Secrets and Caps

In yesterday’s Post, Larry Brooks kvetched at NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for not letting anyone know what’s going on with anything (login info.).
It is sort of annoying. You would think he’d want to get fans at least considering the notion of one day watching hockey again.
Maybe Bettman thinks the rumors are enough to keep us warm. Like the rumors of a $34 million to $36 million cap (with a $22 million to $24 million floor). Which is pretty interesting when you consider that 13 teams (fine — Calgary is a hair over) are under that cap. So if they couldn’t make money in the past with those salaries, what’s going to change now? It seems to me this new cap will work out really well for the big market, money-raking teams. I’m not sure what will change for the Oilers, though. They couldn’t make money with a $33 million payroll last season. Will that $33 million payroll suddenly become profitable somehow?
Mike Ulmer criticizes the NHLPA for screwing over its members.
I’m not so sure. After the last CBA, everyone said the players had caved. And things worked out pretty well for them in the next 10 years. I know the NHL is saying all of these cap numbers are big rumors, but I’m very, very confident that whatever cap is agreed to, the agents will figure out how to exploit the system, and wherever they can’t figure out a loophole, owners will be more than happy to create them in order to undercut each other.
That’s really Bettman’s biggest challenge. Getting owners and GMs as smart as agents. Until he addresses that issue, I’m not convinced anyone will ever negotiate a CBA detailed and far-reaching enough to protect the owners from themselves.