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Newz Forum: HOCKEY: NHL: Maybe no season at all

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posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:59 AM
With the Stanley Cup finals now securely in the rear-view mirror, the question still remains: Will NHL games be played next season?

NHL Players' Association head Bob Goodenow says the answer very easily could be no.
Goodenow, in Toronto for the NHLPA meetings, said the players remain firmly against a salary cap.

Management and the union have been at odds for the past 18 months over the issue of a cap. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his negotiating team want a hard cap, while the union wants no part of it. Neither side is backing down as of yet.

Is a high-stakes game of "chicken" on the horizon?

"A salary cap is not going to be part of the plan going forward," Goodenow told Toronto newspapers for Friday editions. "That means there won't be a start of the season and there may not be a season [at all] next year. We are not going to do a cap and we are not going to do a percentage of revenues. The owners set the scale of salaries for the players and that is the marketplace. It has always been that way for the past 75 years or so and that is the way we are going to go forward with it."

There are no meetings planned between the NHL and players.

"I'm optimistic we'll be able to get something done ... I'm an optimistic person," union president Trevor Linden told reporters. "I can't speak for the owners, but we're going to work hard as a union to try to avoid a lockout. We're going to try to get something done."

Avalanche star Joe Sakic doesn't expect to have to attend an Avs training camp at the end of the World Cup of Hockey in September.

"To me it just looks like Bettman doesn't want to start unless he gets everything he wants," Sakic told reporters. "So I don't expect hockey. We all hope [a new collective bargaining agreement] gets done, but to be realistic, I don't see it happening right now."

If the season does not start on time, players certainly have other options. They can play in Europe, or they can play in the newly formed World Hockey Association. The WHA announced Wednesday that its eight franchises will begin play Oct. 29.

The Lightning's Martin St. Louis, who was awarded the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP on Thursday night, said it would be silly for him not to at least consider playing in the WHA.

"Sitting at home or making $5 million, it would be very tempting," St. Louis told The Globe and Mail of Toronto. "Obviously, I have to know where we were at as far as the NHL situation. But to be honest, I really haven't thought about that."

WHA teams will have a $15 million salary cap, but a player such as St. Louis could make as much as $5 million as a team's top player.

Initially, the WHA said that if a player signs a contract, he would have to play the entire season with his WHA club. But on Wednesday, a WHA official said the league will likely change the bylaw to stipulate two players per team would have the option of returning to the NHL if labor problems are resolved during the season.

The new WHA will have franchises in Quebec City, Hamilton, Toronto, Halifax, Detroit, Dallas, Orlando, and Jacksonville, Fla.

[Edited on 6/12/2004 by Ben]

posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 09:09 AM
Goodenow states, "The owners set the scale of salaries for the players and that is the marketplace. It has always been that way for the past 75 years or so and that is the way we are going to go forward with it." But if the owners try to limit salaries he screams "collusion." You can't have it both ways but it seems like he is going to try.

I wouldn't mind missing a season of hockey if the league can get it's house in order. That includes a salary cap. Worked for the NFL, don't see why it wouldn't work for the NHL. Bottom line is that hockey fans know who to blame, Goodenow.


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 10:45 AM
how did this happen

posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 11:17 AM
i have just been checking out the WHA website, i'm suprised that bobby hull would be involved it you think this new league stands a chance?

WHA set to play in 2004

Commissioner Bobby Hull, the Co-Founders and Board of Governors of the World Hockey Association today confirmed the new WHA will begin play in late October 2004.

At a media conference in Toronto the “original six” cities were announced. Two other cities were granted inaugural year franchises pending the completion of lease negotiations.

The six teams with arena leases or commitments now in place are Halifax, Nova Scotia (Metro Centre); Quebec, Quebec (Le Colisee Pepsi); Detroit, Michigan (Pontiac Silverdome); Dallas, Texas (Reunion Arena); Orlando, Florida (TD Waterhouse Center); and Jacksonville, Florida (Memorial Arena). Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario remain franchises in good standing pending the completion of lease negotiations prior to the July 10, 2004 Free Agent and Entry Level draft.

Representatives from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati were also in attendance.

The WHA anticipates a minimum of 10 franchises with a maximum of 12 confirmed before the draft.

The World Hockey Association will play a 76 game schedule beginning October 29, 2004. Franchises will operate on a maximum salary cap of (U.S.) 15-million dollars including a 5-million dollar marquee distinction.

Four rule alterations were announced by the WHA. They include removal of the center red line, no-touch icing, touch up offside and three on three overtime followed by a sudden death shootout to eliminate ties.

Named to the Board of Governors are: Mario Frankovich (Hamilton) Chairman; Rick Munro (Dallas) Vice-Chair; Jean-Paul Boily (Quebec), John Marshall (Halifax); Gino Naldini (Toronto); Jay Patel (Detroit); and Max Chambers (Jacksonville). The governor for Orlando will be appointed before the draft.

The Governors also authorized league Director of Hockey Operations Peter Young to short-list candidates for the positions of WHA League President, and WHA Referee-in-Chief.

posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 03:47 PM
This is just a make-work project. It's not like there will be expantion to the NHL, like the last time a WHA attemped to work. The league has too many teams now. It should be entertaining though, North American hockey. Most europeans will probably play at home. And with 12 teams, only, say top 2 lines on any given NHL team will make it.

I like the rules they adopted too.

[Edited on 04/10/03 by truenorth]


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 04:56 PM
i would much rather see these changes made to the NHL rather than starting a whole new leauge.

posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 11:16 AM
This is a state of disarray that will hurt the sport if they don't get it resolved, just like missing the world series for baseball.

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