Breaking Sports

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

nhl- On the Verge

from the Toronto Globe and Mail, It could happen later this week. It could happen next week. But all indications are that the National Hockey League lockout, now in its 293rd day, is finally about to come to an end.
While a handful of systemic issues are still being negotiated, sources say that the two parties are drafting a collective agreement that will bear only a faint resemblance to the previous contract between NHL owners and players.
The terms of surrender for NHL players will be onerous. When 11th-hour attempts to negotiate a deal last February fell apart, the NHL was offering the players a $42.5-million salary cap. Not only will that number be lower in a new deal, it will also include player benefits, bonus payments and other team costs that could further reduce player compensation.
Don Meehan, president of Newport Sports Management Inc., which represents more than 100 NHL players, including National Hockey League Players' Association president Trevor Linden, believes that an agreement is close.
"Our office is most anxious to understand and appreciate all of the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement," Mr. Meehan said carefully. "I suspect we're looking at a very condensed period to accomplish everything we have to do under the critical-dates calendar of our existing CBA. Time will be short."...continued...