As the NHL labor dispute drags on, many players are expressing anxiety.
It is not the multimillionaire Sydney Crosbys of the league that are suffering. It is the marginal players who often make great personal sacrifices in order to get a few minutes of garbage time or a little time on a fourth line that are in the worst position. These players divide playing time between the NHL and the satellite leagues. Many of them are in financial positions not all that different from the people that wonder from week to week if they will have a paycheck beyond the first of the year.
Even Crosby, however, is on record saying that he would prefer playing to holding out, expressing frustration that the latest round of talks had not only failed to make much progress, but had actually resulted in the NHL retracting previous offers.
The main issues are still the division of revenue, how long a new agreement will last, the maximum length of player contracts and the players’ association desire to implement compliance buyouts in order to help teams meet salary cap limits.
Until one side or the other is willing to make serious concessions on one or more of these issues, it appears that no icing will be taking place in the near future.
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