Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tentative Deal Reached

After numerous false alarms and a marathon negotiating session, the NHL and NHLPA have reached a tentative deal according to both TSN and Sportsnet.

Woot! About fricken time.

The most significant aspect of the deal is the payroll range of $21 million to $39 million, with the range adjusting as league revenues change. I'll have more details as they emerge, but for the most part this deal looks to be similar to what we have been hearing for several weeks. It should be interesting to see more details, particularly salary arbitration and the entry level system.

So how does this affect the Canucks? Well, like every team there will be a lot of decisions to be made and it will be one crazy summer. There are numerous rumours floating around the net but at this point it's difficult to draw any conclusions until more details of the CBA are known.

Of course there is an important word in the title of this post. The deal must be approved by both sides. It appears highly unlikely that the owners would reject such a deal but the NHLPA may be a different story. There will be a lot of unhappy players, especially those currently under contract who will see the contracts they signed reduced by 24%. I don't care how much you make, losing a quarter of your salary would really piss you off. That said, if the NHLPA's executive committee endorses the deal(and they will), it would be highly unlikely that a majority of the players would vote against the deal. They know they are beat and the game needs to get back on the ice if they ever hope to regain the money they have lost through these concessions.

The NHL is likely to announce numerous rule changes and the format of this years draft, as soon as both sides ratify the deal.

Next week will be very interesting...

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