The Detroit red Wings have announced the Traverse City Prospect Tournament has been cancelled in what some may seem as ownerships first shot across the NHLPA's bow.
I have a couple of ideas on some of the issues that both have. Feel free to agree or disagree and all input is appreciated. There are many websites that are petitioning to the players and owners not to cancel a season. Well in theory this is all nice, but we need to be able to afford the NHL experience when this is all over. Having both sides win would mean that the FANS will lose out! How about BOTH the NHLPA and NHL owners give the fans a break. What both the NHLPA and NHL have to realize is that unemployment is over 8% in most U.S. cities where hockey is played. Most fans are having to take ROLLBACKS in salary or benefits or sometimes both.
To the common fan that has to get to a game(in which tolls and mass transit have gone up), the food (all increased), ticket prices(all increased), jerseys/souvenirs(all increased), and even television(all increased) so to hear which side of the millionaires is upset more really doesn't relate to the common fan. A night out to go see a game for a family of 4 is easily over $300 at a minimum. Hockey arenas are much smaller than baseball and football stadiums but players are making comparable money for the size of fans that it would take to fill each arena/stadium. Does the NHL want to be like the MLB? Does the NHL want to out price the fans that support their teams??
Here are a few ideas: A disciplinary board of retired player, retired ref, retired GM, commisioner of NHL and Commisioner of NHLPA. The reason why the first 3 are RETIRED is that they would have no allegience to anyone playing(or could be trusted to be fair) and the majority wins. There should be SET punishments and not just what 1 person feels is right. This way it would be black and white what the punishments are and would keep players from "rolling the dice they could get a break".
Keep the percentage of players and owners where they are now(use this as the base) and over the next 5-7 years only up the cap by whatever the national wage levels increase and ticket prices can also match the same. Keep the Cap where it is now to start and have all hockey operational cost fit under the CAP. SO say if the National wage levels of the USA/Canada go up by 2% (which would be what the average fan get sincreased in their pay) the Owners can only go up 2% in revenue(which will keep ticket prices close to the same) and the NHLPA can have the CAP up only 2%. Let's face it, only the fans feel the increase while the NHLPA and the NHL owners are fighting over OUR money!!
The smaller market teams would have to put all revenue sharing into their payroll to make their team better. Let's face it, a better team brings more fans into the arena. I do like a luxury tax for the bigger market teams that would go into revenue sharing for the needy teams that can't survive on their own. If their is left over money from payroll, make the teams use the money in marketing the team to the cities fanbase and surronding area. The NHL T.V. money should be split among the smaller market teams also. I do not feel it is fair for the larger market teams to be paying for the smaller market teams to survive while the smaller markets do nothing to help themselves. Again, have SET rules that teams HAVE TO FULFILL to be eligible to recieve the revenue shared money.
Give the owners the ELC to 5 years and a player can't reach UFA untill year 8 which would normally have most players at their prime. If a team is under the cap, I agree with the thought they should be allowed to trade for the cap space. There are so many othe points I could go on for hours but you all may fall asleep at the keyboard :-)
In typing all of this, I could see some of this happening and some of it is just wishful thinking that t he NHL won't outprice the regular fan from being able to purchase season tickets plus playoff tickets(which almost cost as much as the whole season). LET'S GO RANGERS!!
Spreading the wealth is bad business and will lead to a third work stoppage under your watch. You need to be realistic and step in and make this work. You already have a cap and a floor, just add the luxury tax and make the teams that reaceive the money from the tax have to use it towards their NHL payroll. Rich teams will always be rich teams, fans will always be fans. You have the chance to make this league a top three sport and with teams with huge followings looking to be at the top of the standings now, and also the new fans learning the game. A lost season or even late start will take all those borderline and new fans and have them turn their focus to Football, baseballs pennant race, and waiting for the NBA pushing the NHL further back to the 4th sport.