No Salary Cap! Er…Wait…

With the current CBA running out on September 15th, 2004, the NHLPA is taking a stand against the cost certainty (that’s legalese for “salary cap”).

So…the players won’t play under a salary cap, right? Well, not exactly…
…With the new CBA, the NHL owners are desperate to get some form of financial stability in the league. Whatever the cause of the problems, anyone with a brain can see that the salary situation in the league is the problem. Was it the greedy players who caused salaries to skyrocket, or was it the stupid owners who kept outbidding each other and offering less-than-star-players multi-million dollar contracts each season? For the sake of this discussion, it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that the owners are trying to get a cap in place to guarantee that teams like the New York Rangers, Detroit Redwings and Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t able to sign anyone they want because they have more money, while teams like the Edmonton Oilers continue to turn out young talent for the rest of the league to eat up as soon as they become UFA’s (or worse, as we saw with Comrie).

The Players Association, acting on good faith for its players doesn’t want to see a cap in place.

However, if there is a brave stand against the cap next year, and the NHL is not is session, players will be playing under salary caps. Uh…what?

The WHA announced its draft exemptions for their first draft this summer.

Dallas – Brett Hull (unrestricted Free Agent)

Detroit – Chris Chelios (unrestricted Free Agent)

Florida – Martin St. Louis (restricted Free Agent)

Halifax – Glen Murray (unrestricted Free Agent)

Hamilton – Paul Kariya (unrestricted Free Agent)

Québec – Mike Ribeiro (restricted Free Agent)

Toronto – Chris Phillips (restricted Free Agent)

All are obviously members of the NHLPA, but appear to be scheduled for a date with the WHA and its salary cap – a cap at least twice as low as what the NHL owners are suggesting. Obviously this is all based on if there is a lockout, if the players want to play in the WHA, if the WHA even starts and other issues, but the idea is clear. Free Agents from the AHL and NHL will play under salary caps in Europe and North America next season if they’re not in the NHL…because they don’t want a salary cap.

I may not be a Rhodes Scholar, but that doesn’t seem kosher to me.


on a personal note, I’m happy to be writing articles for HTR again after an absence of a year or so.

28 Responses to No Salary Cap! Er…Wait…

  1. mysterio says:

    Hasn’t there just been about 5 articles like this? Ugh. What crap, offseason sucks matteo’s mother’s testicles.

  2. cgolding says:

    no one knows if those guys will actually play in the WHA… they were just exempted. they could decide to go play in Europe as well, seeing as the WHA has said it isn’t going to allow very many players(1 or 2) to recieve the ability to go back to the NHL whenever the season starts up again…

    europe, ask joe thornton, is the option i think most will take.

  3. tmeyers says:

    If the NHL is going to survive…it NEEDS a salary cap. Hey, if the players dont like it…leave! Hire nonunion players (unions are obsolete. There are enough federal laws to protect people now. People just use unions for more pay and less work).


  4. markjohnston says:

    well, it seems like a pretty random group if they haven’t expressed at least SOME interest to play in the WHA.

    my guess is that they have made some sort of interest clear.

    I’m with you though, I’d go play in europe where the leagues are stable and the living’s good!

  5. cgolding says:

    Dallas – Brett Hull (unrestricted Free Agent)

    Detroit – Chris Chelios (unrestricted Free Agent)

    Florida – Martin St. Louis (restricted Free Agent)

    Halifax – Glen Murray (unrestricted Free Agent)

    Hamilton – Paul Kariya (unrestricted Free Agent)

    Québec – Mike Ribeiro (restricted Free Agent)

    Toronto – Chris Phillips (restricted Free Agent)

    that’s not a random group of guys for the most part… Hull has drawing power in Dallas… likewise for Chelios in Detroit and St. Louis in Florida, Murray is from Halifax is he not? and Ribeiro is already playing in Montreal…

  6. cgolding says:

    AHL players don’t have anything to do with the NHL labor problem… A few may go across if they feel better money is really available to them, which i doubt, but the AHL will be playing next year regardless of the NHL’s situation.

  7. flyersfan10897 says:

    think comcast would be willing to show 80 phantoms games a year? id watch them, especially if richards, carter, ruzicka, seidenberg, and niittymaki are playing.

  8. markjohnston says:

    ya, but would mike ribeiro really be quebec’s FIRST choice?

  9. 19Yzerman says:

    Salary Caps are no form of free enterprise market . In an economy based on capitalism to have a salary cap would be Communist.The NHLPA has intentions of allowing higher skilled players to make more money then lower skilled players. Now that Capitalism. The owners screaming for a salary cap are basically saying that there will not be any teams that will make larger sums of money by controlling the ability to gain from investment. Now that in Socialism.

