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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

League counters

According to sources on the TEAM1040 radio, the NHL has coutered the NHLPA proposal with a $42.5 million salary cap that is non-negotiable. It is reported to be the final offer from the league.

If that's the case, I fear the worst, and I shake my angry fist at the league for failing to flex a little more. The union made a huge concession yesterday, and for the league to counter with another proposal that won't have near the level of capitulation that the NHLPA's proposal did, probably spells the definitive end.

I don't get it. If the rumored numbers in the latest NHL proposal are true, they have failed to move enough and a deal will not take place, in my opinion. And for the NHL to call this offer their final proposal - that's just laughable.

The right deal is there to be made, Bettman and the league has won - the NHLPA has crumbled and accepted a salary cap. Don't start rubbing salt in the wounds by standing firm at $42.5 million cap and calling it a final offer - split the difference and work on the luxury tax thresholds.

Good grief - take a look at the players proposal:

- $52 million cap
- 24% rollback on salaries
- luxury tax with various thresholds between $40 - $52 million

There's plenty of room for compromise. This is a huge step in the right direction. I find it almost insulting that the NHL raises it's cap level from $40 to $42.5 million and calls it a final offer. If it's your final offer, give the players some kind of a bone for crying out loud. Compromise at a $46 million cap with a luxury tax from $40 - $46 million. Don't force the union to reject this 'final' offer by tossing them a salary cap that is $10 million less than what they have offered.

Good God, this has reached far beyond the threshold of stupidity. Stop the bloody roller-coaster already. If the league cannot survive under a $46 million salary cap with a luxury tax thrown in, then nothing will suffice. Sign a deal - it's there for the taking.

You've already hit a homerun Bettman, don't try to turn it into a Grand Slam.


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