PHPA Press Releases
Jeff Kyrzakos Helps the PHPA Land a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the CHL
By Kris Eberwein Published on: Thursday November 22, 2012
Jeff Kyrzakos, the 27 year-old forward for the Arizona Sundogs of the Central Hockey League (CHL) uses his status as a league veteran to help younger players.
It’s hard to imagine that a guy who is so young could be considered a veteran but Kyrzakos has been playing professional hockey for ten years between the ECHL and CHL. Kyrzakos has been a part of the PHPA’s Executive Committee during the past five years and recently helped the PHPA strike a new collective bargaining agreement with the CHL.
Most people in the hockey world have had their eyes on the NHL lockout, which overshadowed the CHL and PHPA’s new contract. The collective bargaining agreement between the CHL and PHPA wasn’t without drama either.
The new contract, which was tentatively agreed upon before the season started wasn’t signed and finalized until after the start of the new CHL season.
“For the first few weeks of this season we were still playing under the terms of the old CBA. We knew we were close to getting a deal done but there were a few issues that still had to be worked out,” said Kyrzakos.
On the surface the new CBA looks much like the old contract. The Salary Cap, Salary Floor and Minimum Salary will remain the same. Notable changes to the new contract include modifications to the Injury Reserve system and All-Star and holiday breaks.
“Negotiations like this can be tough sometimes. The players have an agenda and goals but so do the owners. At the end of the day everyone needs to feel good about the deal.”
Kyrzakos has been involved with the PHPA for most of his professional career. His experience gives him an insight to the business side of the game that happens off the ice.
“I have a much better point of view on the business side of the sport. I have a good grasp on contracts and I try to use my experience to help out other guys on my team,” said Kyrzakos.
Like many other teams in the league, the Arizona Sundogs have been affected by the NHL lockout. As someone who’s been involved in similar negotiations, Kyrzakos understands the difficulties faced by both sides.
“It’s an unfortunate thing. The lockout doesn’t just affect the NHL; it creates a domino effect in all the other leagues. We’ve got guys on our roster right now that would probably be in the AHL or NHL. It limits ice time for a lot of other talented players.”
The Sundogs are Kyrzakos’ third team in the last three years. His hockey odyssey has taken him all over North America including several teams in the Southern U.S.
“I like the travelling that goes along with the sport. I’ve played down south for most of my career. It’s fun because you get to play in front of a lot of people who have never experienced the game. The weather is great too; it’s much easier on your body when it’s not blistering cold outside,” said Kyrzakos.
Kyrzakos isn’t the only new face on the Sundogs. This past offseason the team received an entirely new lineup.
“I think we’ve only got one guy that returned from last year. Other than that the whole team is new so we’re still finding our way on the ice. It’s an unbelievable group of guys though and we have a lot of fun together.”
With the new CBA signed, the Sundogs and the rest of the CHL can focus on the game on the ice. Thanks to Kyrzakos and other Player Representatives that work with the PHPA, the young players in the CHL can be sure that there are leaders in the league and in the community that are serving their best interests.