SUN Hockey Pool

Players opt to extend CBA

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:30 PM ET

MONTREAL -- The NHL Players Association isn't in the mood to fight another war with the league.

The players aren't exactly pleased with the salary cap they accepted in July, 2005, after a season-long lockout but they held their noses and voted Thursday to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement for two more seasons. That means the NHL will have labour peace through the 2010-11 season, executive director Paul Kelly announced at a news conference here just before noon.

The union representatives met by conference call Thursday night and unanimously put a stamp of approval on the existing agreement.

If the league pics up its option to extend the agreement in the final year, there won't be any labour issues until the end of the 2011-12 season.

"We are making this announcement now because this should be viewed as positive news by all the stakeholders in the game: Players, owners and fans," said Kelly. "This is an important day and I hope you agree this is positive news."

Kelly said there are many aspects of the deal that the union "isn't happy with" but those issues will be discussed down the road. He said if those issues can be resolved then the chances of another lockout are slim.

The union and NHL have also agreed to work together on games played in Europe and the World Cup in 2011.

Kelly was flanked by players Sheldon Souray, Mike Komarisarek, Vinny Lecavalier, Joe Thornton, Alexei Kovalev and Jonathan Toews.


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