Sunday, November 23, 2003


The Hockey News points out an interesting factoid in this week's issue. We all know the NHLPA is dead-set against the NHL's proposed $31-million salary cap. We also know that the players are not opposed to giving back some of their money to NHL owners, proven by their recent offer to reduce every player's salary by 5%. However, although the players may be willing to give back some of their money, they have a limit, as should be expected. A major reason that the NHLPA is so against the $31-million proposal is because, from their point of view, it gives back too much. There is some truth in that, it's not just the players being greedy. THN says that, if the average payroll in the new salary-capped league would be around $27 million,
"......owners would spend a combined $810 million on player salaries -- a reduction of nearly 40 per cent from what players are earning today."
Forty percent is a huge drop. I wonder how many commercial industries would tolerate that kind of reduction in pay. Not very many, if any, that's for sure. THN also has a player poll with the question "What will you do if their is an NHL shutdown next season? Play overseas? Play in North America? Wait it out?" 43% of the 30 players polled said they would play overseas. Not surprising. 31% said they'd wait it out, 13% said they'd play in North America and the other 13% said they didn't know. There are some interesting quotes from the players.
"I'm not sure where, but because of my age, a whole year out of hockey would be a big loss for me." --Dan Cloutier, Vancouver
I'm a little surprised Cloutier would say that. If he thinks he's too old at 27, I wonder what a lot of guys on the Wings and other older teams are thinking. Chris Chelios said he'd like to play in the WHA, if it gets off the ground but said
"I still don't believe there'll be a lockout. They all better wake up and do what's best for the game."
I know Bobby Hull, the WHA's comissioner wants Brett to play in the league as well. It will be interesting to see whether the WHA works out or not.
"I'll be in a lunch line somewhere." -Steve McKenna, Pittsburgh
McKenna has a $400,000 salary.


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