Continental Hockey Association / Abolishing the Draft (1991)
With Eric Lindros' impending retirement, I was writing a career retrospective for my own amusement. I stumbled upon this 1991 New York Times article which was interesting to say the least. '91 was definitely before my time, so I was wondering if anybody else here could elaborate.
Then there is the possibility that he could make a deal with the new Continental Hockey Association, which is to begin play in six cities this fall. Although the league held its first draft last week, no team chose Lindros -- by design. This permits the league as a whole to negotiate with him and tailor a package to his requests.
"If he wants to come to the league, the league will create the right environment," said Bob Strumm, general manager of the Saskatchewan team. "He was made an offer recently, but he didn't make a commitment."
The offer, according to reports in Canada, was for more than $1 million per year on a multiyear contract. Curran said the C.H.A. offer was "a lucrative deal."
A quick Google search didn't turn up anything regarding the CHA. Did that league ever get started? Or was that another idea that never came to fruition like the new WHA during the 2004-05 lockout?
No matter how the Lindros matter is resolved, this year's draft could be the last of its kind. When the N.H.L. Players Association opened negotiations last week on a new collective bargaining agreement, the union called for abolition of the draft.
"We believe that the elimination of the N.H.L. amateur draft and free-agency restrictions will have a positive impact on the salaries of all players in the N.H.L. and on the popularity and success of the N.H.L. as a whole," the union said in a statement. Making the stand was Bob Goodenow, the deputy executive director of the Players Association, who is conducting his first round of negotiations as he takes over from Alan Eagleson.
Although most observers see the stance as an opening ploy, both sides are aware that a similar draft in the N.F.L. is being seriously challenged in Federal court. In broad terms, opponents of pro sports drafts contend that they are essentially conspiracies in restraint of trade that limit the earning potential of young athletes.
Found this part interesting........was there any actual serious talk about abolishing the draft, or was it (like the article said) just a negotiating ploy?