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Thread: Theyre Back...

  1. #1
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    Theyre Back...

    Finally, a deal
    NHL, players' association reach new labor agreement
    Posted: Wednesday July 13, 2005 11:21AM; Updated: Wednesday July 13, 2005 1:52PM

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The NHL and the players' association reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a six-year labor deal, ending a lockout that wiped out last season.

    The sides met for 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon to hammer out the collective bargaining agreement that will return the NHL to the ice on time in the fall. In February, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, making the NHL the first North American sports league to lose a year because of a labor dispute.

    "It's a new day," Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock told The Associated Press. "It's pretty exciting."

    Both sides still need to ratify the deal, a pact that is expected to contain a salary cap -- something players' association executive director Bob Goodenow never wanted. That process is expected to be completed next week, the league and the union said in a joint news release.

    If all goes according to plan, a scaled-down draft is expected to be held later this month and training camps will open from Vancouver to Miami in September. Real NHL games will be back on the schedule come October.

    "It'll be a great thing to get the game back up," Columbus Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant said.

    It took all night and then some for the final round of negotiations to produce an agreement.

    The sides met for 10 straight days in New York, and it became clear Wednesday morning -- the 301st day of the lockout -- that they weren't going to leave the room without an agreement in hand.

    The expected salary cap will likely have a ceiling approaching $40 million and a minimum somewhere between $20 million and $25 million.

    Player salaries will not exceed 54 percent of league-wide revenues.

    Some players in recent days have voiced their displeasure over what will be included in the new agreement.

    Bettman warned in February that the offers the union passed up were better than any it would see once a year of hockey was lost.

    Just days before the season was wiped out, the players' association said for the first time it would accept a salary cap if the league dropped its desire to link player costs to revenues.

    That started a wild week that included the cancellation of the season on Feb. 16 and a false hope three days later that it would be saved. Even Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux -- superstars turned executives -- couldn't resurrect it during an emergency bargaining session in New York.

    Negotiations resumed in mid-March.

    Bettman promised "cost certainty" in the form of a hard salary cap to the owners and he has gotten it.

    The landscape of the NHL will be quite different than it was back in June 2004 when the Tampa Bay Lightning skated off with the Stanley Cup in the league's last game before the lockout. For the first time since a flu epidemic in 1919, there was no Stanley Cup champion in 2005.

    Now when the league relaunches in the fall, it will do so with a brand new salary structure that keeps high-spending teams such as Toronto, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers in line.

    The first order of business after the deal is ratified will be to get a majority of the players signed. The belief is that last season's contracts will be wiped from the books, leaving many players without deals.

    Those who are still under contract will have their salaries reduced by 24 percent, a concept first proposed by the union last December. Some expensive players will also be on the market as teams pare payrolls to get down to the cap.

    There will also be several rules changes that could run the gamut from the size of goaltender equipment to the installation of a shootout to eliminate tie games.

    "Our focus right now, from the coaches standpoint, is we're waiting to see what our roster is going to look like and what the playing rules are going to look like," Hitchcock said in a phone interview.

    The draft was supposed to be held last month in Ottawa, but the Canadian capital might get to host the event soon.

    Canadian phenom Sidney Crosby is the consensus choice to be the No. 1 pick. Where he goes will be determined by a draft lottery that will give each team an opportunity to snag him.

    He will certainly be part of the NHL's campaign to win back fans that were disenchanted by the lockout.

    The deal finally came down during sport's biggest lull of the year -- the baseball All-Star break.

    The NHL probably won't hold such an event until 2007 as next year's All-Star game is expected to be replaced by an Olympic break, allowing for players to represent their countries in Turin, Italy.

  2. #2
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    Booyah! it's about time, can't wait for my NHL fix




    Quote Originally Posted by sect112row36
    Finally, a deal
    NHL, players' association reach new labor agreement
    Posted: Wednesday July 13, 2005 11:21AM; Updated: Wednesday July 13, 2005 1:52PM

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The NHL and the players' association reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a six-year labor deal, ending a lockout that wiped out last season.

