Originally Posted by Powdered Toast Man
I do not think you can deny that the function of having a floor and a ceiling, requiring all teams to come in between the two, is to create some semblance of parity whether it was a talking point or not. I full acknowledge that everything the Flyers has done has been done within the system, I just think the whole thing is awfully Joseph Stalin-esque. You know? Rich and powerful waving around their clout to the direct detriment of the poor despite the fact the entire system is designed to minimize, if not eliminate, said disparity.
I don't think that analogy works at all, but I think I realize what you're trying to say.
The NHL is trying to "fix" their system (and not "fix" like "rig the system", but "repair what is broken"), for the benefit of the league as a whole, and all the richer (and dumber) franchises seem to want to do is sabotage that effort at every level.
It's like Baseball. MLB is so horribly, completely broken as a model due in LARGE part because of the unwillingness of the rich teams to recognize that it needs the smaller teams to not only be around so that they have someone to play, but they need them to be competitive in order to maintain their franchise value, strength of schedule, longer season, etc... There's a reason Baseball has gone through a multi-decade run of consistently record low youth involvement on a year-to-year basis... the entire system is broken, and fans have a hard time getting emotionally tied to perennially losing, cash-strapped teams. The longer that MLB continues with it's current financial model without doing something about the spiraling of salaries, the worse it will be when they finally realize they need to recover from it.
Anyways, tangent aside, the NHL isn't even close to what the MLB is as far as broken systems goes... but there is definitely a parallel in the sense that rich teams tend not to be able to see past their own self-interest, and even then, they can't see past how their destructive behavior will hurt themselves in the long run, without a thought to how their actions have a negative effect on their own ability to operate, let alone the league as a whole.
I mean, the now-expiring Lockout CBA was a start, though many could argue it has failed. Remember back before 2005, when teams like the Rangers used to try to buy their way into the playoffs every year, and failed miserably? The then-new CBA in '05 forced the Rangers to look towards drafting and developing their own talent, and in the 6 years since the NHL basically forced their hand, they accomplished more by growing their own players than they ever did in the 10 years prior, when they tried to buy success.
The CBA was a very good start, but there were too many loopholes, too many lawyers who failed to look past the first few years of the CBA, and see what it would eventually become. In 2005/06, and the following year, the league really WAS at it's highest level of parity. I'm sure the league is going to try to get back to where it was for those first few years of the CBA, though boneheaded GM's like Holmgren are standing in the way and shooting his own owner in the foot, though neither of them will realize it until it's too late.
With the failure of some of the sunbelt teams, I think Bettman is going to try to tie his legacy on these CBA talks, and this CBA in particular. Considering we lost an entire year of hockey the last time around, and how much more he seems adamant in getting the owners his "legacy deal", something he hopes will be his lasting impression on the game of hockey, that's a scary, scary thought.