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in the Crease
Pierre McGuire
August 27, 2001
The NHL may force the free-agent contracts signed over the summer by center Joe Sakic and defenseman Rob Blake, both of the Avalanche, and Stars center Pierre Turgeon to be reworked. In 2004-05 the long-term deals will pay each player a relatively small salary but a large bonus that Sakic, Blake and Turgeon will receive even if the league locks out its players. (The collective bargaining agreement expires following the 2003-04 season.) If there is a work stoppage, the NHL doesn't want players to have pocketed big bonuses and thus have less incentive to agree to proposals by owners....
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August 27, 2001

In The Crease

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The NHL may force the free-agent contracts signed over the summer by center Joe Sakic and defenseman Rob Blake, both of the Avalanche, and Stars center Pierre Turgeon to be reworked. In 2004-05 the long-term deals will pay each player a relatively small salary but a large bonus that Sakic, Blake and Turgeon will receive even if the league locks out its players. (The collective bargaining agreement expires following the 2003-04 season.) If there is a work stoppage, the NHL doesn't want players to have pocketed big bonuses and thus have less incentive to agree to proposals by owners....

Hard-hitting Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis, who made $1.5 million in 2000-01, is taking a big gamble by accepting Pittsburgh's contract proposal of $1.15 million for this season. By dint of being a 10-year player and accepting a salary below the league average ($1.2 million), the oft-injured Kasparaitis is assured of being an unrestricted free agent next summer....

The league is getting ready for a possible strike by referees this season (the officials' contract expired in June) and has told many young officials in the minor leagues and juniors to be ready to attend a training camp. If replacements are used, expect games to be officiated with only one referee, not two, as was the case in all NHL games last season....

Don't be surprised if center Mike Peca, a restricted free agent who was traded from the Sabres to the Islanders in June, signs a seven-year deal with New York that averages $4.5 million per season.

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