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Monday, July 04, 2005

nhl- Building a Team

from Al Strachan and the Toronto Sun, If the National Hockey League owners finally end their lockout this week as expected, it would seem that there's plenty of time to get the league rolling.
But really that's not the case. The schedule is already tight.
Let's assume that an accord is announced this Thursday. That's July 7.
It would then be sent to both sides for ratification. The governors probably would do it at a meeting, the NHL Players' Association through a telephone vote conducted by the player representatives of the 30 teams.
Assuming that the the process doesn't encounter unexpected delays and that both sides give their approval -- never a certainty -- the clock for the 2005-06 season would start ticking next Monday -- July 11.
There then would be a moratorium on transactions for an extended period, probably two weeks while all involved take a cram course and try to comprehend the intricacies of the most complex collective bargaining agreement in sport.
Following his well-established practice, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has made sure that most general managers have been kept in the dark about the nature of the negotiations. With the exception of Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils, who has been an integral part of the owners' inner circle, the GMs basically are starting from scratch.
So in the frantic two weeks leading up to July 25, the GMs will have to try to make plans for their teams, keeping in mind that most of their former roster players are now free agents and that their payrolls must be kept within league-mandated parameters.
But they'll also have to take time off from that endeavour to devote themselves to the draft, which will have to be completed prior to the free-agency on...