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12-11-2004, 12:47 PM
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People act like the players are showing their entire hand with this proposal, when of course there will still be lots of room to move.

The significant move here was the admission that the game was in trouble and the 24% rollback. The NHL will probably respond accordingly and make a concession of their own - abandon the cap but counter-propose a very, very stiff luxury tax. Once this happens, the two sides are at least negotiating on the same playing field (that the game is in trouble and a luxury tax is a reasonable way to address things), and a settlement is possible. Previously the players were unreasonably claiming that the game wasn't in financial trouble, and the owners were unreasonably claiming that a cap was the only way to fix it.

On issues like arbitration, rookie bonuses, and the like, the NHLPA isn't going to give away their entire hand now. The NHL is going to ask for enormous concessions on these fronts, so they're starting with some limited concessions and expecting to settle in the middle. It's how a negotiation works, but for some reason people love to act like this is a final proposal and interpret the effect it would have on the game, which is a completely useless process.

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