Cancellation costs 67's $25G

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

67's owner Jeff Hunt figures he took a minimum $25,000 hit with yesterday's cancellation of the NHL season.

The NHL has an agreement with major-junior hockey franchises like the 67's that grants at least $50,000 to each junior club in the Canadian Hockey League for player development.

Each team also receives extra money from the agreement, depending on the number of picks taken from a roster and the draft placing of those players.

Hunt understood the 67's would have received some compensation, at least $25,000, had the NHL and the NHLPA reached an agreement to begin a partial season.

"Now, I know we're not getting anything," said Hunt.

Two players with the 67's, defenceman Kyle Wharton (now with Sault Ste. Marie) and winger Bryan Bickell, were taken in the second round of the 2004 draft. Forward Mark Mancari was chosen in the seventh round.

CROWDS UP 10%

Hunt, meanwhile, said crowds at 67's games are 10% larger than last year.

He thinks many Senators fans will start attending 67's games, now that those fans know the NHL season is dead.

"There's going to be a lot of people that are going to be disenfranchised, and I think we're going to see probably some migration of people who are going to look to the 67's as an alternative, at least until such time as things get resolved at the NHL level.

"We don't take any joy in that," he added. "I just think it puts a negative feeling in the community about hockey, and I worry how that ultimately could filter down to us."

Brian Kilrea, the Hall of Fame coach and GM of the 67's, said the season's cancellation will especially hurt NHLers that are making below the average salary.

KILLER'S OUTLOOK BLEAK

"It looks like they're going to start from scratch," said Kilrea about negotiations between the league and the players' union. "Boy, I can't even imagine when it's going to end."

The 67's are in Oshawa tonight for a game against the Generals and are back in Ottawa for a game against Peterborough tomorrow.


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