  10. Pavel_Bure_NYR says:

    Thanx to the leafs the NHL will push even harder for 1

  11. tmeyers says:

    I meant that because they all work together (the player “COMMUNITY”) to gain more money (which they do not deserve). Being in Aerospace i have seen my fair share of bullshit union strikes and all that other crap. Just look at the other sports…football is the prime example. With a salary cap and revenue sharing, the teams are equall and everyone has a chance. Just because someone is a “high Skilled” player doesnt give him exception from greed and envy. And just like Football…free agency is killing the game. The truth of the matter is it is just entertainment and really serves no function but that….do they deserve more money? in my opinion NO. infact they should be makings less. And the owners DO DESERVE to make more…after all they do own and operate a business. With a cap they can structure it the current operating business conditions and climate (on avg). So even the teams that have a lower attendance can recover and compete. When a team cant afford a star player, they dont get revenues from memorabelia or anything else they may make off a star name and hence the downward spiral continues.

    When i say “communist” i didnt mean the BS American propaganda version, I meant the historical meaning derivative from commune and community. Unions are nothing more than rackets and organized crimelords extorting money from owners that are at there mercy.

  12. Primis says:

    This exact article and thread was somewhat interesting the first time I read it when it was posted yesterday by mitchman [].

    So do any of you have original thoughts or ideas anymore or are capable of original articles, or should I just give up entirely on this place?

    — Primis.

  13. markjohnston says:

    did you even READ the article or just look at one paragraph of it?

  14. 19Yzerman says:

    I agree that at times some unions such as the ones for the airlines baggage handlers who have been known to purposely misplace baggage because of a labor dispute is bullshit. However if not for unions somepeople would be taken advantage of by companies. You need to see the movie”NET WORTH” which depicts the formation of the NHLPA. I will say that a team with 22 guys named Wayne Gretzky would enjoy more success and earn more revenue than a team with 22 guys named Mathew Barnaby. So you see Skill equals revenue and that deserves compensation. I am of the opinion that if the owners are losing as much money as they claim to be then they should prove it by opening each teams finance books for the NHLPA to see. If the players are to be paid less I feel that the consumer should pay less to see them. As far as words like Communism, Socialism or Capitalism being BS American propaganda. Look the word capitalism up in the dictionary and see how it applies to a Salary cap.

  15. Enigma says:

    There will probably be a lot more too, unfortunately.

  16. EmptyNetter says:

    Don’t mind Primis. He’s always a Mr. Pissypants.

  17. EmptyNetter says:

    (Sigh) There is no such thing as a free market economy except in theory or perhaps the black market. For the NHL to operate as a free market it would be necessary to allow teams to declare bankruptcy and then cease to exist. Also, each player’s salary would also be subject to change on a daily basis and players could switch teams at a moment’s notice.

    In the real world there are limits on what an employer can ask of a worker and vice versa. There are anti trust laws to ensure that one company doesn’t have an unfair advantage over another. Players’ unions and salary caps operate for the same reason. The only problem now is that both sides are believing that they are right and are not looking to make sacrifices for the longevity of the NHL.

  18. Expuffin says:

    You want to explain that comment?

  19. NYR-Rangers says:

    i have no clue wat u just said

  20. Memtown says:

    Primus please give up on us b/c seeing dumb a** comments like yours could be something I can live with out.

    I think free agency is killing the game alittle bit b/c players doen’t serve out their careers in one city. But even the great’s moved around such as Bourque and Gretzky.hmmm.

    I wish I had been around in the days were players didn’t make as much and played for the love of the game and not this money crap. You know when the players were paid in peanuts and treated like indentured servants. Those were the good old days.

  21. Shortstuff says:

    Yes, Pls give up, Bcause the sarcastic snide remarks are just making my stomach hurt.

  22. greengiant says:

    … said the Ranger fan

  23. greengiant says:

    that’s why you’re a Ranger fan

  24. rojoke says:

    No player in his prime is going to permanently make a move to the WHA. The only reason why it happened the last time was because they were offering more money than NHL clubs. So, in a roundabout way, the WHA has become the cause of the problem, and is now trying to be a solution.

    And as for the guys playing under caps in Europe, they do it only because they have to. It’s the European system, so there’s not a whole lot they can do about it. Plus, it will only be on a short-term basis, so it’s not like they’ll won’t be coming back. Of course, if they were “really against” caps of any kind, they wouldn’t play anywhere where except in the NHL. They wouldn’t want to be thought of as hypocritical, would they?

  25. wheresthesoda says: giant

    whats with you??..pissin off ranger can go ***** yourself.

    green giant, what are you talking about your dick?

    it might be big, but its green, thats *****in gross

  26. Primis says:

    I read the article. Sorry, it didn’t bring anything new to the table. The WHA thing has already been reported on, the CBA debated to death, and this article brings nothing new.

    Some of you need to think before you submit…

    — Primis.

  27. 19Yzerman says:

    You stated, “There are anti trust laws to ensure that one company doesn’t have an unfair advantage over another.” Anti trust laws are to protect trade and commerce from unlawful restraints and monopolies. There are 30 teams so there is no monoploy situation. A cap does not apply to the anti trust law. That is like telling Walmart. HEY!!! YOU are using to much money to make money and now kmart cannot survive so you are now limited to only using Capital equal to that of kmart. Now we have parity in commerce.

  28. DarkPhoenix says:


    YOUR New York Rangers are the #1 primary cause of this situation in the NHL!

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