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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

nhl- CBA coming to a Close

from Spector and Fox Sports, The feeling among hockey fans and pundits that the NHL's long labor war with the NHLPA may be soon drawing to a close grows with each passing day.
Pierre Lebrun of Canadian Press on Monday reported of "slow and steady progress" toward a resolution, with a salary cap "linked league-wide to revenues with an upper and lower limit on team-by-team payrolls" having been established for the most part. CP also reported of "headway in the areas of free agency, qualifying offers, salary arbitration, entry-level contracts, drug testing, rule changes and Olympic participation."
The possibility of NHLers participating in the 2006 Winter Olympics has been touted by some pundits as a "concession" by the league to the NHLPA, since NHL commissioner Gary Bettman apparently didn't want the first season after the lockout to be interrupted by the Olympics.
Yet this can scarcely be considered a major concession, for as blogger Hockey Rodent observes, having NHL players performing on the world stage at no cost to NHL owners cannot be considered a bad thing.
Somehow I doubt the players are looking upon this as the face-saving "bone" they wanted the owners to toss to them.
Meanwhile, criticism of the NHLPA is mounting, aimed specifically at executive director Bob Goodenow and his handling of negotiations.
There is talk of the PA in retreat, of having caved on key issues such as linkage and a salary cap, which the association previously claimed the players would never on...