NHL players and owners are increasingly concerned about how the league’s carpet cleaners have changed the game and what it means for the future of the league.
In a statement Monday, the NHL said the league would stop providing the $5 million annual bonus for carpet cleaning services for the 2018-19 season.
The league said the move is “in the best interests of the players, our players, and our fans.”
The league said it has been negotiating with a new carpet cleaning provider since last spring and expects to have a new service provider in place in time for the 2019-20 season.
That service provider, which is expected to be ready in June, will not be eligible for the $10,000 annual bonus that has been awarded annually.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the $15,000 salary cap and other factors could have played a role in the league making the decision.
The salary cap, which has not been increased since 2007-08, will increase to $16.5 million in 2020-21.
Bettman said a new provider should be available to fill the void left by the players’ departure.
The NHL said in a statement that the salary cap has increased to $15.5 billion in 2020, so the league was unable to provide a new $5 billion bonus for the 2017-18 season.