Based on some more reading where wage control legislation and practices are concerned I've come up with some very preliminary 'rules' regarding salary levels and how they should be determined. I'm suggesting that some of these rules, along with a true luxury tax and revenue sharing systems, be enacted as part of the next CBA to help stem the rise of player salaries. These are preliminary ideas, please feel free to comment and alter as you see fit. -- ALL contracts are guaranteed and must be honored by both parties. Any hold outs by players under contract automatically results in the forfeiture of remaining funds of the contract plus interest and a fine of $250,000.00 (us dollars) per year for each year not honored. Furthermore the player holding out is barred from playing in any professional hockey league associated with or recognized by the NHL. The term 'hold out' refers ONLY to players who are UNDER CONTRACT but desire to renegotiate their salaries or terms. Players whose rights are 'owned' by an NHL team but are not under contract are not bound by these terms. -- A maximum 'expenditure cap' on all players on their first contract in the NHL or UNDER 23 years of age AND having played less than 200 games at the NHL level is set at 950,000.00/year. An expenditure cap is base salary and all possible clauses for individual achievement that a player can attain in one year. This means a base salary of 500,000.00 plus a bonus of 450,000.00 for winning the Calder is an acceptable agreement under these terms, as is a base salary of 950,000.00/year w/no other fees paid to the player of ANY kind. The minimum entry length contract must be 2 years for all players. The maximum entry level contract governed by these terms is 4 years. -- A 'Framework' for salaries is as follows: No player with less than 300 games professional NHL experience can make more than 15% of their previous contract. No player with less than 500 NHL games can make more than 25% increase in their previous annual base salary, no player with less than 800 games can make more than an increase of 40% of their previous base salary. -- Players that are under the age of 30 and whose rights are 'owned' by an NHL franchise are classified as Restricted Free Agents. As such these players are free to negotiate contracts with other teams under the following terms: * Players under the age of 25 having played 250 or more games at the NHL level are classified as Group I RFAs and are compensated at the level of 3 first round picks taken at any point over the next 5 years at the team who lost the players behest. Furthermore a compensational signing fee of $250,000.00 per year of contract will be paid to the team losing the player. * Players over 26 and having played over 400 games at the NHL level but under the UFA age as of July 1 are classifed as Group II RFA. Compensation for signing a Group II UFA is 5 first round draft picks taken at any point over the next 10 year period at the losing teams behest as well as a compensation signing fee of 500,000.00, a one time lump fee to be paid at any point during the duration of the contract at the losing teams behest. -- No player that is not an Unrestricted free agent shall be eligible for a salary increase of any greater percentage than 50% of their previous contract under any circumstances. This includes players being signed as RFAs from other teams. -- Unrestricted free agents are under no restrictions in terms of teams they may sign with, salaries earned (see previous clause, however) and length of contract or compensation due for their signing. -- All teams must have a minimum total base payroll of 35 million dollars. Any team under that limit will be taxed at a rate that brings the teams base salary expenditures to the minimum. -- At the 42.5 million dollar level and beyond a team must pay a luxury tax. This tax is distributed among the lower revenue teams in the league. This is a gradient taxing systems that works as follows: * teams exceeding 50 million pay 30 cents on the dollar to the revenue pool plus forfeit one 3rd round draft pick to the lowest salaried team in their division. * teams exceeding 55 million pay 40 cents on the dollar to the revenue pool plus forfeit one 2nd round draft pick to the lowest salaried team (regardless of divisional standings) in their division. * teams exceeding the 60 million payroll will be taxed at 50 cents on the dollar (for every dollar over the 45 million mark) and will owe one first round draft pick to the lowest base salaried team in their division. * teams exceeding 65 million dollars will be taxed at 65 cents on the dollar for every dollar beyond the 45 million level, they will forfeit their first and second round draft picks to the lowest base salaried teams in their division (if base salary levels are equal the team with the fewest points is awarded the compensation) I have to iron out some details, obviously, and it's a bit complicated but it's based on the principles of other collective bargaining agreements which have some form of compensation/salary limits written into them. It's a first draft and I'd appreciate your feedback.