Breaking Sports

Friday, March 04, 2005

nhl- Heading for Disaster

from the ottawasun, One of the NHL's most powerful agents warns that bringing in replacement players "could be disastrous to the league." Calgary-based agent J.P. Barry, co-managing director of IMG Hockey and the representative for Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, said yesterday he believes using replacement players would be a major mistake for the NHL.
"If you want to watch replacement players, go down to the UHL and watch those guys," said Barry. "Then, imagine them in Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators uniforms. That's exactly what you're going to get.
"I'm sure people would want to watch that for about a week and then they wouldn't want to watch it anymore. If the NHL makes a move like that it could force the players to start their own league in smaller centres."
A small group of agents met privately late Wednesday to discuss a players league and cross-Canada exhibition tour next year if there's no new collective bargaining agreement in place by September.
Indications are NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow expects a call from the NHL in the next two weeks to see if the two sides can sit down again.
Negotiations will likely resume with the 24% rollback offered by the players pulled off the table.
"If you've got replacement players playing in Toronto and a players league down the road in Hamilton with guys like Mats Sundin, Joe Thornton and Jaromir Jagr on the ice, which would you rather pay to watch?" asked Barry.
"There's not going to be a draft. No way," said a league source. "They should just cancel it now and get it over with because they're not going to have an agreement in place and if they do they're going to have a huge fight over who gets the No. 1 pick."