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Heated Debate

cia the Philadelphia Inquirer,
They began meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Westin Harbor Castle. The session was impassioned at times, with yelling across the ballroom. After it ended at 1:30 a.m. today, some players hung around for another three hours, seeking more answers. In the end, the NHL Players' Association ratified a new six-year collective-bargaining agreement today. "Definitely, there was heated debate," former Flyer Luke Richardson of the Columbus Blue Jackets said. "Guys on both sides shared concerns. Others tried to make guys see what it's all about. "You can't look back. That was part of the problem. Some guys had problems with the answers to their questions. They want answers and won't let go of the past. A lot of the problem with our players who are unhappy is they are stuck in the past." Though 88 percent of the union's membership voted to accept the deal, many wondered whether a season really had to be sacrificed. The hot-button issue for Bob Goodenow, the union's executive director, going into yesterday's vote was how much of players' salaries would be held in escrow. A maximum of 54 percent of leaguewide revenues is ticketed for the players. Some reports said players would have to put 15 percent of their salaries in escrow. In the abridged version of the bargaining agreement, which was distributed by the league to general managers this week and obtained by The Inquirer, there is no mention of a percentage. If leaguewide payrolls exceed 54 percent, the players will fork over the difference. "Probably the most questions directed to Bob were about the escrow," Flyers captain Keith Primeau said. "The 15 percent is a fictitious number. There is nothing that says it may be less or may be more. That in itself is scary to players. It's 54 percent of hockey-related revenues. Anything over or under that percentage would be considered escrow or return of escrow."

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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