NHL agrees on new contract with officials

3/21/2006 - NHL

TORONTO -- The NHL announced a new four-year labor agreement with the league's on-ice officials Monday.

Referees and linesmen ratified the extension Friday. The deal was first agreed to in late December but needed to be passed by both sides. The NHL's board of governors unanimously voted in favor of it last month.

The deal will pay first-year refs $136,000, with a maximum of $290,000 for veterans. First-year linesmen will be paid $95,000, with the most experienced earning up to $190,000.

Also part of the contract is a stipulation for mandatory helmets for all on-ice officials starting next season and mandatory visors for all incoming refs and linesman in 2007-08.