As I sit here, at 4:30 in the morning, not being able to sleep due to numerous reasons, I search my feelings on what has happened over the last 40 hours. "Marketplace, marketplace, marketplace"... I hear it over and over in my head. It's like a bad dream. I have tried, without much success, to look on the positive side of things when it comes to the Sabres situation. As I ponder the "what could have beens" and "what should've beens" and the "the bottom line", I realize that the system is once again flawed.
I'm not talking about just the Sabres here. There are other small market teams who went to sleep over the last 40 hours also. And, of course, the mighty big market teams have gobbled up the big names. What suprises me the most is that there was a system in place to stop this from happening. King Bettman said this needed to happen in order to ensure the stability of the NHL. The owners got what they wanted, and the players got what they wanted, for the most part. Good job, guys! The system is still flawed! Worse now than it was before!
Let's see: Let's raise the cap 26% in the first 2 years! That will be alright for the small market teams! Well, let's see: The biggest loss went to the Sabres, losing their two best players to contracts that, by all means, the Sabres could not afford. New Jersey lost Gomez to a contract they could not compete with, along with a few other teir 2 FA's. Those are just two of the big losers here.
Ottawa, come next year, will be in a heap of trouble. They will be lucky to sign 1 of either Heatly, Spezza, or Fischer. The other two will get the Heavy, front loaded contracts to luer them to the Big Cities. Then what are they left with? The Islanders got smoked in the last 40 hours! They should have been able to keep one of their two big names that left. At last count, they have lost either 4 or 5 key players, and what have they got left? A trip back down to the basement. Montreal, once a city young players dreamed of playing in, were hog tied. Montreal, people! When is this all gonna end?
There were other teams that kept a lid on things because they just can't compete with the big, front-end loaded contracts being offered. This CBA is flawed in a big way, and another lock-out is on the way, quicker than you can even imagine. There needs to be an ammendment to the CBA: Put a bigger limit on the amount a team can offer per year. If this continues, we are going to see the old NHL back in no time. The Have-not teams will have to revert to a newer type of trap that will bottle up the middle so the Have teams will be neutralized, once again limiting games to boring, pre-lockout 1-0 games.
Way to go, Gary! You're getting just what you wanted: Big market teams being showcased! Go back to the NBA! I don't think you are wanted here anymore...