this has probably been beaten to death but it is a very important issue facing the NHL. Just about everyone thinks there will be more cost certainty when it comes to rookie contracts in the next cba. By closing the performance loopholes, small market teams should be able to keep young top talent until they are at least 25. The problem is that if there is a 1.5 mill rookie cap, then players like Ovechkin can makes as much or more by staying in Russia. If the WHL gets off the ground, it would be a boon to them if they could sign Ovechkin to a 2.5 mill contract. The problem facing the NHL is that they have to have the rookie max low enough to impact the payroll but it can't be so low that star rookie players won't come to the nhl until they are 25-30. years old.