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[NHL] Oilers' Nichols: Cost certainty or else


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Oilers' Nichols: Cost certainty or else

TSN.ca Staff with National Post files

1/26/2005

Edmonton Oilers chairman Cal Nichols told the National Post Tuesday that he will recommend the National Hockey League suspend the franchise if the lockout ends without a salary cap.

Nichols told the paper if the league wavers from its demand for cost-certainty it will be the death of the NHL in Edmonton.

"This isn't sabre-rattling. It's the truth," Nichols told the Post. "I have no desire to keep doing what I'm doing and I would recommend that we suspend the franchise and look at our options, or at moving it."

It is not the first time that someone has spoken up about cost certainty from the Oilers' front office.

In November, general manager Kevin Lowe was quoted in the Edmonton Journal saying he would resign if the NHL's current economic system does not change.

"I would not do this job for another four years under what I just went through the last four years," Lowe said at the time. "It was too difficult, too difficult emotionally, spiritually, psychologically."

Perhaps no NHL team has been as affected by the economics of the league as the Oilers. The team has dealt away many of their top players near the end of their contacts because they would not be able to afford their contract demands. In recent years, Edmonton has shipped key players like Curtis Joseph, Doug Weight, Bill Guerin and Anson Carter away for financial concerns.

Nearly all home games have been sold out for the past two years, yet the team still struggles to meet its bottom line.

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