I have read repeatedly about the "fact" that the players ran roughshod over the owners during the last CBA because of the players having drafted the language after the fact with built-in "loopholes". This is a gross misconception IMO, and is typical of the typical approach in hockey where stuff gets repeated often enough such that it becomes part of the canon (i.e., "Bettman is a basketball guy", after him working in the NBA for 3 years) and is never subjected to critical thinking. IMO, there was only one "loophole" drafted into the old CBA - the rookie bonus structure. The rest of league salary escalation has been primarily due to the tactics of the players as a whole, rather than the CBA itself. The agents and the PA orchestrated signings to provide maximum benefit to the arbitration period, thus providing beneficial comparables for the process. They also orchestrated signings so as to allow each one to biuld on the other. Of course, the occasional serious errors in judgment (i.e., Chris Gratton, Martin Lapointe) assisted greatly as well. They hurt all the more, however, by virtue of the way in which they were subsequently used in other signings and arbitrations. That is my take on it. I would defer to anyone else who is aware of any "loopholes", but as i said it was not so much loopholes as tactics that screwed the owners.