There will be hockey, in 2005-2006—no ifs, ands or buts.
A day after the NHL players approved the new collective bargaining agreement by a margin of 9-to-1, the NHL Board of Governors also passed the labor deal unanimously. Last week both parties agreed to the deal, which includes a salary cap, in principal.
The labor dispute cost the NHL the 2004-2005 season, becoming the first North American professional sports league to cancel an entire season because of a strike or lockout.
The salary cap was the main sticking point, as the players vowed until recently that they’d never agree to one. Under the deal, 54% of the league’s revenues will be allotted towards players’ salaries. Teams cannot spend more than $39 million on salaries, but cannot spend less than $21.5 million.
No player will be allowed to make more than 20% of any team’s payroll, which equals out to $7.8 million. The deal also immediately reduced all existing contracts by 24%.