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SBJ/January 14-20, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Team execs cheer long-term deal
Published January 14, 2013, Page 33
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Asked if the new collective-bargaining agreement is beneficial for his big market team, Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said, “It’s a great deal for hockey. The welfare of all of the teams is important to all of us. As far as we’re concerned in Vancouver, we can make this work and be competitive. You never know: Market conditions change and things happen, but it’s a step in the right direction for the health and vitality of all the teams.”
Owners and club executives last week were reluctant to discuss in detail what the big pluses, from their perspective, in the new CBA — the clawback in the players’ share of revenue, for example — could mean for their clubs.
“There are still lots of things that need to be digested,” said general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff of the small-market Winnipeg Jets. “We’ll sit down as a group and look at our business model and see how this new deal helps everything fall into place.”
Team governors seem to agree, however, that the commissioner’s biggest gift to the owners was a 10-year term for this CBA, with opt-outs for both sides after eight years.
“The most important element to us is that it’s a long-term deal,” Molson said. “It gives us a chance to focus on our core business, hockey, for a long time without any disruptions.”
Bettman is under contract until 2016. Now that the heat from labor negotiations has ended, he should have little problem seeing the end of his current deal.