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Thread: Hockey Returns: 2005

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    _ pineapple's Avatar
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    Hockey Returns: 2005

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    NHL, NHLPA reach tentative deal

    TSN.ca Staff

    7/13/2005 12:38:41 PM

    And now for the words everyone has been waiting to hear: The deal is done!

    The NHL and NHL Players' Association have finally reached an agreement (pending ratification) on a new six-year collective bargaining agreement that - if approved by the NHL board of governors next Thursday and the rank and file membership of the NHLPA next Tuesday - will officially end the stalemate on July 21.

    The agreement, a complex document reportedly numbering more than 600 pages, came after the two sides staged marathon negotiating sessions for nine consecutive days. Since the 2004-05 NHL season was officially cancelled on Feb. 16, the league and union have met on 82 occasions, leading to an agreement that will revamp the way the entire professional hockey industry conducts its business.

    The league went into this lockout, which started on Sept. 15, 2004, seeking cost certainty and believes it has achieved that with a new economic system from top to bottom.

    It is expected both the NHL and NHLPA will move to ratify the agreement within the next seven days, with a formal announcement on July 21. During that time, it is expected the new CBA will be distributed to all in the hockey industry so they can begin getting themselves up to speed on a myriad of new rules and regulations.

    Among the most significant are:

    - a hard team-by-team salary cap with a payroll of range of $21 million to $39 million (in the first year), which includes all player costs (benefits, insurance etc).

    - the league's total expenditure on player costs (salaries, bonuses, benefits and insurance) is not permitted to exceed 54 per cent of defined hockey-related revenue and the salary cap and payroll range will move up or down as revenues increase or decrease each year of the deal.

    - a 24 per-cent salary rollback for any NHL player who has time remaining on an existing contract, keeping in mind that the players will receive none of the monies they were slated to earn in the lost season of 2004-05.

    - liberalized free agency (including unrestricted status at 27 by year four of the deal), a more restrictive entry level system, totally revamped salary arbitration, improved pension benefits and a revenue-sharing plan.

    This agreement (pending ratification) will kick off the most bizarre and busiest off-season in NHL history after the league became the first major professional loop to lose an entire year to labour strife.

    As tutorials are conducted to allow NHL owners, general managers, NHL players and player agents to understand the new economic order, plans are already in the works for the two ratification votes.

    NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will be recommending acceptance of this agreement to the governors, so a simple majority of the league's 30-man ruling body will be enough to ratify it.

    It's also expected the NHLPA's executive committee, led by president Trevor Linden, will be endorsing the deal, which means a simple majority of the NHLPA's more than 700 members will be enough to make it binding. For those players who cannot physically make it to the membership meeting, the vote will be conducted through the NHLPA's secure website, The Source.

    Assuming both groups ratify, the NHL is expected to begin a brief transition period before the league fully re-opens for business.

    But before teams and players start to concern themselves with the specifics of transition - such as the buying out of some players to allow teams to meet cap requirements or the attempted signing of 2003 and 2004 draft picks who would re-enter the 2005 entry draft if not signed - the league is expected to unveil significant changes to the game, on and off the ice.

    Because no season was played in 2004-05, there is no order of selection for the 2005 entry draft, which is scheduled to take place as a scaled-down event in Ottawa on July 30. Usually, teams draft in inverse order of finish from the recently-concluded season, but this time there will be a weighted draft lottery (with the teams who have fared poorest over the last few years to get marginally better odds than those who fared well) to determine who gets the first overall pick and the right to pick young phenom Sidney Crosby. That lottery is scheduled to take place on July 21 when the NHL is expected to formally announce the new CBA.

    In addition to that major business, the NHL is also expected to unveil significant rule changes aimed at making the game more exciting and fan friendly, including shootouts to end tie games and the removal of the red line for the purpose of allowing two-line passes.

    While the regular season will remain at 82 games long for each team, the format of that schedule may be altered, along with a potential expansion of the NHL playoffs from 16 to 20 teams.

    Once the NHL's formal news conference is put to bed, along with the lottery and rule changes, the brief transition period should unfold in order to take care of the loose ends from the expired CBA. At some point, the NHL will declare itself open for business and NHL teams will be sorting through a huge pool of unrestricted free agents as many teams make themselves over from the ground up.

