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09-17-2004, 02:12 AM
  #46
Tom_Benjamin
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smail
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.
It is totally true. The NHL entity cannot specify this. If they could specify it, don't you think the NHL would have already done it? They must get the agreement of their employees or it is illegal.

Half the hare brained schemes suggested on these boards for forcing the players back to work at a lower wage are illegal. It is very easy to argue that the only really good rationale for a player's union these days is competitive balance. The players aren't like welders or machinists. They negotiate their own contracts. What does the union do for them? It allows the league to work legally with rules to prevent all the best players ending up in New York or Toronto.

Some people seem to think that the existing CBA is structured so the players would get more than they would get in a completely open market. It is hard to tell whether this is true or not. I doubt it, but maybe. I'm sure they would get more in a completely open market than they will in a "salary cap at $31 million" world.

If the players decide to chuck the union at some point during this dispute, NHL teams won't be able to do anything at all to suppress wages. They will not be able to hold an entry draft. No entry level salary system. No restricted free agents. No compensation for lost UFA's. They will not hold the rights to any player beyond the term of each contract.

The NHL needs the union more than the players do.

Tom

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