TORONTO -- The NHL and the NHL Players' Association have agreed on a salary-cap system,
eliminating the biggest stumbling block to the resumption of
play next season, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported on its Web site Wednesday.
The paper reported that a source close to
the owners, and another close to both owners and players, said there would be a team-by-team salary cap, based
on a percentage of the revenue of each franchise.
In what is believed to be a six-year agreement, based on revenue projections by both sides, the salary cap will range from $34 million to $36 million, with the floor from $22 million to $24 million.
The league has previously demanded that the cap be 54
percent of a team's revenue.
However, this does not mean that an overall deal on the
lockout is imminent. Negotiators for the players and owners are
now working on other issues such as salary arbitration and free
agency, according to GlobeandMail.com.
"They still have a ways to go," one source told the paper, although with the cap issue settled there is reason to hope a deal can be reached by early July.
NHL vice-president Bill Daly, the league's chief negotiator,
declined to confirm or deny reports of a salary-cap deal.
But he did say publicly on Tuesday that negotiators had
moved on to other issues, including salary arbitration, free agency, qualifying contract offers and others.
The lockout caused the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.