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Goodenow out as union head

Associated Press

Accepting a salary cap was the last thing Bob Goodenow did as head of the NHL players’ union.

One week after his union took a deal that included just about everything he had vowed to fight, Goodenow is out. He and the union reached a settlement on the two years left on his contract.

“I sat down with members of the executive committee and we talked about the future,” Goodenow said Thursday. “The decision was made that it would be best if we made the transition now.”

The new labor deal – with which Goodenow admitted he was not thrilled – ended a lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.

Ted Saskin, the union’s senior director of business affairs and licensing, will succeed Goodenow.

NHL players overwhelmingly approved the labor contract on July 21. Still, many were unhappy that a full season was lost and the union ended up accepting a salary cap anyway.

“After talking to the players, and knowing what the setup was going to be for the next six years, it makes a lot of sense to make the change now,” Goodenow said.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman vowed clubs would have “cost certainty” – a hard salary cap tied to league revenues – before the lockout began last September. Goodenow promised that he would never agree to either. But when the deal was signed, he was forced to accept both.

Philadelphia forward Sami Kapanen said he thought the union’s decision to agree to a salary cap contributed to Goodenow’s departure.

“The players decided to accept the cap and get back on the ice, but I don’t think that’s what Bob was looking for,” Kapanen said. “I know that not all the players are happy with the negotiations.”

Kapanen said Goodenow tried to prepare the players for a holdout that could’ve been as long as a couple of years, but the players just weren’t able to commit to a lengthy holdout.

“It was so easy before anything started out to say that it was going to take 18 months or a couple of years,” Kapanen said. “But once you get into it and see how much you miss playing and how much the game is suffering, something needed to be done.”

Goodenow led the union during a time when player salaries skyrocketed from an average of $271,000 in the early 1990s to $1.8 million before the lockout.

USA Hockey invites 39 to camp

Bill Guerin, Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight were among 39 players USA Hockey invited to its September camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., the first step toward selecting a team for next year’s Olympics in Turin.

The roster includes four goaltenders, 14 defensemen and 21 forwards, though previous Olympians such as Chris Chelios, Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick and Brian Leetch are not on the list.

“This doesn’t represent the players that will be definitely on Team USA,” said Don Waddell, general manager of the 2006 U.S. Olympic team. “We didn’t feel we needed to bring (some of the older players) to the orientation camp.”

Waddell said USA Hockey has contacted many of those players, including Leetch, to explain what is happening with the orientation.

“It’s not a tryout camp that we’re having,” he said. “It’s to get the players used to what has to happen at the Olympics.”

Waddell said the NHL’s regular season will serve as the tryout.

“We don’t pick this team. The players will pick this team. They will dictate by their play who should be on this Olympic team,” he said.

Around the League

Detroit Red Wings forward Brendan Shanahan exercised a $2.3 million option on the final year of his contract. … The Colorado Avalanche retained the rights to forwards Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay. … The Nashville Predators re-signed veteran center Greg Johnson. … The Los Angeles Kings exercised their option on defenseman Mike Weaver and agreed to terms with goaltender Ryan Munce to an entry-level deal. … The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed free agent centers Tim Taylor and Martin Cibak. They also signed rookie goaltender Jonathan Boutin and right wing Zbynek Hrdel. … The Vancouver Canucks picked up options on defenseman Wade Brookbank, forward Lee Goren and goaltender Wade Flaherty and signed 2003 draft picks Marc-Andre Bernier, Francois-Pierre Guenette and Nathan McIver. … The Washington Capitals signed 2003 first-round pick Eric Fehr. … The New York Islanders signed 2003 second-round pick Jeremy Colliton.

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