Here is my opinion on a few myths that seem to float around these threads: 1. Bettman and Goodenow are stupid and should be fired. Actually both are in all probability very intelligent men who are representing two sides which have diametrically opposed interests. Time will tell if they have made wise choices, but you don't win any business negotiation without some level of holdout. I also believe that both take alot of flak for decisions made be their constituents. 2. Owners are at fault for high salaries. Every team has overpaid some players at some point. If you are going to be a successful team you have to make bold moves and some times you will fall on your face. The salaries are so high because of the inequities in team revenues and the fact that some owners consider their teams hobbies and don't mind loosing a little money to win (which isn't stupid when your worth billions). 3. Agents want their players to ink a deal. I can't believe that more people don't see that agents have the most to gain from players holding out for a better deal. Remember the average NHL career is something like 5 years so the loss of a season represent 20% of earnings gone, but you could be an agent for 30 or 40 years, hell you could even hand your business down to your kids or sell it so what does 1 year hold out mean. And who have players been getting all their financial advice from since they were 16 years old - Agents. I smell a rat. 4. Fans deserve better No we don't. We continually throw our money to organizations and indirectly players who have always told us that hockey is a business. They never lied to us. They told us they were out for the money not the love of the game. I think we could probably spend our money on better things in life. 5. The #1 reason the last CBA failed was arbitration While arbitration amoung other things did escalate salaries, the #1 reason was that star players started player to much later ages. One of the reasons the owners signed the last cba is that it gave them control of salaries for what amounted to about 90% of star players careers by not letting them be unrestricted free agents until 30. But something unpredicted happened. Star players got in better shape and started being able to play effectively into their late 30's and now even early 40's. A decade of freedom was not what the owners envisioned. To illustrate my point I will use real players who probably never had the following conversations, but if you follow the logic you see how it affects salaries. Scott Stevens: Lou, we just won the Stanley Cup, I'm one of the best defensemen in the league, the fans will crusify you if you let me go for nothing, I'm unrestricted, I deserve a boat load of money. Lou Lamerello: Well Steve, I have to agree with all your points and you've earned it through proving yourself valuable year after year. Chris Pronger: Larry, Steve just got a boatload of money, based on my last year I'm just as good as him and I'm 15 years younger. I deserve 2 boatloads of money. If you don't give it to me I'll sit out. Larry Pleau: Well Chris, you've only had one/a couple good seasons and we didn't really go too far in the playoffs, but if you hold out I'll never get your true value and you never win if you piss off your stars so against my better judgement here's two boatloads of money. See how Unrestricted free agents affect the whole market. When they set up the last CBA they expected players to be negotiating contracts as unrestricted free agents once or maximum twice in their careers, but guys like Larionov, Chelios, Yzerman, Stevens, Messier etc are now doing it 4,5 and even 6 times. This is what sets the pace for salary escalation. If anybody actually read this far thanks.