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09-19-2003, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: San Diego
Forget a cap of any kind, it's not going to solve all problems, as some infer.
Owners should instead concentrate on elimination (ideally) or at least the defanging of,
a process which is the antithesis of a salary cap, in that it
artificially inflates salaries
Bettman should tell Goodenow: "Fine, no cap of any kind. And, we'll even agree to lowering the UFA age to 28, as long as the player's original team has the right to match (like NBA). But you give up arbitration rights."
Players will come out of the deal with more liberal FA rights, teams will have the ability to retain roster continuity if they choose (by matching FA salary offers), and owners place a drag on runaway salaries, at the source of the problem - arbitration - which begins long before UFA status. Effectively, teams would have cost certainty with players, in whom they have invested time and money drafting and developing, through the majority of those players' 20s. Likewise, players would be paid much "fairer" market value, in that they wouldn't be able to "cash in" on an absurd arbitration award, based on just one or two good seasons.
Not naive enough to think NHLPA would accept that offer, but it is an alternative starting point.
I understand the logic behind ridding the league of weak (economically speaking) franchises, and 90s over-expansion was clearly misguided. However, it's worth noting that, far as I can tell, any pro sports league that has ever starting dissolving franchises en mass, within short time dissolved, itself. (See: ABA, WHA, USFL.)
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