Hockey: Game on
Larry Brooks says the NHL lockout is finally coming to a merciful end. The new deal will have a salary cap of around 36 million dollars and a floor of somewhere from 24 to 28 million, a league-wide salary rollback of 24 percent, a reduction of the UFA age to 28, modifcation to the RFA procedure, and a draft in late June.
If what he says is true (sometimes in question with Brooks), the Al Montoya watch immediately starts. Montoya has alternately insisted that he will return and hedged like a madman. mgoblog believes that if there is a CBA in place by the end of the month and the Rangers offer Montoya a contract he finds acceptable, he's gone. With Dan Blackburn probably retiring in the near future, there would be room in the AHL for Montoya.
How would losing Montoya affect Michigan's prospects for '06? That depends on which Montoya showed up for his senior season, the clutch goalie who was the first goalie taken in the 2004 draft or the sieve that made mgoblog muy triste last year. The effects probably wouldn't be devastating; Michigan would bring in one of the two '06 recruits a year early and anoint them the starter. Whoever is brought in would have to be very sucky indeed to match Montoya's junior year.