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Monday, June 13, 2005

nhl- Plugging Away

from CP and Sportsnet, The NHL and NHL Players' Association continued to plug away at a new deal with another small group session Monday, making slow and steady progress towards finally ending the ninth-month lockout.
While the economic framework is largely in place - based on a salary cap - there remains enough work to drag this out another two weeks or so, according to sources.
The basic structure of the salary cap - linked league-wide to revenues with an upper and lower limit on team payrolls - is mostly ironed out. The two sides have made headway in the areas of free agency, qualifying offers, salary arbitration, entry-level contracts, drug testing, rule changes and Olympic participation.
On the Olympic issue, the union appears to have scored a victory, with the league leaning towards participation in the Turin Games next February, although that is not signed, sealed and delivered just yet.
The two sides are narrowing in on a collective bargaining agreement that the league believes will bring competitive balance, narrowing the gap between the have and have-nots.
The tedious process of agreeing on the language of the document still awaits and that's no small task. The NHL announced a deal 10 years ago, in a hurry to salvage the 1994-95 season, and was later dismayed at how some parts of the agreement ended up sounding different then what it believed was first agreed to.
All the I's will be dotted and T's crossed this time around before a news conference is called.
Expect an entry draft to be held at the first opportune time after that....more...