If these are the main reasons why a deal was not made today, the players are really going to be kicking themselves. Notice that he doesn't make an issue out of the cap number itself. Saskin says: "We reviewed our proposed framework on CBA Deal Points, which was attached to our Feb.15/05 proposal, and the NHL today revealed a number of significant differences between our respective positions, such as: 1) While we expected the upper limit number on payroll would increase over the six-year term of the deal as hockey revenues increased, the NHL's position today was that the upper limit would remain a fixed number for six years, regardless of any growth in hockey revenues." This it item 7. PA, you're not getting that. You can't spend months condemning the idea of having a deal (and some downside) linked to the notion of "hockey-related revenue, and then expect to enjoy only upside on that same concept you've derided for months. Give it up. "2) While we were told earlier in the week that the NHL's revenue sharing plan would not decrease over time, the plan they revealed today could decrease significantly over the term of the agreement." Boys, you gotta play the hand you're dealt, and you play a sport with a very disparate ownership -- some are sophisticated multi-billion companies and some are hacks like Wirtz. They've made it clear that if they have to chose between sharing revenue with each other and breaking your union, they'd rather break your union. It sucks. But holding out for revenue sharing seems foolhardy here "3) While we anticipated a minimum team payroll number in our proposal, the NHL was today not interested in providing any minimum team payroll number, but only a maximum number." What do you mean you "anticipated" a minimum team payroll in "our proposal." Either it was in your proposal or it wasn't (and I don't think it was). Why should the owners voluntarily cough one up at this point. Now I admit that the league's unwillingness to proffer a minimum team payroll number gives the lie to their "cap magnet" argument (if everybody's going up to the cap, you'd want a minimum w/a relatively tight range), so this is maybe worth haggling over. But the fact is you've never had a minimum before, why is it worth tubing a deal over now? "4) While we had anticipated using our Dec. 9/04 system changes, with a couple of exceptions to be discussed, the NHL today outlined more significant exceptions which they were seeking, particularly in the area of salary arbitration and qualifying offers." This is cat and dog stuff that should not hold up a deal. The PA feasted on an arbitration system tilted in their favor for 10 years; they're gonna have to accept a system going forward that's not as good. The bottom line is -- none of those 4 points seem worth croaking a deal over. Yes Bettman and the hardliners suck, and they've behaved badly, and tried to rub the PA's noses in it 'cuz they're pissed off at the fleecing they've had at the hands of your agents over the last 10 years. And yes the owners' are asking the players to correct the owners' mistakes, but it's their league. It's the players GAME. But it's the owners LEAGUE. And at the end of the day, the players still are in a position to get paid a couple of million dollars a year to play the GAME, but not if there's no LEAGUE. Which is where we seem to be headed.