The 113-day NHL lockout is over and soon we’ll have hockey being played in arenas all over North America.
The prospect of having a season looked bleak, but suddenly Sunday morning, news broke of an agreement between the league and the NHLPA.
A story by Larry Brooks in this morning’s New York Post describes some of the inner-workings of the final meeting between commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL lawyer Bob Batterman that solved the lockout, and it’s safe to say that Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan may have had the biggest assist of his career in that meeting, which he also attended. The final sticking point was the league’s proposed salary cap figure.
Doan, who left money on the table as a free agent this summer to remain in Phoenix, explained that the league’s proposed $62.5M — increased at that point from the original $60M — would disrupt the lives of players and their families who would be forced to move because of trades and buyouts that would not otherwise take place under the union’s more forgiving $64.3M transition number.
The Coyotes’ winger convinced Bettman and Batterman that the issue wasn’t about financial gain for the players, but on the contrary, for players would inevitably suffer greater escrow loss via a higher cap. It was, Doan said, about family life.
Brooks goes on to write that the NHL was impressed with Doan’s point and agreed to the union’s figure, paving the way for a truncated hockey season.
Is there anything Shane Doan can’t do?