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Monday, June 20, 2005

nhl- Esche, CBA by July 1st

from Robert Esche will welcome his National Hockey League buddies to Utica this week for a charity softball game and a round of golf at Turning Stone.
But what Esche really wants is to return to the ice - and put the ninth-month old NHL lockout behind him.
"It's been an extremely frustrating year - something I wouldn't wish on anyone," said Esche, a six-year NHL veteran who was the Philadelphia Flyers' starting goalie for the 2003-04 season. "Now that the season's over, having the time I spent with people in Utica and making a lot of new friends; that's been fun. I even got a chance to meet the governor.
"I think the new collective bargaining agreement will be signed by July 1," Esche said. "They've made a lot of progress, and they're working on a lot of the Xs and Os with the lawyers.
"Qualifying offers, arbitration and free agency. Those are the issues at hand now, and that's good because that means they've got the other issues settled."...more...