Should the NHL Eliminate the Salary Cap Floor?

NHL writer Jesse Spector of the Sporting News asks out loud if it would benefit the NHL—striving for profit certainty nowadays—to abolish the salary cap floor and let individual teams have individual cap numbers based on their revenues.

"If the NHL really wants profit certainty for all 30 of its clubs, and not just certainty of exceptionally high profits for its most powerful owners, it cannot treat all 30 teams as financial equals when they very clearly are not. This is not the NFL, where the main source of revenue is a massive national television contract, and local TV rights, one of the NHL’s greatest sources of both revenue and financial disparity, don’t exist outside of the preseason."

Spector gives some team examples…

"Obviously, there would be an enormous gap in payrolls. For the 2010-11 season, Forbes reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs brought in $193 million in revenue, compared to $63 million for the Islanders. The midpoint was $96 million for the San Jose Sharks Sharks and Edmonton Oilers. Applying a 50-50 split, you would be looking at a salary cap in the $96 million range for Toronto, $58 million in San Jose and Edmonton, and $31 million on Long Island for 2011-12."

… I think it's a good idea Spector poses: just not for the Rangers. According to, the Blueshirts made approx. $169 million for the 2011-12 season and, using a 50/50 HRR split, their individual cap number would be $84.5 million, roughly $14 more than what the cap would have been under the old CBA.

… I'm of the opinion the implementation of the salary cap is partially responsible for the Rangers resurgence since the 04-05 lockout. It forced Sather to build from within and hire people to develop that plan. Sure, he's still made financial blunders (Wade Redden? Scott Gomez?), but he has waved a magic wand to make them disappear and actually improve the team.

… Imagine now giving Sather more money to use? Scary. Not sure his spending ways are completely behind him. But he's nowhere near the maverick he used to be.

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About James Wrabel, Jr.