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Has anyone heard any updates on the lockout? I haven't heard anything in a long time.

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They have been meeting pretty regularly, but they are not talking about the negotiations. Last week, they were scheduled to meet twice, and after that, they met a third time (with Bettman and a few others cancelling a trip to Europe for the Hockey World Championships or whatever they're called). They also have scheduled to meet a couple times a week into the near future.

They're talking, but they're also keeping info about the negotiations under pretty tight wraps.

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These are the first couple of paragraphs from a news story posted on the internet this morning...a search should lead you to them (and Yahoo sports may be a good place to start your search...):

(CP) - The NHL and NHL Players' Association held a marathon 14-hour meeting in New York on Thursday but that doesn't mean they're any closer towards ending their stalemate.

A source close to the talks said little progress was made although a healthy discussion on a variety of subjects took place. The two sides convened around 10 a.m. EDT and wrapped things up just before midnight EDT. Neither side wanted to comment after the meeting. Sources said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow would talk Friday morning regarding setting up future meetings.

The two sides hope to meet every week from here on in until a deal is finally agreed upon. The lockout is more than eight months old and wiped out the entire NHL season.

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From FoxSports dot com, May 26:

CHICAGO (AP) - Progress was reported Thursday for the second straight week in labor talks between the NHL and the players' association.

Both sides issued brief statements, but didn't reveal many details of what was discussed.

Players' association senior director Ted Saskin said he expected NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Bob Goodenow to schedule new meetings soon.

"We just completed two days of meetings focused on revenue measurement and reporting issues," Saskin said. "There is a lot more information to be exchanged between the parties."

NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly said the sides planned to meet again next week.

"Further progress was made in reviewing and discussing league and club financial and accounting issues," Daly said.

The sides met in smaller groups and without Bettman and Goodenow just as they did last week in advance of two days of full bargaining sessions that lasted 22 hours over two days.

That led to the latest round of talks that started with a 6 1/2-hour session on Wednesday.

The sides are trying to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with a salary cap.

As has been the case since before the lockout began last September, the league and the players' association are trying to find common ground on the idea of a cap. The sides have agreed to have one, now it's just a matter of agreeing on how it should work and what the upper and lower limits of the cap should be for each team.

Working off an April 4 concept offered by the players' association, the league and union are looking to develop a system with an upper cap that could move each year depending on revenues.

Last week, the sides met for four straight days in New York. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in smaller groups. The respective leaders rejoined the talks for full bargaining sessions on Thursday and Friday that produced the first signs of progress in the standoff that forced the cancelation of the 2004-05 season.

The sides met for the fourth straight week and plan to keep up that kind of schedule until a deal can be worked out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

NHL, players' association 'making progress' in talks

June 3, 2005

TORONTO (AP) -- The NHL and players' association made some progress in nearly 34 hours of negotiations over three days and will continue to talk, league vice president Bill Daly said Friday.

The sides met for almost 14 hours on Friday after 10-hour sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, trying to work out a new collective bargaining agreement. The league and union said they will meet again next week.

``We continued our discussions on financial and accounting issues, and while we are making progress, we still have a lot of work to do,'' Daly said. ``The parties have agreed to continue the process with a series of meetings next week, at which time we hope to begin discussing a myriad of other CBA issues.''

Players' association senior director Ted Saskin confirmed the sides would meet next week, but was vague on what was discussed Friday.

``Earlier this evening we concluded three days of small-group meetings,'' Saskin said. ``Once again, a wide range of economic and systemic concepts were discussed.''

Friday's meeting was the 19th since the season was canceled Feb. 16.

NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman participated in Friday's meeting.

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The latest update:

NHL, NHLPA plug away in labour talks; deal could be done before end of the month


June 13, 2005

TORONTO (CP) - The NHL and NHL Players' Association continued to plug away at a new deal with another small group session Monday, making slow and steady progress towards finally ending the ninth-month lockout.

While the economic framework is largely in place - based on a salary cap - there remains enough work to drag this out another two weeks or so, according to sources.

