Big Red knew cap would fit

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

Nearly nine months ago, Mike Commodore proved to be ahead of the curve.

Took some heat for it, too.

Now, after admitting he'd accept a salary cap to end the lockout, it appears he's got one.

And so do the more than 700 other players in the NHLPA. So, Big Red, feeling vindicated?

"It turned out we are going to be playing with a cap but I don't know if vindication is the right word," said the affable defenceman who was on the Stampede grounds yesterday signing autographs.

"The owners were serious and I guess maybe we underestimated them a bit. It's tough to negotiate with the people cutting the cheques.

"I don't feel any vindication but it turns out I was right."

Six weeks into the lockout, Commodore told The Fan 960: "I don't want to spend however long my career lasts playing here in the American Hockey League (with Lowell), so I think whatever it takes. It's got to be give and take on both sides, not one side can be making all the money. But if (a salary cap is) what it takes -- the sport has to go on -- so I'm going to say, 'Yeah.' "

He added the dollar amount had to be "realistic" as opposed to the very low number offered by the NHL at the time. Commodore wouldn't divulge what repercussions came from his comments but said it wasn't too severe.

"Nobody left me any threatening phone messages or anything like that and nobody was knee-capping me in Lowell or anything," said the defenceman. "Everybody's entitled to their opinion. I talked to a couple of guys and there probably would have been a better way to go about doing it."

Commodore may not take as much of a hit as expected. There are reports the league's minimum salary will be $450,000 US, more than what he's slated to make after a 24% rollback. He was unconcerned about those details.

"I just want to get back playing, ," he said. "Money will take care of itself."


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