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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

nhl- A deal for You

from the Toronto Sun, One of these mornings, we're going to wake up to a new collective bargaining agreement in the NHL.
Be skeptical about that statement, if you choose, and you will have plenty of company. Understandably so, given the fact that an entire season was lost because of ego-driven obstinance on both sides of the issue.
But let's just imagine, for a moment, that the scuttlebutt is true this time; that an agreement is coming within the next month and it's not going to be a pretty thing to behold if you're a player.
What then? Would you believe, mass chaos?
With, say, two months remaining before 2005 training camps are to open, NHL teams will have to solidify their local sponsorships, convince their alleged fans to buy season tickets, re-stock their rosters, conduct an amateur draft, figure out what kind of rule changes the new league will incorporate and, for many teams, how to put together a payroll about half the size they are used to.
A couple of months ago, the NHLPA was hoping for a salary cap of just under $50 million US per team. In reality, when the deal is done, it will be far less than that. Perhaps as low as $32-35 million.
There are 30 teams in the NHL, with 2004 payrolls ranging from $23.2 million (Nashville) to $77.8 million (Detroit).
Somehow, the teams like Detroit, the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars and, yes, the Maple Leafs, will have to cut their payrolls about in half or pay what is expected to be a dollar-for-dollar penalty. That is, if you're $5 million over the cap, then you'll pay a tax of $5 million. In light of that, it is conceivable that you will not be able to recognize much that is familiar when the smoke has cleared at the Air Canada on...