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A New Beginning for the NHL

via the CP,
National Hockey League owners are expected to follow the lead set by the players on Thursday, ratifying the new collective bargaining agreement and officially ending the over 300 day lockout. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman all but confirmed the expected rubber stamp yesterday, appearing at a news conference with NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow after the players overwhelmingly accepted the deal. Bettman called the agreement "wonderful" for all concerned, adding it was "the type of agreement that we think a professional sports league like ours can thrive under for everyone's benefit because we are true economic partners, true partners in the game, sharing fairly. And that's always been our goal and objective." Goodenow was more muted, saying time will tell. But he was able to find some positives, saying the complicated deal had "player-friendly aspects." The deal will see NHL hockey return this fall under a drastically new financial landscape which includes hard salary cap of around $39 million per team with teams required to spend at least $21.5 million on player salaries. Players will receive 54 percent of league revenues, which are projected to be about $1.7 billion for the 2005-06 season. The owners are also expected to unveil a "new look" NHL, which includes everything from rule changes aimed at opening up the game and increasing scoring to a redesigned NHL logo. NHL director of operations Colin Campbell met with the newly created competition committee on Tuesday to finalize a list of recommendations for owners to vote on Friday. When it comes to the game on the ice it's expected the red line will be eliminated, the width of the blue lines will be increased, no-touch icing, goaltender pads will be downsized and goalies will be limited in where they can play the puck. There is also expected to be another crackdown on obstruction and shootouts will be introduced to decide ties.

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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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