    The sides met for 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon to hammer out the collective bargaining agreement that will return the NHL to the ice on time in the fall. In February, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, making the NHL the first North American sports league to lose a year because of a labor dispute.

    "It's a new day," Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock told The Associated Press. "It's pretty exciting."

    Both sides still need to ratify the deal, a pact that is expected to contain a salary cap -- something players' association executive director Bob Goodenow never wanted. That process is expected to be completed next week, the league and the union said in a joint news release.

    If all goes according to plan, a scaled-down draft is expected to be held later this month and training camps will open from Vancouver to Miami in September. Real NHL games will be back on the schedule come October.

    "It'll be a great thing to get the game back up," Columbus Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant said.

    It took all night and then some for the final round of negotiations to produce an agreement.

    The sides met for 10 straight days in New York, and it became clear Wednesday morning -- the 301st day of the lockout -- that they weren't going to leave the room without an agreement in hand.

    The expected salary cap will likely have a ceiling approaching $40 million and a minimum somewhere between $20 million and $25 million.

    Player salaries will not exceed 54 percent of league-wide revenues.

    Some players in recent days have voiced their displeasure over what will be included in the new agreement.

    Bettman warned in February that the offers the union passed up were better than any it would see once a year of hockey was lost.

    Just days before the season was wiped out, the players' association said for the first time it would accept a salary cap if the league dropped its desire to link player costs to revenues.

    That started a wild week that included the cancellation of the season on Feb. 16 and a false hope three days later that it would be saved. Even Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux -- superstars turned executives -- couldn't resurrect it during an emergency bargaining session in New York.

    Negotiations resumed in mid-March.

    Bettman promised "cost certainty" in the form of a hard salary cap to the owners and he has gotten it.

    The landscape of the NHL will be quite different than it was back in June 2004 when the Tampa Bay Lightning skated off with the Stanley Cup in the league's last game before the lockout. For the first time since a flu epidemic in 1919, there was no Stanley Cup champion in 2005.

    Now when the league relaunches in the fall, it will do so with a brand new salary structure that keeps high-spending teams such as Toronto, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers in line.

    The first order of business after the deal is ratified will be to get a majority of the players signed. The belief is that last season's contracts will be wiped from the books, leaving many players without deals.

    Those who are still under contract will have their salaries reduced by 24 percent, a concept first proposed by the union last December. Some expensive players will also be on the market as teams pare payrolls to get down to the cap.

    There will also be several rules changes that could run the gamut from the size of goaltender equipment to the installation of a shootout to eliminate tie games.

    "Our focus right now, from the coaches standpoint, is we're waiting to see what our roster is going to look like and what the playing rules are going to look like," Hitchcock said in a phone interview.

    The draft was supposed to be held last month in Ottawa, but the Canadian capital might get to host the event soon.

    Canadian phenom Sidney Crosby is the consensus choice to be the No. 1 pick. Where he goes will be determined by a draft lottery that will give each team an opportunity to snag him.

    He will certainly be part of the NHL's campaign to win back fans that were disenchanted by the lockout.

    The deal finally came down during sport's biggest lull of the year -- the baseball All-Star break.

    The NHL probably won't hold such an event until 2007 as next year's All-Star game is expected to be replaced by an Olympic break, allowing for players to represent their countries in Turin, Italy.

  3. #3
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    too bad we had to loose a year for this. Deal looks good, should allow the league to $-prosper in the future... players lost a lot.

    Hope my team wins the draw, would love Crosby to be an Habs...!!!

    If they completed a similar deal in the past, the Nordiques & the Jets would still be in the league, miss them.

    the draft is expected to be July 30th in Ottawa.

    Let's drop the puck !!!

    @lex

  4. #4
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    I've gone and booked Newsday's hockey writer Alan Hahn to break down the deal for us.

    He'll be on live in the 2nd hour, probably around 10:15 (We have ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick talking baseball in the first hour, otherwise he'd be on earlier).

    So, if you're in the Long Island listening area, please tune in. (90.3FM from 9PM to 11PM)

    Please post your questions.

    As a reminder, we're 100% commercial-free and no one makes a dime from it.

