Let's face it. The players trust the owners about as far as they can throw them and, frankly, who blames them. Deep suspicion has been cast over the owners' allegedly independant audit. The players don't even trust their own auditor to decipher all the owners' book-keeping shenanigans. Why, then, is it absolutely neccessary for the NHL to complicate things by asking the players to be a partner in a business over wich they have no real control or supervision? Instead, the owners should propose a hard cap without linkage. Why oblige the players to keep a running calculation of what percentage of revenues the maximun payroll represents? Let the players accept a payroll ceiling, and a floor, that is a fixed amount--period. Those numbers remain in effect for the duration of the CBA., subject to fluctuation triggered if certain positive conditions are met (e.g. increase in attendance...). This fluctuation clause cannot, under any circumstances, be used to lower the amount of the ceiling or the floor beyong the original negotiated numbers. It is the owners sole responsibility to run their businesses in such a way as to keep sales high. It follows that the owner should bear the sole risk of a downturn. With this plan, the owners get their cost certainty. No longer will payrolls spiral out of control. And the players will not be required to become auditors. God knows how difficult it will be to calculate "profit". To do it, one must scrutinize not only both sides of the balance sheet and the issue of what are reasonable costs is daunting, to see the least. With the cap/no linkage plan the players know what their minumum payroll will be and will share in any future windfall of revenue during the course of the CBC. And they won't have to bring their calculators to the rink.