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GAME ON! NHL Lockout is finally done.

Chags

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  NHL labor strife ends as sides reach agreement       
  July 13, 2005
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports   
 
  NEW YORK -- The NHL and the players association reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a new labor deal, ending a lockout that wiped out last season.
 
The sides met for 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon to hammer out the collective bargaining agreement that will return the NHL to the ice. In February, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, making the NHL the first North American sports league to lose a year because of a labor dispute.

Both sides still need to ratify the deal, which is expected to contain a salary cap. That process is expected to be completed next week, the league and the union said in a joint news release.

It took all night and then some for the final round of negotiations to produce an agreement.

The sides met for 10 straight days in New York, and it became clear Wednesday morning -- the 301st day of the lockout -- that they weren't going to leave the room without an agreement in hand.

The expected salary cap will likely have a ceiling approaching $40 million and a minimum somewhere between $20 million and $25 million.

Player salaries will not exceed 54 percent of league-wide revenues.

Some players in recent days have voiced their displeasure over what will be included in the new agreement.

Bettman warned in February when he canceled the season that the offers the union passed up were better than any it would see once a year of hockey was lost.

Just days before the season was wiped out, the players association said for the first time it would accept a salary cap if the league dropped its desire to link player costs to revenues.




Only 6 years until the next lockout!
 

Island Ryhno

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Let the games begin


Now the fun starts as the sides will have to deal with free agent signings and the Sidney Crosby sweepstakes.

Sportsnet.ca -- The deal is done.

Sportsnet has learned that the NHL and NHLPA have signed off on a new six-year collective bargaining agreement, with a player out-clause after four years. The new CBA still requires ratification from both sides.

The option allows the players to renegotiate this massive contract, if after four full years of working under its guidelines it's deemed "unsuccessful."

The NHLPA released a statement Wednesday saying an agreement has been reached in principle but details of the new CBA will not be released until it has been officially ratified by the NHLPA members and the NHL Board of Governors.

The game will return looking drastically different both on and off the ice. A vastly different and complicated collective bargaining agreement, highlighted by a hard salary cap, has given owners their long-desired "cost certainty."

Teams will come back looking vastly different as well. Mass player movement is expected with a high number of free agents on the market as well as several high-paid players expected to get bought out so teams can fit under the cap.

On the ice, major rules changes are being examined which will hopefully open up the game and create more excitement, likely including the reduction in the size of goalie equipment, allowing the two-line pass, and the penalty shootout to decide tie games during the regular season.

And there's much work ahead to lure back bitter fans and an apathetic corporate community.

A source also said Wednesday that the belated 2005 NHL entry draft will be held in Ottawa on Saturday, July 30, although a much smaller event with only the very top prospects invited, including Sidney Crosby, the consensus No. 1 pick.

In the end, the players caved in on an issue they swore they never would: the salary cap.

They also lost out on the entry-level system with rookies scaled back to $850,000 US a season in maximum salary as well as swallowing a 24 per cent rollback on all existing contracts.

It's clear this isn't a deal NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow was in favour of but he went along with it, respecting the wishes of president Trevor Linden and the rest of the players' executive committee.

It's been a long and tumultuous road towards a resolution. From the first labour meeting in January 2003 to the last on Wednesday, both sides met 82 times over two and a half years before finally agreeing on a new deal.

The lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season, including all 1,230 regular-season games, denying hockey fans a Stanley Cup champion for the first time since a flu epidemic cancelled the 1919 final. The NHL became the first major professional league in North America to loose a season from beginning to end because of labour strife.

Once commissioner Gary Bettman announced the season cancelled Feb. 16, both sides returned to the negotiating table March 11 in the first of 44 meetings aimed at making sure the 2005-06 season wouldn't be delayed.

The two sides met every single week starting in early May and didn't let up until the end, cramming in long days in the final six weeks in an effort to finally get it done.

A number of player agents are angry with Goodenow, feeling betrayed by his strategy from the get-go.

But while the owners appear to have scored a one-sided victory, it remains to be seen at what cost. The damage to the industry from not having any hockey played for a year may have both sides singing the blues.

-- with files from CP

 

Danjanou

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Well between my army.ca addiction and Leafs games beer and wing nights at my local corner sports bar, the domestic niner now has grounds for divorce. 8)
 

Devlin

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I think a lot of people are going to have a hard time going to watch these guys play. I mean really a lockout/strike get a grip guys you get paid to play hockey. Anyone hear Jeremy Roenicks comments the other night....reference fans who were angry with them can just stay away from the arenas and not bother coming to games etc etc...

Hey Roenick careful what you wish for buddy. People may just take your words to heart.
 

