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NHL CBA Negotiations: NHL Wants $58 Million Cap

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Keep smiling, guys. Eventually you'll get your turn at having your salary options determined by others.
Keep smiling, guys. Eventually you'll get your turn at having your salary options determined by others.

Yesterday, the two sides in the NHL CBA negotiations sat down, and the NHL presented their "counter proposal" to the NHLPA's "New World Order" proposal. Pro Hockey Talk has one union official saying it is "basically the same" as the first proposal, which is heart warming for those hoping for a quick resolution to this disaster. Cory Schneider, of the much loved Vancouver Canucks, said the union was "not going to say yes just to say yes."

Depressed enough yet? OK, we'll stop. Or, we move on.

Puck Daddy then reported some of the details leaking out through various sources. The big news here? The NHL wants a salary cap of $58 million, with no salary rollbacks presented.

Let that wash over you, step back from the ledge, and join us after the jump.

From the Puck Daddy piece, is a quote from Kevin Allen of USA today:

According to details provided to USA TODAY Sports, the plan calls for fixed dollars in the first three seasons that would put players share of revenue at 51.6% in 2012-13, 50.5% in 2013-14 and 49.6% in 2014-15. In the final three years, the players and owners would split revenue 50-50.

The initial NHL proposal had called for an immediate cut of players' share of revenues to 43%. According to the NHL's calculations, under its proposal, players would receive an 11% decrease in the first year, an 8.5% decrease in the second and a 5.5% decrease in the third.

The NHL proposal calls for a fixed salary cap of $58 million next season and then caps of $60 million and $62 million. Under the plan, the league projected a fourth-year salary cap of $64.2 million, a fifth year at $67.6 million and the final season's cap of $71.1 million. Last season's salary cap was $64.3 million and the cap was projected to rise to $70.2 million in 2012-13.

Emphasis mine.

If Wild fans were overly excited about the signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter on July 4th, those same fans have to be ready to scream out in agony at this point. The Wild finally land two big free agents, and the league wants to cut the salary cap by $12 million. It really would be just the luck of the Minnesota sports fan.

The PA is not likely to agree to this massive of a cap cut, and it strikes me as bizarre that the owners are pushing this cut. According to CapGeek (and as mention in the PD piece), 16 of the 30 teams are above the $58 million mark. Even if they go with amnesty buyouts, the owners still have to pay out the money, saving them absolutely nothing. It makes zero sense.

"Hey guys, I have a great idea how we can save some money. What we do is cut the salary cap and buyout all of the contracts we want under an amnesty program, paying out every penny we owe the players anyway." Good stuff.

So Now What?

If the CBA were settled today, and this were the cap, the Wild would need to trim just over 10.8 million from this year's cap hit. Assuming no change in the way the cap hit of players is determined, that means the Wild need to lose a marquis player or two.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard would seem an obvious target, at $4.08 million, and in the final year of his current deal. Matt Cullen could also go in this scenario, taking another one year guy at $3.5 million off the books. But where do the Wild cut the final $3.22 million? Do they buy out Dany Heatley at $7.5 million and let him walk away? Is Niklas Backstrom an option? Could a cap disaster such as this make Josh Harding and Matt Hackett the twosome in St. Paul?

There are plenty of scenarios to make it happen, the question is... what do you do?

Let's hear it, Wilderness. Check out the Wild's cap situation, then give us how you get the team under the $58 million hypothetical salary cap.