Bring the NHL back. Although the owners are more to blame for the current mess, it's up to both sides to come up with a compromise to help make the game better. Not to jump on the bandwagon, but Bettman has done a horrible job as Commisioner. I'm all for expansion (not now, 30 is enough), but expanding by 8 teams in 9 or 10 years is ludicrus. Fan bases take awhile to get started and become solid (hell, even those well-established can have troubles. See: Toronto in the 1980's/Harold Ballard era), and rushing off to create new teams in perhaps not the best of markets that may not be 'ready' for hockey is stupid. The game was doing beautifully in the late 80s/early 90s, and since then, has gone downhill. Expansion, in general, isn't to blame, but a declining ice product (nothing can be helped with that, it's part of the game's cycle. See: the NHL in the 30's and 50's) combined with expanding into new markets way too quickly, has made the game less 'exciting', and when you're starting up a new team witha new fanbase, it has to be exciting to keep the fanbase. With that said, the top 5 or 6 richest owners are mainly to blame for today's contract situation. If a team like Edmonton can't afford players of Bill Guerin's or Doug Weight's calibre, yet Dallas/Boston and St Louis can, then they're going to buy those players. That has driven up the prices, as teams are outbidding each other. Therefore, say someone like Doug Weight has a 30-goal, 70-point season, pretty good in today's day and age. However, over his career, he's put up relatively similar numbers on a pretty consistant basis...and is worth more than a one-time fluke who puts up 80 points. However, the bidding war still occures for Weight...let's say Toronto offered him 5 million a year, and St Louis offered him 8 million a year (this didn't happen, St Louis got Weight in a trade with Edmonton, this is purely hypothetical)....of course Doug Weight is going to sign for 8 million. However, anyone who has an 80 point season for a year will expect around that much, even though he hasn't proven that worth. Beyond that, if Weight has a 50 point year, he's still paid 8 million...therefore, if somewhat indirectly, anyone who has a 50 point year and needs a new contract, is going to command a contract in the region of 6-8 million...over time, this drives up the average contract, driving owners to divert more and more of their profits to the players (I believe it's around 76 percent...compared to approx 50-60 for the other major sports), resulting in less profits and bigger defecits, resulting in bankruptcies (see; Buffalo and Ottawa)...and the unstable, critical state of the league today. That has happened. The league today is in a critical state, yet neither side is attempting to fix it. Both sides recite their rhetoric that they care about 'the game', yet when neither side sits down to discuss a new CBA, it ain't happenin. A salary cap is needed to save the league, or at least save it from contraction, in my opnion. Although it is not the players' fault the NHL is in the mess it is in today, it is what needs to be done to ensure profits to keep the league and all its teams running. A common argument agaisnt this is that players don't get paid what they're worth; that's folly. No way is a 40-point, average, not-great-defensively player worth the 5 million that a 40-point, amazing-all-around-player may be worth. In general, the market prices have risen astronomically, and the prices they are getting is what they think they're worth. No, it's the prices the owners have determined players of similar calibre are worth; not what they actually are. If I pay $200 for a $5 bag of candy, it isn't worth 200 bucks, but I paid it. Fact is, a salary cap of, say, 35-40 million, along with revenue sharing from the richest to the poorest teams, will help ensure the safety of the league, and players will still get paid what they are worth. If they don't feel like they are being paid what they're worth, they can feel free in trying to convince another team through Free Agency that they are. The NFL system has worked to ensure a somewhat-more-competitive system, and combined with a smart marketing campaign and a boon in important markets, is a huge sport. However, one main argument I keep seeing is that the lower-tier teams have no right to take money from the richer teams so they can be competitive. That's not the point of a salary cap/revenue sharing. The point is that the teams themselves don't go defunct. I'm lucky in that I have the OHL and about 5 or 6 teams from the league within an hour of my house, along with an AHL team in Hamilton, an hour away. But good god, bring back the NHL.