An Idea for a new CBA

When the talks began there has been nothing but bad news and more bad news as to how far apart the NHL and the NHLPA are in finding an agreement. In one corner we have the owners with their need for cost certainty to ‘level’ the playing field, and in the other we have the players who want to continue to make as much money as possible. Well, I believe that would mean that we are at an impass. The question is not when will we get a new CBA, rather the question is who will bend first?I have a proposal that I think would be benificial and it is similar to what the WHA was thinking. It does involve a cap, but it is not on the overall cost of player salaries, but on the individual salaries of the players. Here is what I think they should do:

1. Each team is allowed 2 players over $4.5 mil per year (not to exceed $7 or $8 mil).

2. Each team is then allowed to sign as many players as they need up to $4.5 mil per year.

3. Entry-level contracts cannot exceed 2 mil per year (including incentives) for the first three years of a player’s career.

4. Free agents are restricted (similar to todays) until age 28yr and then UFA when their respective contracts end.

5. Free agents are allowed to be created if the team decides to buy out the players contract at 75% of the value. If this happens the player is automatically a UFA regardless of age.

Although this will allow the wealthier teams to sign alot of the middle road players it garantees that now one team will have three or more high end players, unless they are willing to take a pay cut. This in turn creates the drive for players to sign for less to be on a team they feel is where they will win. This will keep the owners happy because they are leveling the playing field with the number of large contracts being restricted. This also helps the players in the fact that they can become RFA’s at 28, and a team can get as many players as they want for uner 4.5 mil per. These are compromises that each side should be willing to give up to get it to work. Player salaries will continue to increase and this way there is alotment for plyers to grow their salaries and to test the free agnet market earlier.

Let me know what you think.