As part of the NHL’s announcement about a four-year CBA extension on Monday, it was confirmed that Alexander Romanov and others in his situation won’t be allowed to play this season. However, he is still eligible to sign and burn a year of his entry-level deal.
That means in the coming days, the Habs will have to decide whether they want to grant him that option or not. Back in May, the two sides agreed to two separate entry-level contracts, one that started next season and one this season if he was allowed to play. However, this situation sort of falls in between and there isn’t much incentive to letting Romanov burn a cheap year for free other than potential goodwill for down the road.
The window will be very narrow to reach an agreement. Starting at noon EST on the third day following ratification by the players, the Habs and Romanov will have 53 hours to come to an agreement on a contract for this season. If they do sign a deal that starts in 2019-20, no signing bonus will be permitted.
As for the announcement of a new CBA in conjunction with Return to Play protocols, we now have a confirmed training camp start date of Monday, July 13th. A maximum of 30 skaters will be allowed to participate along with an unlimited number of goalies. Only those eligible to play will be allowed to be at camp so scratch Romanov off of that list as well. Teams will report to the hub cities on the 26th with play getting underway on August 1st.
It was reported in recent days that players will be allowed to opt out of the tournament without any repercussions and that the NHL may make players that are determined to be at a substantial risk of developing a serious illness if exposed to the coronavirus ineligible to play. That could be something to watch for when it comes to Max Domi’s availability although players that are deemed ineligible will have the right to request a second opinion.