I'm not too well versed in salaries in the MLB, NBA, and NFL, but I'm pretty certain that the spikes in NHL player salaries was concurrent with a similar trend in the other three tier 1 sports in North America. Was the rising salary level part of the NHL's desperation to remain a first tier sport? Or in another situation, we look at players like Martin Lapointe making 5 million, which pioneered the way for utility players making killings in arbitration or in actual negotiation. Could that have happened to the NHL? The best players in the games of baseball and basketball were making over 10 million, would Pavel Bure and Peter Forsberg have considered that when asking for their paychecks, as some of the best players in the game??