F*ck me how peanuts became the new flavour of the conversation here...
As for me pulling my head out of my ass, Blobby, the language used was relative. I'm pretty sure if Buttman and Co. had their way, they'd pay players minimum wage and have them handing out programs and fixing light bulbs over the ice before suiting up... and still charge the paying fan the same admission price. That's how plutocrats roll.
I guess you have no sympathy for anybody making more than you if they're not entrepenurial capitalists. I guess actors and actresses in Hollywood should get minimum wage with no benefits because, after all, what do they do that auto mechanic Al can't do and he has to work for what the boss man will give him? If the university-educated wage slave (and I'm one) has to struggle to make ends meet when his employer doesn't give a damn if he lives or dies (and I've come across more than a few) so long as he makes a profit, then why should said wage slave have any sympathy for the 'over-paid crybabies' that play a sport for a living, no?
Fact of the matter is, when supply and demand for a product (professional hockey) creates a multi-billion dollar industry off the backs of dedicated, talented professionals, then why should the plutocrats in charge of the league be defended and the players villified when the people who create the profit ask for their fair share and the ability to make as much as they can?
Rant on that front over.
My argument is that the league's position will hurt the product for fans in strong markets whose owners are willing to ice as competitive team as possible, in favour of league-manipulated mediocrity under the facade of a 'level playing field'. Did a salary cap help Canadian teams in the 90s when the exchange rate sucked, or was it an early form of revenue sharing? Where was Buttman and his 'level playing field' when Canadian teams folded and went to - how serendipitous - major US TV markets in strategic places. Funny how things have changed once the failed experiment has been shown to reek.
If the presence of NHL franchises has increased US participation in the sport in non-traditional regions, then bully for enhancing the game. Who should soak up the red ink for those flailing franchises in non-traditional regions until true hockey markets evolve - the players through wage slashes, or richer teams sharing revenue with expansion teams in said non-traditional regions (keeping in mind the nice expansion fees said richer teams pocketed)?
I'm with UK on having no sympathy for the Anaheims and Columbuses when it comes to crying poor. If Buttman cared, he would make Jacobs, Snyder and MLSE fork out to keep the league composition intact but hey, as long as they outbid the KHL they'll squeeze the players - the easy solution.
Bottom line, Buttman's vision of the league hurts the Canucks' ability to put the best product on the ice and reinforces mediocrity in favour of teams in whom he has a special vested interest - and Canadian teams are not among them. Selfish motivation, but whatever CBA hurts the Canucks' ability to ice a championship team before the Twins hang it up will find no fan in me.
Love the Sport. Love the Team.
Hate the League. Live from Riga, bitches...