Kukla's Korner

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Gauging The Mood

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Conversations with people on both sides of this impasse Friday showed the mood to be so bleak as to be reminiscent of the many low points of the 2004-05 lockout, when the entire season was lost. Where there were always optimists on both sides until this week, now there are many who think this season could be lost as well....

What also emerged from both sides were questions about how much support Fehr and Bettman actually have from their constituencies. However, no players or owners expressed doubt about their own leadership.

Indeed, Bettman angered several owners with his last offer. But the owners, who are prevented from speaking publicly by a gag order imposed by the commissioner, remain behind him. Bettman was told by some owners that his offer, which was rejected by the players, of a 50-50 split of league revenue with the owners putting at least $215-million (all currency U.S.) toward eventually paying existing player contracts in full, went too far.

Two owners described that offer as Bettman’s best and final shot at making a deal. They say they need all of the things demanded in that deal, from five-year limits on contracts (one argument is owners cannot insure player contracts for more than five years) to limiting the yearly salary increases to raising the age of free agency in addition to cutting the players’ share of NHL revenue to 50 per cent from 57.

One owner said he is willing to risk cancelling the season rather than sign what he considers a bad collective agreement. He is well aware he is losing fans every day, the owner said, but simply cannot agree to a deal he thinks would make it impossible for him to turn a profit.


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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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