SPRINGFIELD, MA/ST. CATHARINES,ON - The American Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players' Association today announced the ratification of a new three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The new CBA, which is effective through August 31, 2010, has been ratified by both the AHL's Board of Governors and an overwhelming majority of AHL players. The existing agreement had been set to expire on August 31, 2007.
The CBA has been modified to include significant enhancements to the health and welfare plan currently offered to AHL players and their families, and includes a major restructuring of the revenue-sharing formula in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The parties also agreed to a modification of the AHL roster regulation which specifies the number of "development players" on the 19-man playing roster. The modification allows AHL teams to qualify one skater with 320 or fewer games of pro experience as a "development player," essentially creating another veteran lineup spot.
The restructuring of revenue sharing in the Calder Cup Playoffs will provide more flexibility to AHL clubs in marketing the early rounds of the postseason, while creating a more equitable sharing between the league and its players in the success of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Under the new formula the league will pay a fixed amount into the players' pool for first-round games, and an additional 32.5 percent of ticket revenues for all subsequent rounds.
"The American Hockey League has enjoyed a very positive relationship with our players and with the PHPA for many years," said David Andrews, AHL President and CEO. "This new Collective Bargaining Agreement allows us to continue that relationship and enhance our competitive product, which is another positive step for our league, our players and our fans."
"Having the ability to extend this agreement and continue to operate under stable labor/management relations was an opportunity that could not be overlooked," said Larry Landon, Executive Director of the PHPA. "As we celebrate our 40th year of existence, enhancing and protecting player benefits remains our top priority within the Association, whereas the new playoff pool funding revision enhances the partnership between both organizations and serves to further grow the sport."
Having just finished its 71st season, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 83 percent of all players to compete in the NHL are AHL graduates, and the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Since its inception in 1967, the Professional Hockey Players' Association (PHPA) has continued to serve as an advocate of player interests. Currently, it is the U.S. National Labor Relations Board recognized collective bargaining unit for over 1,400 individuals on 54 teams in the American Hockey League and the ECHL.