The article is about Oil and Baseball but it's just as relevent to Hockey. http://economics.about.com/cs/baseballeconomics/a/winners_curse_3.htm Is, among other passages, relevent. The point is that in a completely unregulated market with HIGHLY LIMITED resources available (ie. high level players) the GM who has the most optimistic, pie-in-the-sky evaluation of a player will tend to win the bidding. In sports particularly there is an additional problem: that overly optimsitc valuation is used as a wedge in arbitration hearings and free agency, and the prices seldom, if ever, come down signficantly from the established highs. This has been one of two factors behind an escalating price spiral (the other being an imbalance of resources which spurs a few teams to hyper competitiveness, and many of the rest to desperation). The NHL is not a free market in the sense that most things are. I'm astonished that anyone who has even a passing familiarity with the NFL and with MLB--- and who has witnessed the success of the former since adopting a cap and the struggles of the latter due to an overly rigid players union---- could be against the NOTION of a hard cap. The NHL's most recent proposal has some flaws, and I would certainly expect the players to seek further concessions, but in the longview, the best thing for the players union as a whole is to agree to some form of hard cap where they get over 50% of the total league revenues. It is equitable, it is fair, and it will help the league to regain it's status as a major sport in the American public's eyes, which in turn will bring in buckets of money to fill up pension funds for current players, and to pay the next generation.