Island Ryhno

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Devlin, that may be the case in weak market US teams. It will not be the case here in Canada or in any of the big draw US teams (Detroit, Rangers, Philly etc) I think all the fans knew that the game was broken and had to be fixed. Also you have to remember that the players didn't walk, they got locked out. What really needs to happen here is a complete ass kissing by the owners to the fans. Drop the tix prices and allons Y!
 

Devlin

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Good point I guess there is blame to be had on both sides of the house.
 

Dirt Digger

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This is excellent news.  Now that I'm posted to Toronto, I can start not going to the games because I can't afford tickets. 

At least I'll be able to go back to calling the Canucks a bunch of bums...
 

Infanteer

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I still hate the NHL - pack of infidels; it'll take along time before I start watching hockey again.... :rage:
 

Chags

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I think Canadian fans will be quick to forget, and will just be happy that they have real hockey to watch..  as for the Americans..  they'll come around.. as long as there a couple TV contracts..  It's still the most exciting sport in the world!

As for the rule changes, nothing is official yet..  we'll know more when everything is finalized next week.  If they have to use the shoot-out, oh well.. instead,  I still think they should give 3 points for a win and 1 for a tie.. like they do in soccer..  give them more incentive to go for it all in overtime.
 

Island Ryhno

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The only cool thing about this whole fiasco is the Crosby Lottery. Where he will end up is going to be very interesting. Can you Imagine him winding up in Colorado or Detroit.  :eek:  I dream he may even end up with my beloved Oilers. Ah one can dream.
 
D

dutchie

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I was really pissed when they couldn't get a deal done in Feb, but I still can't wait till Fall! It'll be interesting to see how the rosters shake out, with like 60-75% (IIRC) of players being free agents. Hopefully my Canucks can get a good team aroung Bertuzzi. I can't wait to see him dominate, again.
 

Cpl.Banks

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GO SENS GO!!!, brother, mother, secret lover *drool* Its a good'ol hockey game etc...Yeah still pissed about missing hockey for an entire year...to be fair i was playing at least. I will forgive if the tickets get seriously cheaper so a dishboy like myself can afford to go to them...speaking of which work calls...
UBIQUE!!!!!
:cdn: :cdn: :cdn: :cdn: :cdn:
 

Sheerin

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The Crosby situation is rather interesting.  All the conspiracy  theory (hockey) nuts are out on this one.  I'm not sure where he's going to end up, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it were in New York.  That being said, it would be kick ass if ended up in Toronto.  Theres a leaf forum that I lurk at and its been suggested by a few people who claim to be in the know or at least know someone in the know that Crosby is going to go one of the major teams like Toronto, Detroit, Colorado as a 'thank you' for going along with the lock out to help the other smaller market teams. 

But I highly doubt that.  The NHL will want this kid to go somewhere where he can help the sport grow.  As much as I'd love to see the kid in the Leaf jersey I know its not going to happen.

Ah well.

Game on! GO LEAFS GO!

 

Island Ryhno

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If it was his choice he would be a hab  ::) (poor kid, doesn't know any better)  ;D The last mock draft that they did, Toronto got the number 1 pick. How do you think that would go over in Pittsburgh or Florida or Anaheim? Hockey hotbeds.  ::)
 
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dutchie

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Actually, I think the 'free agent lottery' is way more important than Crosby. He's unproven...remember Daigle? Lindros? Everytime they say 'the next Gretzky' for the latest phenom, the flavor of the year comes out and disappoints - giving me more and more appreciation for how good Gretzky really was.

 

Island Ryhno

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Ahh yes, only Mario could even be mentioned in the same sentence as Gretzky! However you're downplaying Eric Lindros, Lindros was stud player until he got hurt and probably would have been the most dominant force in the hockey world had he not. Incidentally about the draft, here are the number 1 picks from 1990-2004, the only true bust was Daigle. The rest have gone on to have OK or sensational NHL careers. Some are too new to be proven yet, especially the goaltenders who take a long time to develop. Let me know what you guys think!

90 Owen Nolan
91 Eric Lindros
92 Roman Hamrlik
93 Alexandre Daigle
94 Ed Jovanovski
95 Bryan Berard
96 Chris Phillips
97 Joe Thornton
98 Vincent Lecavalier
99 Patrick Stefan
00 Rick DiPietro
01 Ilja Kovalchuk
02 Rick Nash
03 Marc-Andre Fleury
04  Alexander Ovechkin
 

vangemeren

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This means back to first year University. routine for me- Watch both games and go out and get wasted.
The only Name from Island Rhyno's list I don't recognise is Patrick Stefan. Hopefully every Canadian team makes the Playoffs this year.

[Looks around]

I just have to say this......


Blow Leafs Blow!!
 
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