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Thursday, July 19, 2001

Damphousse says it's not up to players to control salary cap


MONT-TREMLANT, Que. (CP) -- Less than 24 hours after Mario Lemieux said if a salary cap isn't instituted in the NHL, several teams will be in jeopardy of folding, Vincent Damphousse has a different take on the situation.

"If they want to pay us, they must be making money," Damphousse, a 15-year veteran who played for the Canadiens from 1992 until late in the 1998-99 season, told the Montreal Gazette.

"It's not up to us (players) to say: 'No, don't give us that much money.' Obviously, if they continue to raise the salaries, they must be making money."

Damphousse insisted that the NHL is financially healthy.

Asked if there was a limit to how high salaries can go before ticket prices become unreasonable, he admitted it was hard to say. But he gave it a try.

"You go with what people want," Damphousse said. "If you raise the prices and people go for it, you're okay. If people don't buy it, that's when you adjust. That's the limit.

"But what's the sense of me saying to a team: 'Whoa, slow down.' It's not my responsibility to ask them to pay me less. It's up to them (the owners) to discipline themselves. If they want to pay me, OK, thank you."




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