According to NHLPA President Trevor Linden:
Fans have asked me what’s wrong with accepting a salary cap like the ones used in football and basketball. Besides imposing severe and artificial limits on the market value of a player, salary caps also handcuff team managements. To stay under cap limits, clubs are forced to get rid of popular players or to take a pass on signing players who could help the club improve. Fans take a back seat under salary cap systems, where accountants rule, players come and go and winning becomes secondary.Hmm, why did Doug Weight, Bill Guerin, and Curtis Joseph get moved from Edmonton? Oh, because winning was the most important thing for the Oilers?
Artificial limits on the market value of a player - YES! That's the point! You need to create an artificial market if you want Edmonton, Calgary, Pittsburg, Ottawa, etc, to compete with New York, Detroit, and Toronto!
There are two possibilities here:
1. That the players and the NHLPA don't understand. This is possible since the average education of a professional hockey player isn't up there but I have to believe they are capable of understanding the situation.
2. That the players are the NHLPA are lying about their reasons for opposing a salary cap. Their real reasons might be:
- they want to keep their proportion of league revenue
- they want to increase their proportion of league revenue
- they want to use it as a bargaining chip to keep their proportion of league revenue closer to the 75% market than the NHL proposed 53%.
I think the last point is where Goodenow is going - he will be give in on a salary cap eventually but we wants it to be around 60-70% of league revenues. The NFL cap is around 64% of revenues and the NBA cap is around 58%.
A good interview with Bettman is provided on the NHL website. Here's an exerpt regarding the cap:
Despite my feelings that Bettman is a weasly lawyer from New York, I'm with him on this one.
Q. If you are talking about getting back to the negotiating table, under your system of cost certainty, is that negotiating what percentage the players would take? Are you going to negotiate 53 up to 60, or 67, 59?
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: Obviously we would be happy to talk about any elements of a partnership. The Union, though, under every system that we proposed, says, 'that system is a salary cap. We won't talk about it.' But at the same time they say they want the marketplace.
Let me pause a second on the notion of a marketplace. When you focus on player salaries and player contracts in professional sports, everybody seems to start with the notion that the players are entitled to do that. The players are represented by a Union. The Union negotiates a collective bargaining agreement. The only way that the players get individual negotiations for their salaries is because you agree to it in a collective bargaining agreement. There is no rule, there is no law, there is no fundamental tenet from anywhere that says you have to agree to individual negotiations. So if you do agree to individual negotiations, then you define the parameters of those negotiations. That's how the marketplace is defined. The marketplace is not defined by individual negotiations. The marketplace is defined by the collective bargaining agreement.