The basic structure of the salary cap - linked league-wide to revenues with an upper and lower limit on team payrolls - is mostly ironed out. The two sides have made headway in the areas of free agency, qualifying offers, salary arbitration, entry-level contracts, drug testing, rule changes and Olympic participation.

On the Olympic issue, the union appears to have scored a victory, with the league leaning towards participation in the Turin Games next February, although that is not signed, sealed and delivered just yet.

The two sides are narrowing in on a collective bargaining agreement that the league believes will bring competitive balance, narrowing the gap between the have and have-nots.

The tedious process of agreeing on the language of the document still awaits and that's no small task. The NHL announced a deal 10 years ago, in a hurry to salvage the 1994-95 season, and was later dismayed at how some parts of the agreement ended up sounding different then what it believed was first agreed to.

All the I's will be dotted and T's crossed this time around before a news conference is called.

Expect an entry draft to be held at the first opportune time after that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Reports from the negotiations have been pretty quiet the last few weeks, except that they have been meeting around four days every week.

Most reports out now say that they are down to negotiations at the detail level, and should have an agreement in place in the next week or two.

I think that it is pretty clear that they all want to get this resolved with plenty of time to market themselves before the season begins this fall. We'll know soon enough...

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Soon enough, indeed...from this morning:

Report: NHL to get CBA details in N.Y. Monday

Associated Press

Posted: 11 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The NHL and its players' association reached a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement that, if finalized, would end a lengthy lockout, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The newspaper, citing anonymous sources close to the negotiations, said the agreement will feature a hard salary cap linked to 54 percent of league revenue, a 24 percent rollback of existing contracts and qualifying offers. It will also include a provision that will limit the salary of any player to 20 percent of the team cap figure in any season.

The salary cap will be $37 million and won't include medical and dental benefits and pension payments, the Times reported.

Details will be presented to the NHL executive committee in New York on Monday, the newspaper said, and players will meet to decide whether to approve the deal.

Under the new agreement, the league's All-Star game will be dropped next season and players will be allowed to represent their home countries at the Turin Olympics next February, the Times said. Each team will also have an equal chance in the lottery for the No. 1 pick in this year's entry draft.

The new deal includes a provision under which 15 percent of each player's paycheck will go into an escrow account until revenue is calculated after each season, the paper said. If league spending on salaries exceeds 54 percent of revenue, the difference between the salaries paid and the negotiated percentage will be paid to teams from the escrow account. If teams spend less than 54 percent, the escrow money will revert to players.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the hockey season Feb. 16 because of the lockout, which started Sept. 16. The NHL became the first major pro sports league in North America to lose an entire season to a labor dispute.

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The next season should be very interesting. I'm curious to see how this lock-out will affect how the fans want to go to the games.

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I saw an article where teams were already working on lower ticket prices, package deals, etc. A lot of teams are going to offer two-for-one or four-for-three season ticket deals, etc.

In some markets (Canadian teams, Minnesota, Detroit, Boston, etc) you probably won't see any decrease in attendance...some other markets, however (Carolina, Atlanta, Dallas, etc) may be hit harder. And they're the ones that are really promoting the lower ticket prices, from what I've seen.

It all remains to be seen...

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If they have a Salary Cap, what happens to the teams/players that are over the cap? That will be the interesting thing.

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I say let them play next season with no fans in the stands.


"Set the Hook"

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I think it is going to be like quitting anything....just got to get through the withdrawals.

I used to go more often some yrs ago but once my kids got a little older I stopped going to too many games due to the cost. I don't know what I will do if they are not on TV anymore but I'm sure I won't miss the NHL very much - I made it just fine through this past winter.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just gonna be a little wishy washy here....with all the player moves going on, it just might get my interest again and get me to vegetate during the winter in front of the tube to watch the NHL. I still don't know what I think about the rule changes yet though.

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I think some of the rule changes will be great. I can't stand the "trap" style that is becoming the norm in the NHL. This should open things up alot. I'm sure alot of the changes were a result of the low TV ratings- trying to get a more "offensive" game to attract a bigger audience. But, after going to several 1-0, 1-1, 0-0 Wild games, I'm all for opening things up. What do we have to lose?

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