Friday, August 06, 2004

A socialist idea that doesn't suck completely

Babble on.

Jerry Aldini is talking about collective bargaining in the NHL. In fact, Jerry is talking about a whole pile of stuff that you should read, but today's hockey rant reminded me I've got something to say on the topic myself. Not that it hasn't been said before, mind you...

I think the one discussion that's not taking place in all this fuss about 'cost certainty' is 'revenue sharing.' Now before my red-blood right-wing readers (all three of you, thanks for coming) get their knickers in a knot about socialist redistribution of wealth and all that, let me point out that a sports league is unlike most other segments of industry. Specifically, sports teams require competition. If I'm a grocery store, I'm trying to drive the grocer down the street out of business. If I'm the Edmonton Oilers, I'm certainly not trying to drive the Calgary Flames out...OK, that's a bad example.

My point is that NHL teams aren't trying to execute hostile takeovers of each other or drive each other into bankruptcy. In fact, they have a vested interest in ensuring there's some sort of parity in the league. So why not share revenue? That way Detroit can't buy championships every second year, driving up salaries and making a franchise like the Penguins uncompetitive and therefore unviable.

Now, if teams are chronically unprofitable no matter if they're competitive or not, then we need to talk contraction - something else Bettman seems unwilling to consider. But overall, I think the best way to keep salaries down and competitiveness up is to make sure no one team has the resources to outspend the others. And because it's not a 'hard cap' the players might be willing to talk, and we might all get to watch NHL hockey this fall.

Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong on this.

Babble off.


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