The NHL GMs just finished up their meetings in Naples, Fla., and the general belief is that the salary cap probably won't change much for next year.
The good thing about the NHL's collective bargaining agreement is that it is a partnership with the players, and that players get a bigger percentage of the money if the league is profitable and a smaller part if the league is not as profitable. The bad part of the CBA is that the formula takes about a year to kick in. Because season tickets for this year were bought a year ago, the league will still post decent profits this year. And this year determines what next year's cap will be.
Now, the guess is that ticket sales will down in a big way next year and that will affect the salary cap in 2010-11.
What everyone expects to happen then is that many teams will spend below the cap next season, so when they are negotiating contracts this summer, they will be negotiating deals based on internal budgets and not on the cap (which could be at $56 million.
It will be very interesting to see what happens.
I believe players should get whatever they can, and that owners shouldn't spend money they don't have. I also believe that NHL players will be plenty happy with reduced salaries when those salaries are still in the millions of dollars.
The key to all of this is the NHL teams have to lower ticket prices to get fans back in the building. If they do that, then I honestly believe everything will work out fine for owners, players and fans.
So do you agree or do you think Armageddon is out there for the business of hockey?