By Allan Muir
They won't be scrounging for forgotten change in vending machines or offering to squeegee your car at a major intersection any time soon, but NHL players are about to be much shorter on cash than they'd expected.
Multiple sources are reporting tonight that the escrow deduction will leap from 10 percent to 20 percent starting with this Friday's pay check. The bigger chunk is required to cover for lower-than-expected revenues. Sources say hockey-related revenue estimates have been lowered from $2.4 billion to $2.1 billion.
The good news for the players is that the 20 percent rate is aggressive and they can expect to get some of that money back in the long run. The "make whole" provision that was the core issue of the recent CBA discussions will ensure that much of that amount is restored. And there's a chance that higher playoff takes will have a positive impact on hockey related revenue as well. In other words, every player's second-favorite teams right now are Toronto and Montreal.