Breaking Sports

Friday, July 08, 2005

nhl- A deal is Close

from Al Strachan and the Toronto Sun, If the National Hockey League had indeed reached a deal in principle with its players, it would have been announced by now.
Both the league and the NHL Players Association know that it makes no sense to try to keep such a development from public scrutiny.
But the fact that an American newspaper has made the latest claim of a done deal is of some merit, even if it's not accurate. It's one more indication that the deal is close.
Everybody who is interested already knows that. The hiring of general managers, the shuffling of coaches (look for Anaheim general manager Brian Burke to go after Mike Johnston, assistant coach of the Vancouver Canucks, now that he has forced his incumbent, Mike Babcock, out of his post) and the over-all gearing up of the league, are all indications that a new collective bargaining agreement is not far away.
Nothing is finalized yet, but a lot of concepts are very near to agreement. They might change slightly as the tit-for-tat shuffling of concessions continues, but in essence, the deal will be pretty much the way Bruce Garrioch spelled it out in Monday's edition of the Toronto Sun.
The players will take a significant drop in salaries, but that's no surprise. Their first meaningful foray into the bargaining waters was a 24% rollback. They were always aware that they wouldn't be able to maintain the levels that the owners had established over the previous decade.
Team salaries will be capped in the $39-million range and for most teams, that won't represent a major hardship....continued...