The NHL and the NHL Players' Association have agreed on a salary-cap system -- the biggest hurdle to playing next season -- according to a Toronto Globe and Mail online story yesterday. But the report said other details must be worked out before a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

The newspaper reported that league and player sources said the sides agreed to a team-by-team cap linked to individual franchise revenue.

The deal is believed to be for six years and would likely include, at least for the first year, a salary cap range from $34 million to $36 million with a floor of $22 million to $24 million.

The report said the formula also includes a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax starting at the midway point of the floor and the cap.

This allows the wealthier teams to spend more, but would guarantee that gaps like the Dallas Stars spending $60 million and the Pittsburgh Penguins spending $18 million won't occur.

* TENNIS: French Open champion Rafael Nadal's 24-match winning streak was snapped when he lost to Alexander Waske on grass at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. In his first match since winning the French title on clay Sunday, the third-seeded Spaniard was beaten, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, by the 147th-ranked German wild card.

"I started well, but it is hard to concentrate after so many matches at the French," said Nadal, who played through a strained thigh and a blistered finger.

* GOLF: Learjet should not be held responsible for the 1999 plane accident that killed golfer Payne Stewart, jurors in Orlando said. The six-woman jury deliberated for more than six hours after listening to more than a month of testimony. Stewart won the U.S. Open just months before his death. His widow, Tracey, and their two children sued Learjet, claiming a cracked adapter caused an outflow valve to pull away from the plane's frame, resulting in a decompression and the escape of cabin air as the plane climbed to its flight altitude after leaving Orlando on Oct. 25, 1999. All communication with the plane was lost soon afterward and it flew on for hours, all aboard presumably unconscious, until it crashed in South Dakota.

* HOCKEY: Former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely, the late Valeri Kharlamov and Murray Costello were named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Neely and Kharlamov, a former Russian superstar who died in 1981, will enter in the players category. Costello, former president of the Canadian Hockey Association, goes in as a builder, or someone who contributed to the advancement of the game.

* SOFTBALL: Samantha Findlay powered Michigan to its first NCAA softball title, hitting a three-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Wolverines a 4-1 win over UCLA in Oklahoma City.

Michigan (65-7), which scheduled its first 33 games on the road because of cold weather in Ann Arbor, overcame the handicap to claim the title that has been dominated by West Coast teams since its inception in 1982.

* PRO FOOTBALL: Randy Moss's new Oakland Raiders jersey is the best-selling shirt in the NFL, and the Philadelphia Eagles lead the league in merchandising sales after reaching the Super Bowl for the first time in 25 seasons.

-- From News Services