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Sunday, May 22, 2005

nba & nhl- NBA feeling heat from NHL Owners

from the New York Times (reg. req.), At first, all an agreement (NBA) seemed to require was some fresh paint and a touch-up here and there to an old collective-bargaining contract favored by most owners. For example, the league wants to reduce the years on maximum contracts from seven to five and set an age limit of 20 for incoming players. It'll probably get a reasonable concession from the union on six years, with an entry age of 19.
But, apparently, some N.B.A. owners with N.H.L. ties are itching to squeeze the union out of self-protection. As a rule, N.H.L. owners are binge shoppers with no fiscal common sense, one clue as to why hockey franchises are plunged into six shades of red.
Instead of therapy, N.H.L. owners are seeking help by demanding cost certainty in their collective-bargaining negotiations to enforce self-control.
N.H.L. owners have watched their fan base decrease while payrolls have escalated upon the exit of Wayne Gretzky and the decline of big-market teams.
Do they see a similar fate for the N.B.A. in the afterlife of Jordan and the dysfunctional disasters known as the Lakers and Knicks? Maybe N.H.L. owners with hoop interests fear a second lap with a money pit.