    Whether it is the brave new world the NHL hopes, remains to be seen, but the level of activity and uncertainty will be higher than at any other time in league history.

    For now, though, the only thing that matters in the short term is this: The deal (pending ratification) is done.

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    FORT Fan lasvegasfan's Avatar
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    Im happy for the Hooters of Boston girls and the other restaurants near the Garden.
    They lost a lot of money last year.

    Hope they cut ticket prices.

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    Go Bruins! Qboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasvegasfan
    Im happy for the Hooters of Boston girls and the other restaurants near the Garden.
    They lost a lot of money last year.

    Hope they cut ticket prices.
    Oh dear. Boston doesn't have hordes of unemployed Hooters girls wandering the streets I hope. Perhaps JR. could help out in some way.
    "I'm telling you - it's a madhouse out there. I feel like Charlton Heston waking up in the field and seeing the chimp on top of the pony." ~ Dennis Miller

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    Drummer / Model JR.'s Avatar
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    Yeah Q, I could surely put them to work

    I'm glad there will be hockey again, but I don't think the rat bastard Bs are going to lower ticket prices. At least I'll be able to watch.

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    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    Sadly, the players lost an additional $10 Million or so per team in payroll and the owners ensured the elimination of hockey as being considered a major sport in the US (and devalued their franchises) due to both sides being stubborn last spring.

    Hopefully Portland can land a team now though
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
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    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    Sadly, the players lost an additional $10 Million or so per team in payroll and the owners ensured the elimination of hockey as being considered a major sport in the US (and devalued their franchises) due to both sides being stubborn last spring.

    Hopefully Portland can land a team now though
    Add Sacramento to that list too, Bill!

    Unfortunately, if the fans aren't showing up, the owners can't afford to keep paying those huge salaries. I don't pretend to know the details regarding the negotiations, so I know it's more complicated than that. Or maybe it isn't.

    It's disappointing about the money but, on a purely selfish level, I'm so happy that hockey is coming back!!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    FORT Fan lasvegasfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical
    Add Sacramento to that list too, Bill!

    Unfortunately, if the fans aren't showing up, the owners can't afford to keep paying those huge salaries. I don't pretend to know the details regarding the negotiations, so I know it's more complicated than that. Or maybe it isn't.

    It's disappointing about the money but, on a purely selfish level, I'm so happy that hockey is coming back!!
    No offense but we don't need more teams and we don't need more teams in the playoffs.
    They need to sell the rivalries more. Here in Boston we need more of Montreal and the NY Rangers and less of Florida and Tampa Bay.

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    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    If the owners are smart, and they're not, they're going to do their best to make sure fans get their butts in the seats and lower ticket prices. They won't, of course.

    The whole thing saddens me, but I am glad it's over.
    If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker.
    It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.


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    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasvegasfan
    No offense but we don't need more teams and we don't need more teams in the playoffs.
    They need to sell the rivalries more. Here in Boston we need more of Montreal and the NY Rangers and less of Florida and Tampa Bay.
    I think it's not about adding teams, but more about putting the teams in cities where fans are going to fill the seats...AND cities in which you can create those rivalries. I don't know the numbers very well, but do the Florida teams sell tickets? What about the other South Eastern teams(Carolina? Caro-F&*$ing-Lina?) If not, move one of them to Portland for Bill! And the other to Sacramento for Critical! Now you have instant rivalries....Portland vs. Vancouver, Sacramento vs. LA or even San Jose.
    "You don't own a TV?!? What's all your furniture pointed at?" Joey Tribianni

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    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdobolina
    I think it's not about adding teams, but more about putting the teams in cities where fans are going to fill the seats...AND cities in which you can create those rivalries. I don't know the numbers very well, but do the Florida teams sell tickets? What about the other South Eastern teams(Carolina? Caro-F&*$ing-Lina?) If not, move one of them to Portland for Bill! And the other to Sacramento for Critical! Now you have instant rivalries....Portland vs. Vancouver, Sacramento vs. LA or even San Jose.
    Exactly, mrdobolina Look at what Sacramento fans did with the Kings! This town is so starved for professional sports that another team would be welcomed here. Particularly since the Maloof brothers are alternately planning a new stadium and then making veiled threats about moving the team to another city. We have an arena all ready for a hockey franchise.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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