    I'll make sure that the interview gets on the web, too.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Im pumped up for this next fall. I hope L.A. gets the #1 pick this year.
    Go KINGS!

  6. #6
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    Well, with a league to bring back from the dead, Sidney Crosby in NY or LA would certainly help to do that......

  7. #7
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    Crosby's going to Buffalo, mark my words.





    Quote Originally Posted by patchyfogg
    Well, with a league to bring back from the dead, Sidney Crosby in NY or LA would certainly help to do that......

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    Quote Originally Posted by patchyfogg
    Well, with a league to bring back from the dead, Sidney Crosby in NY or LA would certainly help to do that......
    Truth be told, that's exactly what they need to do. Not let him get lost in Edmondton, or Buffalo, or some non media-glaring outpost.

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    Based on what I have been reading, it sounds like there will be a lot of free agents in the next year or so, besides all the guys bought out to allow teams to get below the cap. Devils could lose a guy like Gomez after next season, instead of in 4 years.

    Wonder how this will change the fabric of the game?

  10. #10
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    It will be one big rotisserie league.

  11. #11
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    Audio of the Hahn Interview

    Try this--

    http://hosted.filefront.com/patchyfogg

    You want the MP3 file, as the WAV was my ill-fated first attempt.

    I hope this works! Let me know.

    Thanks.

  12. #12
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    When will we realize that L.A. is not the answer to anything sports related with the exception of pro basketball and college football.

    The true fans of the sport will always be there. It's the fringe fans that the NHL needs to attract again. No problem in Tampa, the phone lines have been jammed since last thursday wanting ticket info.

    What's needed is a TV deal. I heard ESPN is talking with the NHL as us comcast and HBO. Now that last one had me scratching my head until I heard what the plan was. HBO wants to show playoff games with coaches and players wired and no delay. Could be fun stuff. Glad to see someone is thinking.

  13. #13
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    According to TSN.ca, the players have ratified the CBA. Now it's up to the Board of Governors tomorrow.

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    The NHL owners will approve the pact. They make out like bandits with it. NY, Philly, LA, and other big cities will profit beyond their wildest dreams. Bettman pulled a shrewd one over the players.

    If the NHL is smart, Crosby ends up in a major market, like NY, Choic, or LA. Any successful sport needs a winning team from at least 1 of these markets.

  15. #15
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    I'll agree with NY and Chicago, but not L.A. I think he would have a greater impact in Detroit or Philly.

    If Tampa Bay were to get lucky and land the #1 pick, I would still choose Crosby, but then immediately trade his rights to one of those four areas for both the good of the league, and the franchise.

  16. #16
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    irony

    how ironic is it that the rangers who pretty much were the leaders in raising salaries now have to play go by the same rules as everyone else.


    The rags couldn't win with the highest payroll in hockey playing in Manhatten sure aren't going to win with the new salary cap!

    Oh the irony

    the Rags will forever suck!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JETFAN1
    how ironic is it that the rangers who pretty much were the leaders in raising salaries now have to play go by the same rules as everyone else.


    The rags couldn't win with the highest payroll in hockey playing in Manhatten sure aren't going to win with the new salary cap!

    Oh the irony

    the Rags will forever suck!
    A) The Rangers played under the same rules as everyone else prior to this CBA
    B) The Rangers did win -albeit a decade ago-
    C) As a Ranger fan nothing could be better than a cap which does not allow teams to mismanage themselves, which the Rangers have over the last decade. The Rangers will have no choice but to build from the ground up. The cap will prevent them from going after old has-beens--music to any Ranger fans ears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sect112row36
    A) The Rangers played under the same rules as everyone else prior to this CBA
    B) The Rangers did win -albeit a decade ago-
    C) As a Ranger fan nothing could be better than a cap which does not allow teams to mismanage themselves, which the Rangers have over the last decade. The Rangers will have no choice but to build from the ground up. The cap will prevent them from going after old has-beens--music to any Ranger fans ears.
    I agree. Listen to who they are signing these days. Lots of young kids. Sure, they also signed Straka and Rushinshy, but that was to get linemates for Jagr.

    I like this way better. Enough with the old and slow.

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