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Bettman Delivers Salary Cap Report To
NHL BOG, With Reports Of $3M Jump
The NHL salary cap "may be on the rise next season," according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "gave the governors a report at their annual meeting on Monday of what the league's executives believe the cap will be next season, based on revenue so far in 2010-11." While Bettman "did not make an official announcement, word around the annual meetings is that the cap could rise by as much as" $3M to $62.4M. The increase is "based on the assumption the NHL players will invoke their right to bump the projected cap by" 5%, which they have done "every year since the collective agreement was reached in 2005." If the cap hits $62.4M, the floor will be $46.4M (GLOBESPORTS.com, 12/6).
TRYING TO KEEP UP: SPORTING NEWS TODAY's Craig Custance notes the NHL salary cap "has increased every year" since the '04-05 lockout, which "could become a dangerous trend for small-market teams spending near the salary cap floor" (SPORTING NEWS TODAY, 12/7). In Montreal, Pat Hickey writes the potential salary cap increase "means more money for the players to divide, but it also means more hardship for the 16 NHL teams that are losing money," according to Forbes' latest valuations. Some of those teams "will go deeper in debt trying to keep up with the Canadiens, Blackhawks, Leafs and the Rangers, while other teams will struggle to reach the cap floor" (Montreal GAZETTE, 12/7). TSN's Darren Dreger: "It's a good news/bad news scenario when you look at the adjustment of the NHL salary cap. ... We know that there are NHL teams out there now that have had trouble spending to get to the floor of the National Hockey League salary cap." Versus' Billy Jaffe" "I just don't think it's a smart move for the league. ... I just don't like the feel of this and where it's leading the league right now. It's going to be unsustainable for a lot of teams out there, and in 2012 we have another CBA coming up" ("NHL Overtime," Versus, 12/6).
Representatives of former Jets employee Jenn Sterger are “very concerned” that NFL officials have not returned phone calls ever since an SI.com report yesterday that Vikings QB Brett Favre may escape allegations that he sexually harassed her with little or no discipline, Sterger's manager said. “It would be absolutely heartbreaking if this is the case,” said Phil Reese, manager for Sterger, who recently lost her job at Versus. “The NFL has assured us the whole time that Commissioner Goodell was committed to holding players accountable for their actions and would take a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace.” Since SI.com writer Peter King wrote an item titled “Favre May Skate” in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, NFL officials have failed to return four phone calls from Reese and Sterger’s attorney Joseph Conway, Reese said. Previously, NFL officials were in contact with Sterger's representatives on an almost daily basis since Sterger met with NFL VP/Security Milt Ahlerich on Nov. 11, Reese said. NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello, in response to questions about the investigation, including why phone calls from Sterger’s reps were not returned, said in an e-mail: “It is (a) complex situation that has involved a great deal of due diligence. We are trying to wrap it up as soon as possible and will notify everyone appropriately when a conclusion is reached.”
AWAITING A DECISION: Reese said he was concerned that the report by respected journalist King was leaked by high-level NFL officials. King reported he was hearing that the “league was not able to connect the sordid cell-phone photos from Favre to Sterger beyond the shadow of a doubt.” However, Reese said, “No. 1, that is absolutely not true. There is evidence that ties the photos in question back to Favre. And No. 2, the photos are one piece of the puzzle. Even if you take those out of the equation, you still have a slam dunk case that Favre was in violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy.” Reese said, “I am an eternal optimist. However, as a result of this report and our phone calls going un-returned, I am very concerned that the league is not going to do the right thing after all.”
In N.Y., Jonathan Abrams reported NBA teams are "conducting business knowing that change, in some form, is coming" with a new CBA. It appears that teams are "viewing the issue through two types of prescriptions." One view is that the Heat, Lakers and other luxury-tax teams "will not be broken up through the implementation of a hard salary cap and the long-term contracts signed the last few years will not be burdensome under a new deal." In that view, teams "can gamble that contracts will be reduced in the next agreement and they will not have to pay them in full." The cautious teams "believe fresh, long-term contracts will have major ramifications later." If a hard cap is used, teams "would have to waive players to wiggle under it," and in that case, "each team that has already committed two long-term contracts could be exposed under rules that have not even been set yet" (NYTIMES.com, 12/6).
FIFA Not Changing Dates For '22 World Cup
In Qatar Despite Health Concerns Due To Heat
THE HEAT IS ON: The AP's Jerome Pugmire reported FIFA is "not considering changing the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar despite fears the intense heat poses a serious health risk if the tournament is played in summer." FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke yesterday said "worries about the heat are legitimate," but the intention remains "to play this World Cup in June." Before the World Cup vote, FIFA's technical report labeled Qatar's heat a "potential health risk." Average summer temperatures in Qatar range from 105-115 degrees, but Valcke said that Qatar "has huge financial means to ensure a state-of-the art cooling system in stadiums and training grounds" (AP, 12/6).
STICKING TOGETHER: Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Conner yesterday said the organization is working toward an extension of its Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) with MLB to 2020. The current deal expires in '14. MiLB is planning a Jan. 3 mail vote on the extension, with MLB likely to vote around the same time. "I am excited about the message that sends to the sports world and the stability it offers to our membership," O'Conner said during his opening address at the Winter Meetings. "This is a historical agreement in many respects." The extension is not expected to contain any significant changes to the current accord. The PBA guides the overall relationship between MiLB and MLB (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).