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Ice Hockey Spotlight:
AHL, PHPA Announce Two-Year Extension of Collective Bargaining Agreement

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Phantoms Correspondent

SPRINGFIELD, Mass./ST. CATHARINES, Ont. … The American Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association today announced the extension of the AHL-PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement through August 31, 2007.

The two-year extension of the existing CBA has been ratified by both the AHL’s Board of Governors and an overwhelming majority of AHL players. The agreement provides for increased contributions towards health and welfare benefits, as well as amendments which increase licensing fees to the PHPA while providing enhanced player likeness rights to the AHL.

An employee assistance plan has been put into place for the players, and the duration of the AHL’s All-Star Break has been increased to four days. Per diem and minimum player salaries have also increased.

The AHL roster regulation which specifies the number of “development players” on the 17-man playing roster has been amended to increase the minimum number of such skaters from 10 to 11 in 2004-05 and to 12 in 2005-06 and beyond.

“We have enjoyed a very positive relationship with our players and the PHPA for many years,” said David Andrews, President and CEO of the American Hockey League. “Our existing CBA has been working effectively, and an extension of that agreement with amendments to enhance our competitive product and increase player benefits is a very positive step for the AHL, our players and our fans.”

“The opportunity to extend our collective agreement with the American Hockey League was one we could not let pass,” said Larry Landon, Executive Director of the PHPA. “The protection of player rights and benefits provides our membership with long-term stability.”

Having just finished its 68th season, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 80 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 PHPA continues to serve as an advocate for player interests. Currently, it is the U.S. NLRB-recognized collective bargaining unit for over 1,400 individuals on 59 teams in the American Hockey League and the ECHL.

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