. It officially expires on Sept. 15, 2012.
Either the league or the NHLPA had to notify the other side of their desire to renegotiate the deal by May 15, 2012, or 120 days before the scheduled expiration. Had neither party taken that action, the current CBA would have been extended for another season.
It's just a formality, really. We've known for some time that the NHL and its players had planned on negotiating a new deal, and the league has said it's been ready to begin those talks for months. The Players' Association, meanwhile, has been busy getting organized under new director Donald Fehr, and it appears as though talks will finally begin after the current season ends in late June.