Parros, Pronger at NHLPA meetings.

For the casual fan, nothing Earth-shattering was born out of Friday’s NHL Players’ Association meetings. The Stanley Cup Finals went the distance and produced some solid TV ratings; an Arizona bankruptcy judge made sure no franchises are moving cities; in short, the league is doing well.

For the Ducks’ new player representative, George Parros, and fellow business-side junkie Chris Pronger, there was plenty to discuss at the NHLPA’s annual summer meeting in Las Vegas on Friday.

Perhaps the biggest issue on the plate is that of the impending salary cap ceiling. It was set at $56.7 million last season and could go up or down, depending on some complicated factors. “It was talked about from a lot of different angles,” Pronger said.

Kevin Allen of USA Today recently summed up the core issue rather nicely:

The salary cap (could go) down 5% if the NHL Players Association and the NHL agree not to invoke a 5% growth factor cause. Essentially, 5% is usually added to the cap unless both sides agree not to implement it. The only reason why the NHLPA would consider not using the clause would be to reduce the amount of escrow money that players would have to pay next season.

As a result of the cap, players with long-term contracts might have to pay back more of the escrow if the “growth factor clause” is adopted. Pronger said that an estimated 250 players would be affected by this clause. He doesn’t know which way the Players’ Association will lean when votes are tallied Saturday.

“It’s a mixed bag. It’ll be a tough one,” he said.

Pronger, however, does not have an official vote. That belongs to Parros, who volunteered to take over Chris Kunitz’s player-rep duties after Kunitz was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins at midseason. An economics major at Princeton, Parros was the previously alternate to Kunitz and said this was the fourth meeting he’s attended since his career began.

Also Saturday, commissioner Gary Bettman will meet with the Players’ Association in what is believed to be the first face-to-face meeting between the commish and the NHLPA.

“I see him at a game every once in a while, but that’s about it,” Parros said. “It’s good to have that line of communication.”
This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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