Saturday, October 02, 2004

Lockout talk.

It sounds so reasonable to say, "hey, the NBA has a salary cap, why can't the NHL?"

But while the NBA cap was $43.8 million in 2003-2004, look at what the actual payrolls were:

1) New York Knicks $94.5 million
2) Portland Trail Blazers $84.3
3) Dallas Mavericks $78.6
4) Minnesota Timberwolves $72.4
5) Sacramento Kings $69.5
6) Los Angeles Lakers $64.8
7) New Jersey Nets $63.1
8) Atlanta Hawks $63.1

The next 13 teams were also anywhere from $1 million to $12 million over.

In other words, the NBA "salary cap" looks a lot like the NHL status quo. There's a massive gap between the haves and have-nots, only a few teams really have a chance to win the championship and several clubs pay way too much for way too little. The Spurs and Pistons are the equivalent of the Devils and the Lightning, mid-sized payroll teams who win.

Give Bob Goodenow a "soft cap" like the NBA's and the lockout could end next week. Wouldn't solve anything, but let's not buy into ownership's myth that the players are stubbornly refusing to consider a system that works in other sports.
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