What changes would you most like to see in the next CBA? Which proposed changes would you least like to see?
Lyle Richardson: Ideally, I’d like to see the owners give up this misguided perception that continually slashing the players share of revenue is the cure-all to their woes. They tried it in this CBA, and it didn’t work. Slashing it again won’t change the result. Instead, I believe the owners need to embrace the reality that the only way to help their struggling brethren is improved revenue sharing. I realize the NHL can never have a system like the NFL’s, since that league makes considerably more revenue, but surely a system can be implemented to be of better assistance to teams which genuinely need it.
Paul Kukla: I would like to see teams having the ability to move or accept cash. Instead of a trade, let’s say it is a player with a cap hit of $6 million, the team can accept a player in return along with a cash payment. Maybe put a limit on it, say 50% of the cap hit, but it will give the teams that are struggling some additional cash and give the teams who can afford the money to possibly get stronger.
Don’t tell me that the strong will get stronger and the weak will get weaker, both sides still can make the decision and are not being forced into this type of trade/cash transaction.
Proposed changes? How about increasing the dollar amount the NHL can fine a player? Right now the maximum is $2500 and I would like to see it increased to $10,000.
How about more drug testing throughout the year? If a player is not using any illegal or banned drug, he should have no issue to agreeing to this.
Jesse Spector: I don’t particularly care how the money is split. So long as the league continues on something close to its current track, everyone is going to be very wealthy. I would love to see a change to the standings system to a format with three points for a regulation win, but I am not holding out hope that it will actually happen. There have not been any ideas that I have heard that are particularly galling — the main thing that I don’t want to see is myself waiting outside NHL headquarters to talk to negotiators in the middle of November.
Tyler Altemose: I know the players won’t like to hear this, but the two things I’m most interested in seeing in the next CBA is a cap on term limits (non-guaranteed contracts) and an amnesty clause (of course, that could just be the Flyers fan in me talking). The only thing these big contracts do is straddle teams (especially those near the cap) and reflects the current ambiguity of the anti-circumvention clauses.
The new CBA needs to be defined in such a manner that there is little to no question about what kind of contracts will and will not be acceptable. An amnesty clause will allow a GM to “save themselves” by buying out one contract without having to take that cap hit. I am of the opinion that there are more than a few GMs that want to do that.