If the 24 percent reduction on current salaries under contract is garnering so much PR, and the NHL will only look bad PR-wise if they don't offer a luxury tax and instead continue with the cost certainty mantra, then maybe the NHL should propose this: (1) 20% increase in all salaries currently under contract, (2) salary cap along the lines of what the owners have sought but not quite as harsh as the original version (or in the alternative a much much more onerous luxury tax with a $1 per $1 on anything over $35 or $40 million and even more at the $50 and $60 million level than the players have proposed), (3) a much more owner-friendly arbitration or no arbitration rights, and (4) the other owner-friendly changes proposed by the players. Great PR move, eh? But sounds absurd, doesn't it? Or does it. Yes, some players under contract will get a raise with the most going to Jagr - $2 million. And teams like Toronto with still a lot of players under contract may have to pay $12 million or so more than otherwise. And for team with few players under contract will pay even less (e.g., the Caps currently have players under contract at around $20 and therefore will pay an extra $4 million this year). But wait. We've got half a season at most this year. So, Jagr will only get $1 million more. Toronto will spend $6 million or so more. It will cost the Caps $2 million more this year. And certainly the current teams with more of the high-priced players are on average in a better financial position to pay this increase. Next year it will cost the teams perhaps no more and maybe considerably less because while it will be a full season, a significant number of additional players will no longer be under the same contract. The following year the detrimental financial effect on the owners will be still less. In the meantime, the long-term parts of the proposal will be significantly benefiting the owners on the bottom line. And so much for the players' big PR move with the 24 percent reduction. Of course, I don't see the owners being slick enough to offer this. Instead, I could see them offering a less harsh salary cap than their previous pre-Sept 15 offer or, alternatively, a much harsher luxury tax than the players' offered. And serious changes to the arbitration system. And due to the 24 percent offer by the players, some more of the interested public may start to side with the players. But I don't think the 24 percent reduction is that big a concession in the grand scheme of a five to ten year CBA that still greatly benefits the players' ability and opportunity to raise salaries significantly each year, and that is why I threw out the 20 percent increase to show from a different perspective, why it is not that big when you consider (1) only half a season of salary this year for those under an existing contract, (2) a large percentage of the players aren't under contract anyway, or their contract will end after this year, and so their bargaining will be subject to the new limitations in the new CBA.