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ECHL. players reach collective bargaining agreement

The ECHL and players' association have a new collective bargaining agreement. Nothing earth-shattering except the season will be one week longer. Here's the news release... The Professional Hockey Players’ Association and ECHL today announced the ratification of a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The terms of the CBA have been ratified by both the ECHL’s Board of Governors and overwhelming majority of ECHL players, and will take effect July 1, 2013 and run through June 30, 2018.

The extension includes reasonable increases to most financial commitments while enhancing off-ice benefits including dental care and support of the PHPA Career Enhancement Program to assist players prepare for the post-hockey career.

Of note for fans, the veteran limit will remain at four, but one player may be designated as a Player/Assistant Coach. In addition, while the number of games will remain at 72, by mutual consent, one week will be added to the Regular Season.

"We are pleased to announce that a long-term arrangement has been reached with the Player’s Association,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “We believe the deal includes reasonable increases for our players while allowing our owners to plan their business with a level of cost certainty over the next several years.

“I would like to recognize Steve Chapman and Matt Riley for their hard work in negotiating this deal as well as Larry Landon and the players’ negotiating committee and executive committee for their commitment to bring this to a positive conclusion. We look forward to working together to grow the business, provide a quality environment for our players and great entertainment for our fans."

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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