Free Agency has been the curse that has killed all major sports over the past 30 years. The NHL should take a stand among major sports, and raise the age of free agency (for this league I would recommend an age of 35). This one measure would get rid of the need for salary caps, luxury taxes, and any other other monetary reforms. The only valid arguement to raising the age of free agency, is that the owners would lowball players salaries. To avoid this situation, I would recommend that the owners be forced (after getting this major concession) to provide a minimum player salary of $500,000 dollars/year with a COLA clause. This salary would become manditory if the player played one or 82 games per year (no more Marc Fleury B.S. from the owners in limiting games played). Players should also receive a substantial pension accruement from owners (to be managed by the NHLPA) to offset the small window of opportunity in career length. Players should still maintain the salary excalator of a qualifying offer however, arbitrated salaries should be removed. Improvements in salary should be incentive based with firm dollars in place for positive team standings during the regular season and the Stanley cup playoffs. I would also recommend that owners be forced to publicly post financial statements. The fans should have the right to know if an owner is making huge profits and yet, raising ticket prices. The players also have a right to know what the players on other teams are making (thus aiding in the ability to hold out with public support in the case of injustice). These moves would provide the following benefits: 1) Teams would be able to maintain their players during their productive years without the threat of rich owners stealing them away. 2) Teams that made the best hockey decisions including drafting, trading, and developing would reap the most rewards. 3) Fans would be able to identify with players that were not revolving from constant turnover. 4) High end salaries would shrink, providing fans with the chance for reduced ticket prices. Maybe the blue collar workers could afford tickets instead of the corporate audience at most stadiums. 5) Players would not take as many nights off during the regular season, as a money escalator for performance would prevent this action. 6) A stable environment for all teams to succeed would be in place. This would stop the NHL from developing a Montreal Expo's type fiasco that has occurred in baseball. I really believe that this type of structure would work to the benefit of the fans. It would also put the decision making for the game back in the hands of hockey people, not lawyers and bean counters. Feel free to flame away.