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Canadian Press
10/6/2006 3:39:59 PM

TORONTO (CP) - NHL players won't have to dig as deep into their pockets to start the season as first believed.

Starting this month, players will give up 10 per cent of their paycheques, the money going into an escrow fund that was established under the new collective bargaining agreement to ensure owners wouldn't have to give up more than 54 per cent of their revenues in player salaries.

The NHL and NHL Players' Association signed off on the number Friday, sources told The Canadian Press, and will monitor revenues throughout the season to see if it needs to be adjusted. It was originally believed the payments would begin at 12 or 14 per cent.

The final tally will be figured out next summer.

Last season escrow payments on player paycheques began at 12 per cent before dropping to four per cent in January when both the union and league agreed revenues would surpass initial projections.
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