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09-16-2004, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
It has been argued out by good lawyers and the case law is very clear. The owners can't do it because they are supposed to be 30 competing businesses who are supposed to compete for labour. They can't have a salary cap - unless the players agree - because it is an illegal restraint of trade.
That's not totally true. The NHL entity could specify that to play in their league, a team can't have a payroll higher than "x". Then members of the NHL (the teams), have to sign a contract with the NHL that they will keep their payroll under "x". The ones that don't agree can always start their own leagues or something else. Of course, they would probably have to reform, but the NHL could have rules for owners wishing to join their league.

About the other things that you're saying, I don't think they hold much truth. There are new leagues forming all the time with rules such as a salary cap before even putting one player under contract (ie:WHA).

P.S.: Also, as far as anti trust laws are concerned, it could be argued that the labor market competition is international, proven by the fact a lot of NHLers got contracts around the world for nice amount of money. The same can't be said for Baseball, (american) Football and Basketball, where there aren't any league around the world of the same caliber, mostly because those are american sports. Also, I can't see why a contract clause between the NHL and the teams stating something like "The teams that play in the NHL, for competitivity reasons, must not spend more than x on player salaries. If a team wishes to increase their payroll over x, they can freely disassociate from the league to pursue their own venture". Besides, it's not like they won't negociate a new CBA pretty soon after re-starting".

Last edited by SuperUnknown: 09-16-2004 at 10:40 PM.
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