Friday, July 08, 2005

sweeter than a drop of blood from a sugarcube

Amid the bad news of the day was some damn good news. Even if the stories surrounding it are conflicting, I still think it's good news. Apparently, the NHL and the NHLPA are very close to a deal. Some reports indicate that they have already agreed in principle, and that they just need to draw up the particulars and get all the John Hancocks. The League and the PA both deny that the deal is imminent, but continue to indicate that things are going very well. Anyway, the rumors are that the new CBA should be signed early next week.
Be ware that this is unconfirmed, but the details from several different sources indicate that the player salaries will be rolled back 24% across the board. This is in-line with an offer they made a long time ago. Also, there would be a "team-by-team floating salary cap" maxing out at 37 million. I have no idea what differentiates a "floating salary cap" from, say, a "soft salary cap". Also in the alleged deal is that no player may earn more than 20% of his team's total payroll. Additionally (here's the part I like), 15% of every player's paycheck will go into an escrow account. If, when the season is over, league-wide player salaries come out to 54% or less of total league revenues, the money in escrow reverts to the players. If players' salary spending comes to more than 54% of revenues, then then the League gets to keep and evenly disburse the funds to the teams.

Also, it looks like there will be no all-star game next season. They've decided to make an 18-day break in the schedule which will enable players to represent their home country in the Winter Olympics.

Here's the part I don't like. Since we didn't play at all this year, there's no way to determine the draft order, unless they use the order that was used for the 2004 draft. The indication is that they'll put all 30 teams in a lottery to determine the order. That way, every team has an equal chance to get the first pick, which will be the young phenom Sidney Crosby, who has been dubbed "The Next One". Should this CBA be signed next week, there would be a turbo draft held via telephone rather than in a public venue. Of course I would prefer that the 'Canes get the first pick, but as long as he goes to an Eastern Conference team, I'll be happy enough to have chances to see him play.

It's very hard for me to temper my optimism with caution. I have to find a way, though.

now playing (again):
Sufjan Stevens -- Illinois
Sufjan Stevens Illinois


doug said...

Hmmm, that's good - if it all works out. Maybe I'll actually get to see an NHL game in this town.

"Also, it looks like there will be no all-star game next season. They've decided to make an 18-day break in the schedule which will enable players to represent their home country in the Winter Olympics."

I like that plan - let them play for an all-star game that actually matters.

Will they be implementing all these new rules (no offsides?!) I've been reading about?

BTW and totally off-topic: my 2 cents on the the new Sufjan Stevens album: love it. Especially "Decatur...", "Chicago", and the Zombies song - and I wasn't so disturbed by the John Wayne Gacy, Jr. song at first (yet Darth Vader killing kids did?), but on each subsequent listen, and since the "oh my God" part was pointed out by you all, I can't hardly listen to it anymore without being totally creeped out. And, I'm happy to report that I did get the special (but not so much) album art - shew!

d-lee said...

Thank you, Doug. I'm with you about the John Wayne Gacy Jr song. However, that "oh my god" bit doesn't bother me the way it does you guys. I don't know....

About the rules changes.... they're going to do some more r&d to decide what if any changes will be made. Most likely would be the larger nets, the no-touch icing, and maybe a shoot-out after one overtime period for regular season games. I'd like to see the off-side stuff change, but there's so many different scenarios that they're working on, I don't know if any one of them will emerge for this coming season.
We'll probably see shorter stoppages of play next season, too.

Xtian said...

To clarify, I'm not really creeped out by the John Wayne Gacy song. (I'd proabbly like it more if I was.) It's just that "oh my god" bit comes off as cheesy and sorta lazy even. To me. And the "in my best behavior" line. Yeah, Sufjan, you're just like JWG...except instead of killing dozens of innocent people and hiding their remains under your floorboards, you make albums. Or something like that. As much as I dont like that particular song, I never skip it though (I can ignore the lyrics and enjoy the music). This is an album that I let play from beginning to end. Of course I do that with most albums. But this one seems especially well taken as a whole. A bit of a relief for me as I'm not even going to bother investing any energy in learing any of these song titles!

d-lee said...

Oh dammit. one thing that I meant to mention in the post is the thing about the escrow account hinging on the 54% thing. The way things have been since 2002 (probably longer, but these are the only stats I have access to), player salaries are equal to 75% of league revenues. This number, by the way is WAY more than any other professional sports league. That's why this is happening. Even if they were to roll back salaries 24% across the board, they still need to save more. That measure alone would mean that salaries would still be equal to 57% of league revenue. So the players will either have to make more salary concessions, or they'll lose the money anyway.