Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/01/06 at 12:20 AM ET
Commissioner Gary Bettman enters his 14th year as the head of a sport that continues to evolve after its radical makeover. He recently spoke to the Pioneer Press from his New York office. PP: The salary cap increased to $44 million from $39 million because of record revenues. Is the cap acting as a magnet for spending by teams or a management tool? GB: I think it's a management tool. If you check what happened last year, there was no rhyme or reason. There were plenty of teams that spent near or to the cap didn't make the playoffs. There were plenty of teams that spent at midpoint or below and did make the playoffs, and you had a $32 (million) team (Carolina) face off against a $34 (million, Edmonton) in the Finals. What the cap provides is a range within which a well-managed club can be competitive if there anywhere in the range. There's no magic to spending to the cap. If you spend to the cap, you may lose your flexibility to deal with trade opportunities or deal with injuries. If I were running a team, I would try to be around the midpoint. There's no reason you can't be competitive when you're within $6-8 million of the cap.read on...many topics touched upon...
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