I want to illustrate one of the reasons that make me oppose a hard cap. One need to go no further than looking at the two storied hockey franchises located in two very similar markets, not far away from each other. Detroit and Chicago. Detroit was THE powerhouse of the 90s, boasting many future HOFers in the lineup, and displaying an elite level of hockey. Before then, they sucked BADLY. The attendance was worse than todays Carolina (yes, that IS possible ). Through draft and a few smart trades they have built a team that was the foundation of 10 years of great success (Illitch was inducted into the HOF as a builder for a reason). The attendance soared, the media contracts swelled. The money was used to keep the success going (pay the elite players on the team the elite salaries they deserved, and, more recently, to prolong the glory several years past due time). The high level of hockey and success of the Red Wings not only have increased the revenues within Detroit market, but league-wide as well. Chicago, on the other hand, went over the same period of time from a strong contender making the playoffs every year, to almost a bottom dweller. Some horrible drafting, and awful trades, and the penny-pinching attitude of the owner did the trick. I think it was one of the most shameful things for the NHL when Wolves of the AHL outdrew Blackhawks in one of the oldest NHL cities. So, how will it be with the cap? Well, the teams will never have the luxury of being at the top for a long time. They will enjoy 3-4 years of making the playoffs interchanged with 3-4 years of not making the playoffs. One out of every 5 of the "good" periods the team will win the Cup, i.e. on the average once every 30 years. And IMO what is more important, there will not be any powerhouses. It won't be worth it for the average fan to follow the playoffs if his team isn't in it. There won't be top level hockey rivalries like Detroit and Colorado, that would make you tune in even if you are not a fan of the Wings or the Avalanche, or even hockey. IMO those types of rivalries and top notch hockey reach across the markets, and sports, to gain new fans. I was kind of looking forward to Philly vs. Tampa epic battles similar to the ones Wings and Avs used to have. The salary cap will not only cap the expenses, it will cap the highs and lows that a team can achieve. I would hate capping the highs, I think the highs bring the level of hockey and level of interest in hockey up throughout the league. And do not hold the fact that I am a Detroit fan against me. Remember this: 1) Detroit is due for a rebuild period anyways, so cap is actually benefitial to us - it is a good excuse to stop signing overpaid mercenaries. 2) The so-called "large market" status wasn't handed to Detroit, it was created out of ashes. I think people are forgetting that. 3) I would rather have clashes of the titans like Wings vs. Avs circa late 90s instead of bland parity that cap promises to bring. Even if none of the "titans" is Detroit. 4) Building the team and success come first. Large market status and spending money to keep the good thing going comes after that. Attempts to circumvent this rule by "bootstrapping" the success (buying the star team) have so far failed miserably.