While 12 teams attempt to determine the sensor failure on the shuttle Discovery the NHL and NHLPA have come to an agreement. After 301 days of stalling, squabbling, and negotiations the puck will once again drop. What was settled?
a 24% salary rollback total player costs can not exceed 54% of hockey-related revenue team-by-team salary cap range of $21.5 mil to $39 mil in the first year no single player can exceed 20% of the salary cap rookie entry cap of $850,000 new players are elegable for unrestricted free agency after 7 years bringing the age restriction down to 27 by 2007-2008 teams can buy-out players are two-thirds their contract to fit under the cap … however, can then not sign those players revenue sharing of top 10 teams pay into a fund used by the bottom 10 teams both players and owners can not go to salary arbitration NHL will participate in the Torino Olympics
So, the big question has been “Will the fans return?”, I believe that hockey will return without problems to the hockey cities (throughout Canada, Detriot, New York, Philly, etc) … however, smaller market teams will need to drop prices to fill the seats. What won’t happen is a drop in ticket prices across the board; Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Detroit fill seats without an issue so prices there are determined by demand … though no longer can they use the “high cost of operation” as their scape-goat.
For me … this means hockey will again return and life can resume as normal! Sweet!