NHL: Slashing Player Salaries Will Hurt the League More Than Help It

Michael Prunka@MichaelPrunkaCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks on in the third period against the New York Rangers in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 12, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Eight years after the NHL lost an entire season to a lockout, players and owners alike find themselves in a similar situation. Just like in 2004, one of the major talking points surrounding the collective bargaining agreement is money.

The owners are proposing another change in the sharing of revenues. The players currently receive 57 percent of the revenue. Owners wish to, once again, cut the amount of revenue that players receive. The reasoning behind changing the revenue sharing is to help struggling teams.

Cutting player salaries again will only hurt the league as a whole.

CSN Washington reported Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin signing with Dynamo Moscow. Ovechkin also addresses the possibility of players losing revenue to the owners.

If our salaries get slashed, I'll have to think about whether to return to NHL. [I] won’t rule out staying in Russia past this season.

Capitals fan or not, Ovechkin is one of the NHL's biggest stars. Who knows what other NHL superstars share the same sentiment. 

Obviously, losing games to the lockout is bad for business. What if other big names decide not to return to the NHL if it means getting paid less? That can't be good for business, either.

The KHL has welcomed NHL players with open arms and have made it clear they're welcome to stay past the lockout. There is a good amount of hockey professionals that prefer the KHL to the NHL as it is. Aside from a more free-flowing playing style, players can make similar money playing for the bigger franchises and are taxed less than they would be in the US or Canada.


Ovechkin's concerns are legitimate. The NHL could be forcing some of its best talent out the doors to other leagues.

Is the owners taking a larger share of the revenue to help struggling teams worth losing superstars like Ovechkin? If other stars follow him, a CBA that gives owners a larger share of revenues could very much hurt the league more than help it.

After all, what is the NHL without its stars?


Michael Prunka is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. To stay up to date with his WWE and NHL commentary, you can like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and follow him on Tout.


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