I think there SHOULD be a limit on contract lengths. If you break down the average player's career there is an ideal max length of around 5 years.
18-23: gives GMs 2 RFA years to hammer out a new contract for an additional 5 years.
24-29: prime years for fwds.
30-35: veteran contributor fwd. dman in prime.
36-41: twilight of career.
If you consider the general scheme of player development and contribution, it makes sense to have contracts max out at around 5 years. This way you don't get players in the twilight of their career being paid to play as a prime fwd. Then you don't have stupid situations where teams can't compete years down the road due to a stupid contract given out by a previous GM years ago that cap strapped the team (and could cause them to dip into revenue sharing).
There should be a soft cap of +2mill on the ceiling that allows for teams to have some wiggle room in re-signing their talent (however twice this amount must be paid into revenue sharing) and you cannot use the soft cap in 3 consecutive years.
35+ contracts should be dealt with on a case by case basis. There should be a vote among GMs as to whether or not a team should pay for a player's cap hit depending on the contract situation. Say you signed a 35 year old to a 2 year contract in good faith and he was levelled by Chara and had a career ending concussion. That team shouldn't have to pay the cap hit for those 2 years as the contract was reasonable and the injury was not likely caused by his age. However if a team signs a 35 year old with a history of knee problems to a 5 year deal and he has set backs and cannot play anymore, the team should have known better and would be responsible for the risk they took when attempting to acquire that player. This is a system where GMs will keep each other honest and prevents GMs from using contract length to outbid other GMs.
Owners and players should split the revenue 50/50 and call it even for good. You can't have hockey without one or the other. It sucks, but this should just be dealt with now so that this doesn't happen again.
- Z Winged Dangler likes this