Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/19/05 at 02:14 PM ET
Commissioner Gary Bettman had warned NHL teams for years to plan their budgets to stay in line with the league's desire to gain "cost certainty." Now that the NHL has accomplished that with a tentative collective bargaining agreement that limits player compensation to 54% of revenue, teams will have to do some adding and subtracting. Details of the deal have been shared with team officials and full disclosure won't come until after ratification votes, but people familiar with the talks say the top payroll limit is $39 million in 2005-06 and the minimum is $21.5 million. It includes a 24% rollback in existing contracts and qualifying offers. The average payroll was $44 million in 2003-04. A USA TODAY analysis of 2005-06 salaries shows:
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