Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/04/11 at 12:35 AM ET
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
It is less than a year before the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement runs out with the Player’s Association and already some of the issues are beginning to come into view as the present deal continues to evolve or contort, depending upon your point of view.
In speaking to a number of informed people around the league on both sides of the respective fence, it’s clear that one of the league’s biggest problems within the present agreement is the obligation to enforce a floor on the genuinely pathetic franchises around the league.
The teams that have been losing money and crying wolf for the past 10 years are now being forced to pay out in the $45 million neighborhood which is forcing them into a position of losing money in some cases and the league will be looking towards either lowering the floor or eliminating it altogether. That is something the players will likely vigorously defend.
“That provision is just kicking their ass right now,” said one agent who has been observing the economic realities of the game for a number of years now.
In a perfect world the NHL would love to see guaranteed contracts right out the window, or perhaps marginally more attainable, a formula somewhat like the NFL has whereby some of the money in a contract would be guaranteed with the remainder having to be earned
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