Red Line, Blue Line, Bottom Line by Marc Edge

Red Line, Blue Line, Bottom Line: How Push Came to Shove Between the National Hockey League and Its Players

  • Non-Fiction
  • 176 pages, 5×8 inches
  • Price: $16 CAD · $16 USD
  • ISBN: 9781554200115
  • Date published: 2004-09-30
  • Availability: in print & available

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About Red Line, Blue Line, Bottom Line

The showdown between the NHL team owners and the players has been brewing for years.

The owners claim they lose millions of dollars annually due to escalating player salaries courtesy of free agency, and threaten to lock the players out of NHL arenas for the entire 2004–2005 season if they don’t accept a salary cap.

For their part, the players are dubious about the owners’ claims of financial ruin. They’ ve heard that song before. They believed it when it wasn’ t true: as a result, for many years hockey players earned by far the lowest salaries of major league athletes. Now that they’ve surpassed National Football League salaries, even if they still trail their contemporaries in basketball and baseball, NHL players are reluctant to give back their hard–fought gains. They want to keep the free market system and they point out that nobody forces owners to pay inflated salaries for free agents.

The last time push came to shove in this dispute a decade ago, the owners canceled half the season without getting the "cost certainty" they are still seeking. This time they’ re promising to wipe out the entire year, with the result that many players are signing on to play with European teams this season. Could this be the death of the NHL?

About Marc Edge

Marc Edge, a former sports and business journalist, has a Master of Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University (where he played some hockey) and a PhD in Mass Communications from Ohio University. Currently teaching at the University of Texas at Arlington, Edge is the author of Pacific Press: The Unauthorized Story of Vancouver's Newspaper Monopoly.

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