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Marlton, NJ • United States •
Can somebody explain to me why the National Hockey League is allowed to negotiate a collective salary rollback? Do they not believe, as most all people do, that all contracts should be honored as signed? How would the owners react if Comcast/NBC reneged on their pact with the league? I cant imagine they would be very happy. It is because I believe this practice to be unfair that I pose this question: why should the players be FORCED to take the salary rollback?

My thoughts on this question is that they should not be forced to take these rollbacks. If the NHL wants to immediately have salaries rolled back down to a 50/50 level, then they certainly should be allowed to in order to be economically viable, as a whole. However, I also think that the players should be able to opt out of their rolled-back contracts, should they believe that their market value in the new environment is higher than their adjusted salary dictates. Obviously some players, like Wade Redden and Scott Gomez, would probably prefer to live with the rolled-back salaries. However, many players would love to have this option, especially those who are signed to long-term deals with their respective teams.

However, when I suggest that the players be able to opt-out, I don't mean that every player should be released into unrestricted free agency. Instead, think each team should be given a one-week exclusive negotiation period with their respective opted-out players with the hope of negotiating a new deal. After this one-week period, the players who have not signed would become RFA's. This would allow the teams to match all offers and allow the players to get true market value on a contract.

In an ideal world, this system would work out for everybody (actually, in an ideal world, the CBA wouldn't be this big of an issue). It would allow players to get what they're worth, allow the owners to pay less in salary, and sometimes even open the door for some teams to get a mulligan on some mistakes they made, like Nashville committing 9 figures to Shea Weber (I had to get some sort of Flyers spin in here). I'm sure there are holes in this, as there are in almost all proposals. Please, discuss below and let me know what you guys think.

Side note: This blog is my first
Filed Under:   CBA   alternative   NHL   negotiations   owners   players   Bettman  
October 29, 2012 4:22 PM ET | Delete
The problem is that those player aren't going to agree to take less in their new deal. They'll want the same. And if they don't get it. They'll let the week pass and shop their services elsewhere. Good effort, but not a realistic solution.
October 31, 2012 7:37 PM ET | Delete
November 1, 2012 7:32 AM ET | Delete
November 1, 2012 2:52 PM ET | Delete
That's the point though, MJL. The system forces teams to properly value their players within the new salary landscape. And with the players becoming RFA's, the team is given every opportunity to retain the players at market value. It's not as if the players should play below market value because it would be easier for the teams, unless, of course, they chose to, as it is certainly their right.And Debaser is ghey.
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