Breaking Sports

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

nhl- Watching from Afar

from the London Free Press, While their professional colleagues are girding for the most frantic period of their lives, a pair of London player agents will be looking on with detached interest.
The most complex collective bargaining agreement in sports history is drawing nigh. When the NHL and the NHL Players' Association finally shake hands after the only completely abandoned season in North American pro sports history, it will be like a goal-mouth scramble, times one million.
It also will be the largest musical chairs game in history with player agents and general managers playing the music as more than 400 free agents seek teams.
Under a salary cap to be announced, big-payroll teams will be cutting talent adrift while the former small-market teams will be juggling rosters to accommodate one or two marquee players. Who is worth what -- and to whom -- will turn it into hockey's equivalent of establishing the European Economic Community.
Expect rage from players once the expected deal carves their salaries into relative slivers. Expect lawsuits from various quarters. And expect the NHLPA, which is coming out second-best, to place executive-director Bob Goodenow on the on...