Thanks for the year with no hockey Gary.
No seriously, thanks a lot, I was able to catch up on my correspondence, build a small bunker in my backyard (can never be too safe), and generally be bored out of my mind.
But thanks to that year of hardship, we got a salary cap that would bring with it a new era of fiscal responsibility, reasonable salaries, and stable franchises.
So it was with great shock that I read today that the salary cap, which was once a mere $39 million, is rising by $6.4 million next season to $56.7 million.
Despite not having a true national U.S. TV contract, despite the fact that the majority of the revenue gains the NHL has made are due to the rising Canadian dollar, and despite the fact that several U.S. teams are losing money in buckets, the cap rises again.
I want my year of hockey back Gary.
So what was the lockout for anyway?
A little perspective is in order.
The salary cap floor ($40 million), below which no team dare to tread, is now higher than the original salary cap ceiling ($39 million).
We now have unprecedented levels of player movement, which reduces fan loyalty.
We have unrestricted free agency at age 25.
We have a paltry revenue sharing program that some teams treat like food stamps.
We have teams such as the Phoenix Coyotes, with a brand new arena and a superstar coach, who are losing $30 million a year.
And now we have the ability to pay a single player $11.34 million a season, the same level people thought obscene when Jagr was being paid as much pre-lockout.
So thanks Gary, thanks for nothing.