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            Players prepared to make sacrifices: Morrison
Vancouver Canucks @ forumsNews and announcements |  Players prepared to make sacrifices: Morrison
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Union may accept revenue-tied salary cap

Elliott Pap
Vancouver Sun

June 8, 2005

Morrison, the Canucks' representative on the NHLPA, was adamant the game should come first and if that meant accepting a salary cap linked to revenues -- two things the players insisted they would never swallow -- then so be it.

"As negotiations progress, scenarios change," Morrison said. "To get a deal done, a lot of times you have to make sacrifices. I guess it boils down to what's best for the game -- and what's best for the game is to get back on the ice and play. So if that means us maybe taking the brunt of the sacrifices, it looks like that's what we're willing to do."

Morrison admitted the players may have underestimated the resolve of the owners, who vowed to darken their arenas until a new economic system was in place. The players have been locked out since Sept. 16. Morrison, 29, forfeited $3.55 million US in salary. Instead, he played for $10,000 a month in Sweden. He has no NHL contract for 2005-06.

"There's no question the owners have shown a lot of solidarity throughout the whole scenario," Morrison said. "I think they've done a good job of this negotiation. Right off the bat, they set guidelines and they've stuck to them pretty well.

"I guess hindsight is always beautiful and it's easy for people to now say, 'Why weren't you guys just resigned to this deal at the beginning of last year?' Well, nobody knew it was going to play out this way."

Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund said he has not lost faith in the players' negotiating committee, led by executive director Bob Goodenow and union president Trevor Linden. Ohlund, 28, forfeited $3 million US in salary. Like Morrison, he also has no NHL contract for next season.

"No, I'm not upset," the Swede replied when asked about the players' softened stance. "I've always been supporting the committee and the people who are doing all the negotiating. I think they're doing what's best for the game and that's why we chose them. We trust that they're making the right decisions."

Ohlund noted that not every player is likely to be happy with the end result.

"It's always impossible to please 700 players," he added. "They're not all going to have the same opinion."

Meanwhile, the agent for Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi said his client is "patiently" awaiting the conclusion of collective bargaining talks before pressing for a decision on his reinstatement.

Bertuzzi, suspended indefinitely for his March 8, 2004, sucker punch of Colorado's Steve Moore, appeared before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and vice-presidents Bill Daly and Colin Campbell on April 26.

"Todd's pretty much resigned to the fact the league is working hard to get a CBA done and once they do that, they'll respond to the submission of that day," said Pat Morris, Bertuzzi's long-time representative.

"You know what? I haven't inquired because I don't think that's going to get anywhere. We'll just wait patiently for when they get to it."

2005-06-17 15:54:49
2005-06-17 15:54:49
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