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Discussing The Salary Cap

from Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey,

Media speculation grew this past week over the possibility the National Hockey League might be considering lowering the salary cap ceiling in the next round of collective bargaining with its players to $48 million.

Of course it must be remembered labor talks between the league and PA aren’t expected to begin until the end of 2011-12, so with two more years to go anything can happen and this rumored cap lowering could amount to nothing.

Currently there’s been no comment from league spokesmen, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman or his lieutenant Bill Daly on the matter, though if left to percolate in the media during the dog days of summer it could become an issue which cannot be avoided by the league.

If however the league is seriously considering a reduction of the cap it could have serious consequences, not just in labor talks with its players or at the risk of another possible labor war which could result in yet another work stoppage via lockout or player strike, but upon teams which have kept pace with the ever-increasing cap since its implementation in 2005.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


cs6687's avatar

This is, hopefully, just a rumor. This situation is very different from the previous CBA talks, where around six teams were making it very difficult for the other 24. Now, under a salary cap system, the teams that spend to the cap may be punished because 1/4 of the league can’t keep up? That’s insane.

The current CBA does enough to help teams stay competitive, and there is no correlation between spending to the cap and success. Phoenix and Nashville are examples of that. Speaking of Nashville, it intentionally doesn’t spend to get more revenue sharing. Yes, they try to win. But they could also, I don’t know, use that revenue sharing to bring in the two or three players they need to win it all.

It would be a shame to punish the Penguins, Red Wings, Flyers, and similar teams whose goal is to win a Stanley Cup each and every season to help teams like Phoenix, Atlanta, and Columbus.

Posted by cs6687 on 07/18/10 at 12:57 PM ET

calquake's avatar

The one thing that stood out to me from the article is that the league seems intent on artificially giving bottom teams a helping hand.  If a team cannot compete (both on the ice and at the box office) then it doesn’t belong in the NHL.  Let the free market work.  Teams that can’t make it shouldn’t hold back the rest of the teams.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 07/18/10 at 01:31 PM ET


The players already gave a lot of grounds to the owners last time around by not only accepting a salary cap but more importantly linkage and therefore escrow account funded by players (currently double digit percentage discount given to owners to maintain the relationship between total revenue and total player compensation).  If linkage and escrow remains the same for the next CBA, the cap level simply changes salary distribution among players (contracts signed when the cap is higher make those players richer than other players) but does not change the size of the pie for the players.  It could be true that the NHLPA may not care too much (lower cap only means lower or even negative escrow) but fans and player agents are definitely going to revolt, as well as some of the teams mentioned in the article.  Last time around, the large market owners supported the push because having linkage and cap meant higher profit for them.  This time, a lower cap, assuming linkage stays the same, overall hurt the large market teams.  Plus I am not sure the struggling teams would like a lower cap because revenue sharing from escrow would be much lower.  So unless owners are willing to give up linkage and escrow, I don’t see how a lower cap becomes reality.

Posted by Kel on 07/18/10 at 02:13 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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