Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/04/05 at 09:23 AM ET
With a hard salary cap linked to league revenues, restrictions on entry-level contracts, reforms in the arbitration system and a 24-percent rollback on all salaries, the NHL's new Collective Bargaining Agreementwas an overwhelming victory for the owners. While players have continued to land lucrative deals in the past month since the free agency period opened, it's becoming clear that the union suffered another serious, though less obvious, defeat in hockey's lopsided labor war. The roster size for each team was not reduced in the new CBA, remaining at a maximum of 23 active players per club. But teams are not required to keep 23 players up with the big club, and with salary cap concerns paramount, many teams will likely opt to go with several players less than that maximum this season. That means in addition to all the lost wages given up in the lockout and ensuing CBA agreement, the players association has also essentially lost several dozen jobs for its membership.
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