Generals Fan
2003 - 2004


News & Record Masthead
October 1, 2003

ECHL strike over after 40 days

Generals coach Rick Adduono has five days to assemble a roster before training camp starts.

Staff Writer

When word came down Tuesday evening that the ECHL players' strike was over, Greensboro Generals coach Rick Adduono got right to work.

With training camp set to start - on time - in just five days, Adduono was a man without a roster.

"I can't waste any time," he said. "I've got to get a hold of a few players right now so they don't go elsewhere. He who is late is lost."

When the ECHL and Professional Hockey Players Association ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement Tuesday, it brought an end to a 40-day players strike.

Concessions were made on the major issues by both sides
  • the final round of negotiations ended Monday morning
  • and a conciliatory-sounding ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna was ready to turn talk from labor to hockey.
"At this point, that's all behind us," he said of the averted players holdout. "It didn't happen. There was a spirit of cooperation, and we hammered out the deal."

The CBA replaces one that, according to McKenna, created a number of disputes over the last four seasons because of the document's ambiguous language.

The new agreement's major stipulations:
  • A $10,000. per week salary cap (and a floor of $8,000) for 20-man rosters, rising to $10,500 in the third year of the deal. Player assistants are eliminated, saving teams up to $1,000 per week.
  • Off-ice insurance plans for players and their families have been extended from the end of the season to June 15.
  • A reserve clause allowing teams to protect eight players.
  • A rule allowing four veterans per team. In the first two years, a player starting the season with 288 games of professional experience is considered a veteran; the number drops to 260 in the third year of the agreement. (It was 250 games in 2002-03.)
The agreement, which McKenna expects to be finalized by the two sides' legal counsel within 30 days, gives financially struggling teams more cost certainty while, in Adduono's opinion, allowing teams like the Generals to sign premier players.

"It's a good move for both parties," he said. "They were fair to the players and fair to the owners."

Said PHPA executive director Larry Landon in a release: "We are confident this agreement is reflective of the times. It protects and advances a number of issues that are essential to the well-being of the membership and their families."

For Canadian players, getting paperwork filed for U.S. work visas in time for the start of the season was becoming a serious concern.

The Generals are scheduled to open training-camp practice Monday at 9 a.m. at the Ice House. The season begins Oct. 17, when the South Carolina Stingrays visit the Greensboro Coliseum.

Contact Jeff Canton at 373-7065 or