The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Ultimate Soft Cap

Okay, this one really intrigues me:

Imagine that Trevor Linden and the NHLPA puts this before the NHL - The players take their 24% pay cuts on existing contracts, adjusted for a reduced season, for 2005. They then do that again in 2005-06, basing things on the proposal by the NHLPA again.

However, something different this time around: the league payroll is computed for opening night rosters. If that amount is more than 54% of total computed (and agreed-upon) revenues at the end of the season, a salary cap kicks in for 2006-07.

Simple, right? Players don't have to take the "big" contracts, and the league will get a soft, "unofficial" cap. The hardest part would be determining what consists of revenue - but they could extend that discussion out through June of this year. It would also have to be incremental, in that each year of the contract, the percentage goes up by 0.5% (or some other figure). Each year after the season is over, if league-wide payroll exceeds the revenues by the figure for that particular year - boom, it's cap time.

But if it doesn't... the NHL still gets its cap, in a backwards sort of way. And the NHLPA gets the opportunity to get used to living under a cap.

The sealer to the deal would be to have a final year "uncapped" if each season prior did not go over the set percentages. The NHLPA could argue that it would be reasonable, since by that time the league would be (hopefully) back in the black. Who knows, they could conceivably do like the NFL and continue to extend the contract so that "last year" never comes.

This has a lot of potential. I just hope it's something both sides can consider.