Details aren’t available right now, pending approval by both the NHL Board of Govorners and the NHLPA Members, but earlier indications (on July 7) were that the deal includes a $37 million salary cap.
Detroit goalie Manny Legace was upset about the deal, saying that the players lost a season for no reason at all, and blamed union head Bob Goodenow for the lockout.
“It makes no sense what we ended up doing,” Legace said. “For years, Bob was telling us, ‘No cap. Owners aren’t telling us the truth about their books.’ Then out of nowhere, he gives the owners a 24-percent rollback and it looked like we were panicking.
“Then after saying we wouldn’t even consider a salary cap, he backed down on that at the last minute just before the lockout. It was too late, and now we’re taking a worse deal.”
The NHL now has to try to regain its fan base — which will be difficult since it lost a deal with ESPN to broadcast games. Hockey already had a small fan base in the United States; a problem the league was trying to correct by establishing franchises in the South. It will remain to be seen how long it takes hockey to bounce back in the US — if it ever does.