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Columnist believes players will ask for luxury tax, revenue sharing

Donald Fehr

NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr speaks at a news conference after a meeting of the NHLPA executive board in Chicago, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)


NHLPA head Donald Fehr hinted at the players’ upcoming counter-proposal today, prompting others to speculate regarding what exactly that “alternate view” might be.

Sportsnet’s Michael Grange believes that Fehr and the NHLPA will propose a modified system that might include a luxury tax and revenue sharing.

Rather than an artificial drag on salaries by way of a hard cap, how about a voluntary tax -- a luxury tax -- on teams that see fit to invest in talent?

How about an NHL where, rather than weaker markets being propped up squeezing down the cost of labour, franchises that have unique advantages share some of their profits with those that don’t?

It’s 180 degrees from what the owners have come to enjoy and the “status quo but better” deal they’re seeking now.

If Fehr goes with this strategy, it could echo the thoughts of an insider who believes that the greatest conflict of this round of negotiations actually pits big market and smaller market owners against each other.

Having a higher ceiling for the “rich” teams while simultaneously pumping more money into the smaller markets would theoretically make the pool of money deeper.

Which would be music to the players’ ears.

We - or at least the owners - will find out if that is indeed the NHLPA’s stance on Tuesday.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)