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Lockout links: Could a luxury tax be the solution?

Oct 3, 2012, 11:58 AM EDT

Gary Bettman, Bill Daly Getty Images

Just a few things to read while sitting at your desk, eating a sandwich, and waiting for your escrow checks to arrive. What, you don’t get escrow checks too? Oh, well…enjoy your sandwich.

Dr. David Shoalts has the cure for the lockout. Take “a soft salary cap that would allow the rich guys to spend more on payroll as long as they paid a luxury tax that would be distributed to the poorer teams” and call him in the morning. (Globe and Mail)

Bruce Arthur on the CBA standoff: “The players are not willing to accept losing money this season, and to prove it they are willing to lose money this season. The league is not willing to pay the players what it is currently paying the players, and in a lucky coincidence is not paying the players.” (National Post)

Elliotte Friedman, also on the CBA standoff: “The NHL horribly misunderstood how much its first ‘offer’ would anger the players and stiffen resolve. The players, believing many of the high-revenue teams would not want a stoppage, underestimated league commissioner Gary Bettman’s ability to keep his collective in line.” (

Kevin McGran lists the pressure points that could lead to a resolution. One of them is “social media and alcohol.” To alcohol! The cause of, and solution, to all of life’s problems. (Toronto Star)

Damien Cox on why the NHLPA won’t be broken this time: “Power has been diffused to such a great extent within the union that no individual but [Donald] Fehr has muscle now. So this standoff – blame the owners if you want, but neither side is negotiating – will go on for as long as Fehr believes it must.” (Toronto Star)

Michael Grange thinks it’s on the NHL to “defuse what is shaping up to be an unnecessarily volatile situation.” And how to do that? Stop demanding the players take a pay cut in the first year of the CBA. (Sportsnet)

  1. silversun60 - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Didn’t the NHLPA’s first offer include a luxury tax?

    Is Shoalts trying to predict the past?

  2. islanders1 - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Players should start their own league make it a Co-Operative run by the Fehr brothers. The city’s that have mega tax dollars tied up in Arena’s need to be starting law suits against the league. Many cities were promised tax revenue from sale taxes etc to pay back the tax payers for large investments in arenas. Well the NHL by locking out the players / game must be in violation of at least some of the contracts or intent of the contracts. Accepting tax dollars then shutting down the game just ………and restaurants, bars, business, will close… These other business were to bring in tax dollars to pay for tax payer funded arena projects. I say go get our money from the owners

  3. bcsteele - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Just so happen to be eating a ham and cheese sandwhich…and it’s the only good thing after I continue to read all of the BS that is going into this. The players and the owners are at fault here and should be locked up in prison until they get a deal done…

    …prison because they are stealing away the game from the fans and the money that everyday people make working for the game and may now be having problems paying their bills. Much less a second vacation home. Also, it could really put to perspective the lifestyle they have next to average people cause I understand how hard they work…I work harder, longer, and for less down here in the middle class.

  4. dbarnes79 - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Players should start a new league. That would be awesome!! Get rid of Bettman and have quality hockey too. Win, win!

    • ballistictrajectory - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      Wasn’t the WHA supposed to bring that kind of change? All it did was set us up for this stuff, 40 years later.

  5. lsxphotog - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    I think the introduction of mediation is a must at this point. You have a game of chicken on public display and I don’t think either side is willing to step down on their pride to flinch.

    The owners are looking to seriously kick the players in their balls by reneging on contracts and cutting costs in the easiest way possible – salary cuts.

    The players – who were kicked in the balls last go-around – are not going to get the sour end of the deal again.

    This standoff will last indefinitely until someone is forced in the room with them and makes these pansys talk about the important topics and find a resolution. At this point, I’m out a lot of money for season tickets and there is no end in sight.

  6. jimw81 - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Elliotte Friedman, also on the CBA standoff: “The NHL horribly misunderstood how much its first ‘offer’ would anger the players and stiffen resolve. The players, believing many of the high-revenue teams would not want a stoppage, underestimated league commissioner Gary Bettman’s ability to keep his collective in line.” (”

    As usual,. Friedman is right.

  7. blomfeld - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM


    On the surface, a luxury tax may sound plausible. But when you consider the current financial disparity around the league, the last thing you want is for the “few” who are financially strong now to get even stronger, at the expense of the “many” who are financially weak. The Rangers could add $40 million to their payroll in the blink of an eye … the same could not be said for the Coyotes or Blue Jackets. The bottom line is that a luxury tax would reverse the current on-ice “parity” which the NHL seems to treasure so highly.

    Regardless, I maintain that this entire issue is nothing more than a “charade” being played out “dramatically” by Bettman and several of the key power-owners “in concert” with Fehr and his top lieutenants. No way in a million years are these idiots going to take a bullet in the head by wiping out the entire season ! Instead, look for these phonies to come to an agreement “magically” within the next three weeks, which should provide ample time to get the show rolling by the US Thanksgiving holiday weekend ! :)

    GO KINGS GO !!!! :) :) :) :)

    Stanley Cup Champs and “best” team in the world today !!! … sorry there Minsk Bulldogs 😉

  8. atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I agree with Shoalts on this, getting rid of the salary floor immediately eases the burden on a bunch of franchises who can’t afford it but have to pay because Toronto makes boatloads of money. Don’t follow the nba with all of their exemptions and all that BS, just make it simple, if you spend over $60 million then you’re going to be taxed $1 for each dollar you’re over, once you get passed $70 million its $2 tax for every dollar over etc. that’s year one, in year two repeat offenders get an extra $0.50 tax for each dollar over, and in year 3 the tax doubles. The starting point of the tax level goes up based on league revenues and all tax money is distributed to the lower level teams.

    Of course none of this could ever happen because Bettman guaranteed that a salary cap would save the league, and judging by his stance on the Coyotes, he’ll never admit that he might have been wrong.

  9. isithockeyseasonyet - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    1…2…3…4 lockout ah ah ah
    -count from sesame street/gary bettman

  10. chrisvegas - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Why should the rich teams have to pay for the poor teams? Why not just move the poor teams to markets that can afford them. The NHL is so stupid as to where they put organizations when there are cities that can afford them like Las Vegas. Maybe if we stopped dealing with lockouts and concentrated on bringing in more fans the poor teams could find ways to support their teams.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM

      Realistically there are 8 teams that could be in enough financial peril to move, are there 8 cities to move them to? I get that you’re in Las Vegas but is there really any reason to put a hockey team there? Is there an arena? Is there any sort of fan base to draw from? To me it sounds like Coyotes part 2.

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