Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/21/05 at 09:35 AM ET
The victims will vote today to ratify an agreement that essentially will end their NHL playing careers. The real victims of the lockout. They don't even know who they are yet. We don't know who they are, either. But when this financial game of musical chairs has played itself out, they will be the players left without seats. Without jobs. Without an NHL paycheque, or a NHL future. They sat out a year. Fought the good fight. Believed in the nonsense Bully Bob Goodenow was peddling. And all it cost them was a year of salary they didn't see and will never see again. The doors are about to close on about 100 players -- give or take five or 10 -- who will not return from the 2003-04 season. One of almost every seven association members won't be back. They paid their dues. They put in their time. And soon there will be no place for them. Nobody sold them on that. The same way nobody told the players they were giving back 24% of their salaries as a starting point of the brave new NHL world. These players won't get a chance to cut their salaries back 24%. Twenty-four percent of zero remains at zero. Know this much: In the new salary-capped NHL environment, the bottom of every team roster will be taken up by minimum-wage players. Some have speculated that most teams will add at least three and maybe four AHL players to their rosters for the coming season.
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