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TSN Webcast Today

TSN.ca will cybercast today’s NHLPA news conference where NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow, along with NHL Comissioner Gary Bettman will discuss the results of today's ratification vote, starting at 4pm et/1pm pt.

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PA Press Conference Now at 4pm

per Sportsnet, The NHLPA will hold a media conference Thursday at 4 p.m. following the outcome of the players ratification vote on a new collective bargaining agreement.

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NHLPA Vote Underway

via CP,

NHL players have begun voting on the league's proposed new labour agreement. Voting began around 10 a.m. EDT and was expected to take several hours. Some 225 players are in Toronto for the vote, with the other 500 or so casting their ballots electronically. The NHLPA meeting started Wednesday. Talks went well into the night, with players still milling about with each other well past 1 a.m. Thursday. The players resumed discussions at 8:30 a.m. Thursday's meeting is due to wrap up following lunch, followed by an afternoon news conference with both NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow and commissioner Gary Bettman. The league is due to ratify the agreement Friday in New York.

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CBA Primer

Additional information on the CBA, from CP via TSN. - The average salary from an entire contract is what will count against the salary cap and not the actual salary from that very season. So a deal that starts at $4 million, then goes to $5 million and ends up at $6 million counts as $5 million a year against the cap. - The entry-level system will limit those players to $850,000 a year in salary (which it was 10 years ago) with bonuses not as easily reachable as the previous deal. The maximum possible amount in bonuses is $4.5 million although it's unrealistic for almost anyone to reach all the lofty targets. - Two-way salary arbitration. Both players and owners can select to go to arbitration, whereas only players had those rights in the previous deal. This will allow owners to downgrade underperforming players.

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NHL Timeline for Thursday and Friday

Toronto • Players will meet Thursday morning, then vote either in person or through the Internet. • NHL Players Association leaders and Commissioner Gary Bettman and will hold a joint news conference around 5 p.m. ET.Now 4pm per Sportsnet. • Agents will be briefed Thursday and Friday. New York • Board of governors will begin meeting at 1 p.m. ET Friday. • Bettman will hold a news conference, beginning around 3. • Draft lottery announcement will be made afterward, televison coverage begins at 4pm on ESPN News and some Comcast Networks in the US. TSN in Canada will have coverage throughout the day. The rank and file knows what the new collective bargaining agreement says, and because it contains a cap, they will be back on the ice come October. The vote on the new CBA was expected to take place midmorning, and the meeting was due to wrap up following lunch.

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Wings Will Look Different

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

When Detroit Red Wings players went on a recent golf trip with captain Steve Yzerman, there was plenty of discussion that some won't be teammates when the NHL tees it up again in October. Though players are coming to Toronto to see how the new $39 million salary cap will affect their checking accounts, there also is ample concern about how the new deal is going to affect their checking line and ultimately the team's competitiveness. "I think everyone on our team is realizing things are going to change," Detroit center Kris Draper said as he arrived for player meetings Wednesday. "The league wanted a new economic system, and when they did that it took away our advantage." Draper has been with the team 12 years, and he says it will be an adjustment for him and the organization to not be able to use their strong revenue base as a competitive edge. "Every year I came to training camp knowing we had a chance to win the Stanley Cup," Draper said. "We always knew that come trade deadline (general manager) Ken Holland was going to go out and better our team and (owner) Mike Ilitch was going to give him the green light."

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Vote Yes-End Your Career

from the Toronto Sun,

The victims will vote today to ratify an agreement that essentially will end their NHL playing careers. The real victims of the lockout. They don't even know who they are yet. We don't know who they are, either. But when this financial game of musical chairs has played itself out, they will be the players left without seats. Without jobs. Without an NHL paycheque, or a NHL future. They sat out a year. Fought the good fight. Believed in the nonsense Bully Bob Goodenow was peddling. And all it cost them was a year of salary they didn't see and will never see again. The doors are about to close on about 100 players -- give or take five or 10 -- who will not return from the 2003-04 season. One of almost every seven association members won't be back. They paid their dues. They put in their time. And soon there will be no place for them. Nobody sold them on that. The same way nobody told the players they were giving back 24% of their salaries as a starting point of the brave new NHL world. These players won't get a chance to cut their salaries back 24%. Twenty-four percent of zero remains at zero. Know this much: In the new salary-capped NHL environment, the bottom of every team roster will be taken up by minimum-wage players. Some have speculated that most teams will add at least three and maybe four AHL players to their rosters for the coming season.

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Contracts May Split Friends

from the Toronto Globe and Mail,

Player agent Don Baizley believes the new landscape of the National Hockey League will make it difficult to negotiate contracts so that close friends can be on the same team. Two years ago, Baizley reunited two of his clients, Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, with the Colorado Avalanche when there was no salary cap in the collective agreement. Now, with a ceiling of $39-million (all figures U.S.) a club, which is likely to be adopted by the league and the National Hockey League Players' Association after ratification votes this week, both former all-stars may end up on opposing teams. "In this capped environment, it will be even more difficult for a package of two players to move anywhere," Baizley said this week. "I don't see that in the cards. It's hard to have a handle on things -- there is no complete picture until we see the new documents -- but it would appear it's going to be anything but status quo."

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Rally Around Bob

from the Toronto globe and Mail,

Bob Goodenow, for whom the word embattled has become a prefix to his title as executive director of the National Hockey League Players' Association, received an informal show of support last night from at least some players. However, that does not mean Goodenow and his fellow union leaders didn't hear any criticism when they unveiled the new collective agreement, with its infamous team salary cap tied to revenue, to a group of about 200 players at a Toronto hotel. But any clashes remained behind closed doors, as the players only made themselves available when they entered the meeting.

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Fast Approval Likely

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

The NHL's players yesterday sat through a detailed explanation of the new collective-bargaining agreement, which will be presented for ratification today. Most of the 200-plus players who arrived here for the ratification process were already resigned to the reality of the salary cap-based deal and the general feeling was it would be passed overwhelmingly. "The fact that guys want to play will make it unanimous," Islanders captain Michael Peca said. Peca joined Islanders player reps Adrian Aucoin and Mark Parrish, and past teammates Steve Webb and Garth Snow at the meeting. The Rangers were represented by Darius Kasparaitis, Tom Poti and Kevin Weekes. "So far it seems like guys are excited at the prospect that we might be playing hockey again," Aucoin said during a break in a 10-hour meeting. "I know I am." Players will begin voting in the morning and those who did not make the trip will cast their vote via the NHLPA's Web site. The result should be known by mid-afternoon. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was scheduled to appear at a 5 p.m. news conference today with NHLPA leaders -- including executive director Bob Goodenow -- to announce the players' approval.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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