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The Hockey News
1/31/2007 4:05:31 PM

Although players aren't expecting the escrow windfall they received last season when they actually got money back, the escrow payments they make this season, if any, will likely be below 10 per cent.

The league and NHL Players' Association recently decided to leave the escrow for player salaries at 10 per cent for the third quarter of the season. The escrow is considered and adjusted, if necessary, at each quarter of the season.

That means that players almost certainly won't see any more than 10 per cent deducted from their pay this season and it will likely be considerably less than that. Last year, in the first year of the new collective bargaining agreement, the escrow started at 12 per cent and was adjusted downward several times because of better-than-expected revenues. In the end, the players got all their escrow money returned to them and received an additional 4.3 per cent of their salaries.

But last year exceptions were made in the escrow to account for far better revenues than expected. But this year the two sides are not considering revenues in their escrow projections, meaning it would only change considerably if a high number of players signed contracts after the start of the season, a rash of injuries caused teams to spend significantly more money on players' salaries or there were a large number of players with performance bonuses who were on pace to reach them.

How much escrow the players pay in the end will be determined by how much revenue the league generates this season. That will also determine whether the $44 million salary cap goes up, moves down or stays the same next season.

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