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Burke Feels New Economic Environment
Making It Hard To Trade Players In NHL
BUMP UP: In Detroit, George Sipple noted the NHL and NHLPA Friday announced that the salary cap for next season will be $56.8M, an increase of "just $100,000 from this past season." The cap "would have dropped if the players had not voted in" the escalator clause. Sipple noted the Red Wings were "hoping to work out a long-term contract" with RW Marian Hossa at an average of $4M per season, but with the cap "barely increasing, it will be difficult to bring him back without additional roster maneuvering" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/27).
FEELING A DRAFT: Lightning Exec VP & GM Brian Lawton said the franchise was “completely in agreement” on selecting D Victor Hedman with the No. 2 overall pick in the Draft despite reports of infighting between co-Owners Len Barrie and Oren Koules. Meanwhile, the Panthers drafted D Dmitry Kulikov with the No. 14 pick despite rumors he may return to Russia to play for the Continental Hockey League. TSN’s Bob McKenzie said “there’s a Russian factor at work,” as teams are scared about Russian-born players not coming to the NHL. McKenzie: “At the end of the day, a lot of people are still a little wary of the whole Russian factor” (“NHL Draft,” Versus, 6/26).
AFL May Not Come Back From
Restructuring Hiatus In '10
Dixon Apologizes For Overall Lack
Of Passing In SunTrust Indy Challenge
SPEED HUMP: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin discussed the speculation surrounding former SMI President & CEO Humpy Wheeler's The Wheeler Company possibly offering marketing support to the series. Cavin: "His company could certainly take a different look at the IndyCar Series, but I wouldn't want it in a decision-making role. The good thing is, I don't think the board members will relinquish control to an outsider again" (INDYSTAR.com, 6/27).
NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported while only two first-round NFL draft picks having signed contracts is "normal" for this time of year, what is "abnormal is you look at Rounds 3-7 and we're at about 80 guys being signed.” La Canfora: “At this point a year ago it was about 50. … Talking to people around the league, feeling it out, we talk about the economy all the time (because) it's a reality. The players would rather get this money in their pockets now rather than later and wait a few extra weeks.” Meanwhile, teams also are factoring the economy into negotiations. La Canfora: “Why not just spend that and get your kids signed and have that rookie take that roster spot sooner, spend the money on him rather than someone who's probably not going to make your team" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 6/26).
Packers' Profit Appears To Hurt NFL
Owners' Argument For Opting Out Of CBA
WEATHER OR NOT: USGA Exec Dir David Fay addressed the question of whether golf courses on the West Coast are “looking better” for future sites of the U.S. Open after rain plagued the event two weeks ago on Long Island. Fay: “While you may not deal with rain and thunderstorms on the West Coast, fog can gum things up. And there’s that little thing called earthquakes.” He added, “I like the idea of the Open and all our championships being movable feasts” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/28).
MINOR LEAGUE, MAJOR RESULTS: Goldklang Group President Mike Veeck said minor league baseball is succeeding despite the down economy because “people are in desperate need, not just of economic relief in terms of being able to afford, but I think there’s a need like I haven’t seen for a long time for the balm of one another’s company.” Veeck said his teams have taken "hits in the corporate support," but attendance “across the board is up” (“Outside The Lines,” ESPN, 6/28).