Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/26/06 at 09:55 AM ET
...the Star's crack hockey reporter Ken Campbell who located a soft spot in the new agreement during a CBA seminar with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHL Players' Association boss Ted Saskin on Saturday. Campbell asked that since the league and union had publicly agreed on a new salary cap of $44 million (all figures U.S.) for next season, and thus a new maximum salary of $8.8 million (20 per cent of the cap), could players negotiate that figure immediately rather than waiting for the July 1 free agent kickoff? Daly and Saskin looked at each other, agreed that was probably the case, but acknowledged it hadn't been an issue before. In theory, then, while Tampa Bay's Brad Richards was restricted by a maximum $7.8 million max under the old $39 million cap when he negotiated his new deal after the end of the season, Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom, by waiting just a few extra weeks, now has a higher threshold to work with immediately. At the entry draft on Saturday meanwhile, there was talk that Carolina GM Jim Rutherford was offering teams an opportunity to negotiate with soon-to-be free agent goalie Martin Gerber between the draft and July 1 if, as a condition of the opportunity, they would take defenceman Oleg Tverdovsky and his $2.5 million salary off Carolina's hands.read on
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