Can we all just agree right now that the 2012-13 lockout did nothing to stop what happened after the 2004-05 lockout, and that mid-level players will continue to be badly overpaid?
I've heard people reference the Zajac contract (8yrs/46 mil) as proof that the new CBA is working. Working how, exactly? Just because the new contracts won't be longer than 8 years and won't have crazy variances where the amounts tail off at the end doesn't mean we're rid of dumb contracts.
Dumb contracts happen because the less-financially stable hockey clubs hover near the cap floor, which is 15 - 20 million below the cap ceiling. As soon as they lose a big-salary player to retirement, expired contract, or trade, they are pressured by both the fans and the cap floor itself to spend money quickly on whatever is available. The Devils don't have many long-term contracts outside of Kovalchuk, and Brodeur's deal is coming off the books after this year or next, in all likelihood.
Backdiving contracts were ONE way in which players costs went up, but really, they only affected a small percentage of super long deals, and those are usually with very desirable players that are worth the risk. The mid-level contracts are what continues to destroy the game, and that was even the case before the '04 lockout (Marty Lapointe's deal and the like). This fact will become increasingly evident as we know the cap is going down next year, yet we'll still see big deals and re-signings like this all over the league. I'm not sure exactly how you fix it (other than thinning out the league so that virtually all of its members could at least afford spending to the Cap), but I don't want any illusion that the CBA "fixed" it.
Edited by StormJH1, 17 January 2013 - 01:47 PM.