Allan Muir has a story about the NHLPA removing Paul Kelly as executive director. His take is pretty negative, and he names some pretty big player names as being behind the move. The current CBA expires after the 10-11 season (or 11-12 at the PA's option) and Muir hints that the union will be angling to cancel the salary cap. My favorite part is towards the end:
Yes, the fans. It's hard not to read this as a slap in the face of the paying customers who, thanks to Kelly's common sense approach, learned to forgive and forget after the last labor imbroglio wiped out the 2004-05 NHL season.
I'm all for the players making as much as they can -- careers can end at a moment's notice in this fast, savage, and beautiful game. But I can't imagine the players themselves wanting to lose another season over money. Since we're fans of a small market team, I think we'd resoundingly agree that the cap has helped the Canes compete -- Maurice said infamously before the 01-02 Finals that the Red Wings starting lineup exceeded the Canes entire payroll. For the union to look to return to that era seems shortsighted to me. Without a salary cap, smaller market teams may not be able to compete for the Cup on a regular basis, reducing team income and potentially eliminating teams -- and jobs-- from the league. Hopefully the players themselves will exercise their right to have their voice heard and avoid another stoppage. Eric Staal is the Canes' rep.