I preface this post, by asking you to ignore what the players would think of this as the good old days of players who played for the sheer love of the game is the exception as opposed to the rule nowadays. What if contracts were negotiated based on a percentage of team payroll. This is practically in place today for those seeking the max contract as it is 20% of the payroll. Using this years $44M salary cap, what if players were offered a % of a teams payroll each year and written into the contract the team would spend a minimum % of the salary cap, as opposed to a specific dollar amount. Using the Senators as an example....suppose Muckler/ownership agreed to utilize $40M of the cap (ie 10/11s of the salary cap - assume this same ratio for the next 4 years), saving $4M for transactions during the season. Prior to July 1st, what if he negotiated with Chara & Redden based on a % of the $40M payroll? I'll give each of you 15% of the payroll for the next 4 years ($6M this season, ??? the following season, etc). Other players would account for the following: alfreddson - $4.677 - 11.7% of payroll heatley - $4.5 - 11.25% of payroll Phillips - $2.2 - 5.5% of payroll spezza - (2 years @ 10% of payroll = $4M this year) gerber - $1.2M - 3% fisher - $1.5 - 3.75% volchenkov - $1.5 - 3.75% etc.. so that's about 73% of the teams payroll thus far spent on 10 players (albeit the higher end ones)... Kind of points out a couple things...No way the Senators could afford both Chara & Redden. No way to afford Havlat. Regardless of what the Senators situation is, if teams were to negotiate this way it would result in the following: Players being more financially aware of how their salary demands can negatively impact their own teams ability to sign other players and therefore potentially their chances at success. Not to mention their teammates increased awareness. Provides an incentive for the players to sell the game....bigger salary cap, bigger payroll, bigger salary (remember their contract would include a promise by ownership to spend a certain % of the cap) It would point out mistakes made by ownership when you see players like Yashin taking up as much cap space as a Chara/Redden. If enough marquee players on a team donated 1% of their salary back to ownership, it might make it possible to sign another marquee player & increase chances for success. I think it would enhance the fiscal responsibility to be shared by the players and ownership, as well as between players. Players might feel a little bit uneasy going into the lockeroom after they have insisted they are worth more than their teammates it might also prevent players from feeling underpaid 2 years into a contract if there is a substantial jump in the cap figure. Interested in thoughts around this idea, not in the reality of all the selfish players who just want their money....although I think some of them don't quite get it, when they are just seeing a dollar figure...if they could grasp that they are taking 1/5 of a teams payroll....it would seem to me that they should consider themself pretty fortunate..and maybe willing to give a little back to get that centerman to set them up, or the goalie to take them to a stanley cup. thanks for your thoughts.