Might the players’ proposal pit the owners against each other?

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has yet to see what the NHLPA will counter their proposal with, but it’s possible the players’ union will come back with something a bit different. Rather than looking to cash in big for themselves, they may seek to pit the owners against each other.

Aaron Portzline from The Columbus Dispatch hears from the dean of Indiana University School of Law Gary Roberts (no, not the former Flames and Maple Leafs forward) who says a plan like that might just work.

“Knowing Donald Fehr, I will be shocked if that’s not part of his proposal, and a big part of it,” said Gary Roberts, dean of the Indiana University School of Law. “Salary caps do not work very well — or for very long — if you have a great disparity of revenue between clubs.

“You either set the cap so low that some teams make enormous profits — that doesn’t sit well with the players — or you set it so high that the clubs in smaller markets just can’t keep up.”

That sort of thing is precisely what’s going on now as many teams spend to the floor to maximize what they make while others spend to the cap (and then some) because they’re awash in profits. Meanwhile, they’ve all got to spend the same kind of money regardless of how much they take in. That kind of disparity doesn’t sit well with the teams fighting to turn a profit.

One solution Portzline shares from sources is letting teams trade their salary cap space to teams in need of more for picks or cash. Hey, it’s a creative solution albeit one that doesn’t sound likely to happen.