Should the NHL change the salary cap for each team to even the playing field?

July 29, 2022  (8:55 PM)

In an interesting question posted on Reddit, should the NHL adjust the salary cap on the tax code, in which each team resides? If the NHL is looking for more parity and competitiveness in its contract offering, this is an interesting question.

Gary Bettman's work has primarily been to shield the owners and do the dirty work for them. Just like the last 3 years, the players have to pay back escrow as a result of the pandemic, they are on the hook to this day.
And he instituted a flat cap, which has barely moved, even with the Ads on helmets and jerseys, he's only raised the cap by $1 million dollars for 2022-2023.
A few recent examples have fueled the perception of competitive imbalance. Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov spent all of last regular season on long-term injury reserve after undergoing hip surgery, meaning his $9.5 million salary didn't count against the cap. The Lightning finished the regular season with a cap hit of more than $98 million, per Cap Friendly -- despite the salary cap being $81.5 million. Kucherov was activated for Game 1 of the playoffs and helped lead the Lightning to their second-straight Cup.

So would adjusting this based on the tax code, make things fair? I think in order to do first, Bettman would have to actually enforce rules at hand, such as cap cheaters, like the Tampa Bay Lightning would be a big step towards parity and good faith.
I however don't see it happening, while Bettman is in control.

The Vegas Golden Knights would also have to be held accountable before I see parity taking over in the league.
I also see this possibly tipping the favor back to a middle ground with Canadian clubs, who have had issues winning a cup since 1993, despite the Montreal Canadiens fluke run in 2021.
Per the collective bargaining agreement, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to keep the cap flat at $81.5 million until hockey-related revenue surpassed $3.3 billion for the previous season. The NHL's general managers were informed in March that the cap would only rise by $1 million in 2022-23.

It is clear, however that the hard salary cap system isn't working anymore.
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