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Goal Goal USA!
Staff member
Former FF The Deuce Champ

Ain't over 'til it's over

NHL, players to resume labor talks on Saturday

Posted: Friday February 18, 2005 3:09PM; Updated: Friday February 18, 2005 9:39PM

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NEW YORK (AP) -- There might be an NHL season, after all.

The NHL and the players' association will meet in New York on Saturday after the league requested the sides get together again.

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<script>if(cnnEnableCL){if(!(location.hostname.indexOf('cnn.com')>-1)) {cnnAddCSI('contextualLinks','/.element/ssi/misc/2.0/contextual/story.html','');}else{ cnnAddCSI('contextualLinks','http://cl.cnn.com/ctxtlink/jsp/si/cl/2.0/si-story.jsp','category=sinhl&url=http:/\/robots.cnnsi.com/2005/hockey/nhl/02/18/bc.hkn.seasoncanceled.ap/index.html&desccharcnt=100&site=cnn_sinhl_dyn_ctxt&origin=si');}}</script><iframe src="http://cl.cnn.com/ctxtlink/jsp/si/cl/2.0/si-story.jsp?domId=contextualLinks&time=1108787312664&category=sinhl&url=http://robots.cnnsi.com/2005/hockey/nhl/02/18/bc.hkn.seasoncanceled.ap/index.html&desccharcnt=100&site=cnn_sinhl_dyn_ctxt&origin=si" name="iframecontextualLinks" id="iframecontextualLinks" style="position: absolute; visibility: hidden;" align="right" height="0" width="0"></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table><!--endclickprintexclude--> On Wednesday, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, saying it was too late to play any semblance of a schedule. That made the NHL the first major North American sports league to lose a full season to a labor dispute.

Or did it?

"I think the timing has always been to get an agreement so that we can play," said New Jersey Devils president Lou Lamoriello, who has taken part in previous negotiations. "Right now, it's still get an agreement, and then if we get an agreement, then can we play?

"I think it's a little different than it was before."

In a statement released Friday night, the players' association said the NHL made the offer late Thursday night to get together. There was no immediate word on who would take part in the meeting.

"The way everything has transpired, nothing surprises me," said Lamoriello, who declined to say whether he would be in attendance.

NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly was involved in a closed-door meeting Friday evening and declined to comment.

There hadn't been any official contact between the NHL and the players' association since Tuesday night -- when the sides traded what they said were final offers.

All proposals were rejected, and Bettman went ahead and canceled the season Wednesday at a news conference that was scheduled two days earlier.

"I don't think anything was premature. It was a necessity," Lamoriello said. "It didn't appear to be going anywhere and there was too much jockeying going on.

"Right now, there's a chance of people getting down to possibly getting this done."

Bettman said in a letter to NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow on Tuesday that the league's salary-cap proposal of $42.5 million was as far as he could go and that there was no time or flexibility for negotiation.

Goodenow sent a letter back, proposing a soft cap at $49 million that could be exceeded by as much as 10 percent by teams twice during the course of the six-year deal.

It appeared there was momentum toward reaching a deal and that the season had a chance to be saved, since the sides were only $6.5 million apart on their cap numbers. But talking ceased after each side sent two letters to the other on Tuesday night.

There were big breakthroughs Monday in Niagara Falls, N.Y., when the NHL agreed to drop its demand that player costs be linked to league revenues, and the union, in turn, came off its steadfast opposition to a salary cap.

"We got through the philosophical end of it, so there's a better chance, but I think there is still a lot of work that has to be done and it still takes some time," Lamoriello said.

Bettman said the NHL couldn't afford the union's final proposal and said if all 30 teams spent $49 million on player costs, then more money would be paid out to players than last season.

Rumors began to swirl on Thursday, once the realization set in that the season had indeed been canceled.

"A lot of players, owners, managers saw how close the two negotiating teams got to a deal and I think people are just exploring if that can be explored any more," agent Pat Morris said Friday. "I don't know if it'll have a successful conclusion."

One report had Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux joining forces to try to get talks restarted. But while Gretzky, the managing partner of the Phoenix Coyotes, said he spoke to Lemieux -- the Pittsburgh Penguins' player-owner -- he said they didn't discuss getting negotiations restarted.

Bettman has said that teams lost more than $1.8 billion over 10 years -- the last time a collective bargaining agreement was reached. The previous lockout cut the 1994-95 season down to 48 games per team.

NHL clubs claim to have lost $273 million in 2002-03 and $224 million last season.

Bettman said that a deal would have to be in the drafting stages by the end of last weekend if there was going to be time to play a 28-game season and a standard 16-team postseason.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Game on?

The Hockey News

Season saved Saturday?

February 18, 2005

The NHL season is expected to be "un-canceled" Saturday in New York.

A player close to the talks who asked to remain anonymous told The Hockey News the two sides have agreed to a deal in principle that features a $45-million salary cap. Asked if there was any way a deal won't get done, the player said, "not that I can see. I couldn't possibly imagine the idea that somebody is going to try to make a name for themselves in the last minute here."

Following two days of media speculation that backroom talks between players and owners were taking place in an attempt to "un-cancel" the 2004-05 season, the NHL Players' Association issued a press release Friday night confirming it would be meeting with the league in New York on Saturday. If the two sides are as close as expected, an agreement in principle could be made public tomorrow.

As first reported by The Hockey News, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux are still believed to be major players in the process. Both are reported to be in New York taking part in the talks.

"I believe all (that) stuff is pretty accurate," said the player.

A second source confirmed Lemieux traveled to New York on Friday.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman cancelled the season Wednesday with the two sides seemingly within striking distance of a settlement. Though the components of their offers had some differences, the sides agreed on the basic premise of a salary cap with luxury taxes. The union was offering a $49-million cap and the league $42.5 million.

One NHL GM told The Hockey News Bettman’s decision to cancel the season had a lot to do with history repeating itself. In other words, if NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow thought he was going to maintain his reputation of being a successful deadline hunter, he was wrong.
Since the season was called off, there has been considerable movement among the players as well as agents and GMs to do whatever is necessary to get talks started again in an attempt to save the season.

Detroit captain Steve Yzerman told The Hockey News Thursday afternoon he believed the season could be saved.

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily tonight, tomorrow morning, Friday night or Saturday…I know the season has been cancelled, but it’s not too late to 'un-cancel' it.”
Upvote 0
brutus2002 said:
I hate to say it but if the NHL was to never play a game again I wouldn't lose any sleep. I would rather spend money going to an OSU hockey game and give some money to the college and scholar athletes.

Amen. The only good this about pro hockey is the fight highlights. Now you've got one player suing the other when they get hit. Here I was hoping that ESPN would use the 20 min. they use to talk about hockey to talk about real sports. I turn on "Mike & Mike" this morning, and the 1st 40 min. was about hockey. :smash:
Upvote 0
RAMdrvr1 said:
Amen. The only good this about pro hockey is the fight highlights. Now you've got one player suing the other when they get hit.
Who wouldn't sue if they got their neck broken by a sucker-punch from behind!? There's a certain protocol for fighting in the NHL and Todd Bertuzzi did not follow it.
Upvote 0