Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/22/05 at 08:09 PM ET
The 10-month long nightmare for NHL hockey fans concluded today with the official ratification by the league board of governors of the new collective bargaining agreement. The deal was ratified a day earlier by a majority of the NHLPA membership. So where do we go from here? In the short term, the teams and players have less than three months to prepare for the start of the 2005-06 season, and there's plenty to be done over that time. Teams now have from July 23 until 5 p.m. ET on July 29 to buy out those players whose salaries could create problems under the new salary cap system. Those players cannot renegotiate their contracts, nor can they be re-signed this season by their former teams. Speculation has been brewing for weeks as to which players could be bought out. The most likely candidates include John Leclair and Tony Amonte of the Philadelphia Flyers, Derian Hatcher and Ray Whitney of the Detroit Red Wings, Pierre Turgeon of the Dallas Stars, Bryan Smolinski and Greg de Vries of the Ottawa Senators and Owen Nolan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Other possibilities include Joe Sakic or Rob Blake in Colorado, Keith Tkachuk or Doug Weight in St. Louis, Patrice Brisebois in Montreal and Darius Kasparaitis of the New York Rangers.
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