I see what they're trying to do with the cap and for the most part it's having its desired effect. The floor, not so much.
I don't know about that... how did Florida make the playoffs for the first time in a decade?
__________________ "Itís not as if Donald Fehr was lying to us, several players said. Rather, itís as if he has been economical with information, these players believe, not sharing facts these players consider to be vital."
20 years ago, the office of NHL commissioner was proposed. The emphasis was to be on the growth of the game.
Is the original ideal too idealistic to be realistic in the twenty-first century?
The problem is that while once upon a time sports commissioners where absolute dictators over their sports (courtesy of the government intervention in the wake of the Black Sox scandal), since the 1980s the owners of all the major sports leagues have in essence broken the powers of the commissioners and wrested that power back into their hands. No league is ever going to allow someone to have power over the owners again and the people they hire as commissioners are hired under full knowledge that they work for the owners not the other way around. Short of another government intervention similar to what occurred with the Black Sox scandal it simply is not going to happen.
Using MLB as the precedent, "the best interests of the game" was something that was rarely exercised but basically served as dictatorial powers. Landis used it to clean up the game, but refused to use it on integration. Chandler didn't need to use it to clean up the game, but did use it on integration. Bowie Kuhn used it to outlaw the sale of contracts, which I find to be incredibly short-sighted and damaging. In the NHL, I think Bettman used it to veto the Ziggy Palffy trade to the Rangers, as well as the Lecavalier trade to Montreal. In the NFL, Bert Bell used it in dealing with players accused of gambling in the 1940s, and Pete Rozelle with the same in the 1960s.
"The best interests of the game" is a lot like the judgment in the Jacobellis v. Ohio court case, which dealt with pornography. Justice Potter Stewart famously wrote in his concurrence that, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it."
In short, there is no definition of "the best interests of the game". I don't believe it possible for there to be one. That's why having strong leadership with a strong knowledge of history is vital. The Kuhn decision on sale of contracts, for example, was short-sighted by someone who was typically short-sighted (this showed in other things that he refused to address). In sports, there are two liquid forms of currency: draft picks and cash. MLB doesn't allow draft picks to be traded, never have and possibly never will. Kuhn unilaterally outlawing the sale of contracts while maintaining the ban on trade of draft picks was incredibly short-sighted, and dare I say continued a trend toward competitive imbalance that directly flies in the face of the best interests of any North American pro league. He did it because of a personal feud with Charlie Finley, who was himself entirely wrong in the matter as well.
Kuhn also used those "best interests of baseball" powers to end a lockout over the heads of the owners. He was fired not long afterwards. Subsequent baseball commissioners know not to use their office to try and override the owners.