I’ve been thinking about ways to end the lockout. Not all the time. Mostly just when I’m waiting for the subway.
I’m thinking the league and the union should just take the 24% rollback the union offered a few weeks ago but with one caveat: every team in the league must hire a lawyer and accountant/MBA to sign off on every deal. The league would take on 60 additional salaries, but I’m convinced they would save a fortune. If they didn’t, the league could push for the hard cap in the next CBA, maybe one expiring in just three years. But I’m really sure having GMs make informed decisions would save more than any hard cap would.
The Times touched on this in yesterday’s paper. Behold:
- [An anonymous player agent] said he supported the union but could understand the logic of Bettman and the owners for demanding strict reductions and limits on player pay. He faulted owners who put retired hockey players in the front office to make business decisions.
The agent, who has helped several players sign large and lengthy contracts, said that many general managers “lack the ability of the agents and they belong to the hockey brotherhood, so they give third-liners $2 million a year.”
The agent said the N.H.L. would be better off if it were run like the National Football League, where former players are not as highly valued in the front office.
I can understand Gary Bettman trying to control spending in the league. And a salary cap is a pretty easy fix. You know. If you ignore the whole lockout part of it. But he’s got to think creatively. If he can’t control spending in the league through the players and the CBA, he needs to control it through the GMs. By making laywers and accountants review business decisions, Bettman could force teams to make smart decisions. Would anyone trained in any kind of business have signed off on Alexei Yashin’s 10-year, $90 million contract? Or would they have suggested that the Islanders spread the money out among several quality players?
I don’t mind if the union or the league borrow this proposal. They can even take credit for it. It’s cool. Consider this my valentine to hockey.