I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed in other threads today..I haven't the time or frankly the patience at the moment to leaf through the threads in search of the answer. But my question is this: Why are the owners so hard-nosed on the ceiling? It was mentioned by Melrose after the Bettman conference and I was hoping they'd discuss it because I had the same reaction as the two anchors. Bettman explained the vast difference between a 42.5 ceiling and 49 ceiling..and even went as far as saying that 45 might have been stretching an already hyperextended arm that the owners were giving the players with the 42.5 offer. But in reality..isn't it each owner's personal domain as to how much he feels he should spend and still maintain a healthy personal revenue. Each owner knows to a reasonable extent how much they can spend and remain out of the red. By putting a ceiling of 49 or even 45, you reduce the spending power and talent pool of the top 6 teams in the league and make the league more of an equal talent pool. The ceiling doesn't encourage the owners to meet that ceiling, it's a restriction. The same teams that were spending 30 on their rosters are not going to all of the sudden spend another 12.5 because a salary cap is in place. So why was the ceiling such an important negotiating point the last two days, so important that the 6.5 disagreement...or as Bettman called it...the "200 million dollar difference" such a huge deal?