Former Blackhawk Artemi Panarin expresses concerns over NHL's Return To Play plan

Scott King
NBC Sports Chicago

Former Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin, currently in his first year with the New York Rangers, took to Instagram on Thursday to voice concern over the NHL's Return To Play plan. 

Player health, the future of the league and escrow were among the topics discussed in his post, which is written below in its entirety: 

"I am very much looking forward to the playoffs with the New York Rangers. I have concerns not only about the health of players and their families but also about the long term prosperity of the NHL. For nearly two decades, the Players have protected the owners income with escrow, including throughout this pandemic crisis, even as owners' equity continues to grow exponentially. It is time to fix the escrow. We as players cannot report to camp to resume play without already having an agreement in place. We are all in this together. Also, I know the process for selection of the Hub Cities is ongoing. I sincerely wish that my teammates and I could train and play games at MSG and bring employment and economic opportunity safely back to New York City for Ranger fans and all New Yorkers."

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Escrow is the percentage of a player's salary the NHL and NHLPA withhold during to season to make sure teams and players reach a 50/50 split of hockey-releated revenue in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. 

As the NHL is finalizing the two Hub Cities for its 24-team playoff format, a July 10 training camp date for teams is being targeted. Teams are currently participating in voluntary small group workouts in their various home cities. 

Related: Patrick Kane wants to play hockey but cautions nothing has been agreed to yet

Former Blackhawk Artemi Panarin expresses concerns over NHL's Return To Play plan originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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