Helping the players with their CBA proposal, and other Leaflets

The salary cap is frustrating to some. I find it frightfully interesting, and I’m not sure if Donald Fehr’s threat to remove the salary cap really benefits most of the players in the NHL.

What’s ended up happening in the capped league is that the best players signed contracts for millions of dollars, locking them into a set dollar figure even while the cap around them rose. That gave teams the room to sign depth players, who make up the majority of union membership.

So perhaps Fehr’s threat is harmless. It throws a wrench into this lockout speculation though, and I’m sure one of our lawyer friends speculated that the Players’ Association might look into removing the cap.

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“If this goes on for an extended period of time, I don’t know what they (the players) are going to do. But I think it’s safe to say, they would be exploring all options,” said Fehr.

He added the players can live with salary cap if an agreement can be reached quickly.

Fehr says he has “ideas” regarding a new proposal, but none include rolling back salaries.

“Maybe we should make a simple proposal that the starting point ought to be, maybe the players and owners each live up to the letter of the individual contracts,” said Fehr.

If that’s the major point of contention, I’m sure that the owners can give a reasonable concession there. Honour the current contracts, slowly slide back the player’s share of hockey-related revenue, and a third suggestion I’d have would be to limit the gap between the floor and the cap.

While the NFL also has a tonne of revenue sharing, I think part of their deal is making sure teams spend to a certain amount of the cap. Right now there’s a $16M divide between the salary floor and ceiling in the NHL.

Last season, for instance, 19 teams spent above the midpoint of $56.3M, according to Capgeek. The excess goes into escrow. This year, there was a more even 15-15 team split, but that was only because a few teams were cautious going into the labour negotiations. You don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of the salary ceiling when we come out of this.

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The flip side for a lower ceiling is a higher floor, which, again, benefits the majority of membership. This isn’t a system that rewards the best players in the game, but read on to the first link…


  • Bitter Leaf has a post over at Pension Plan Puppets where he argues that “the game of hockey has no advocate at the bargaining table”. No presented proposal promises to fix the flaws in the system. [Pension Plan Puppets]
  • Here’s a recap of the second and final preseason game over at the Hot Stove. [MLHS]
  • And Hockey Buzz has a list of the cuts. While Dallas Eakins wasn’t able to cut all of the Marlies, he was able to cut a lot of them. Eakins really liked Sam Carrick’s hustle. That’s why it was so difficult to cut him. [Hockey Buzz]
  • Around the Nations, Kent looks at Mikael Backlund’s debut with Västerås of the Allsvenskan league. [Flames Nation]
  • Yesterday I criticized one group’s plan to protest the lockout. Oilers Nation has a much better plan, supporting local business and charity. [Oilers Nation]
  • This is my own, but since Milan Lucic is a division rival of the Toronto Maple Leafs, I thought I’d share it here. He’s a fundamentally-flawed hockey player whose career is a crisis of expectation. [Canucks Army]

Stay tuned later for today’s KHL highlights from Steve and Andrey.

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