No report of progress after latest talks
TORONTO -- The NHL and its players' union held another small group session of contract discussions Monday, making slow progress in hopes of ending the ninth-month lockout.
The basic structure of a salary cap linked league-wide to revenues, with an upper and lower limit on team payrolls, is being discussed. The two sides have made some headway in the areas of free agency, qualifying offers, salary arbitration, entry-level contracts, drug testing, rules changes and Olympic participation.
The tedious process of agreeing on the language of a contract would be 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 the league believed was agreed to.
If an agreement is reached soon, the NHL will be eager to hold its entry draft, with junior star Sidney Crosby the biggest prize.
Not that many players are under contract for the 2005-06 season. Counting players who were on NHL rosters for at least 90 days in 2003-04, 288 players will be under contract July 1.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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