During the 2004 NHL All-Star Weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a lockout on the horizon, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the following statement:
“With the right economic system, we can take the pressure off of ticket prices, and I believe with the right economic system, many, if not most of our teams, will actually lower ticket prices. I believe we owe it to our fans to have affordable ticket prices.’’
Bettman was referring, of course, to his and the team owners insistence on “cost certainty”, which they subsequently achieved with the implementation of a salary cap in the current collective bargaining agreement, at the cost of shutting down the NHL for an entire season by locking out the players,bringing the NHLPA to heel.
The notion the league was peddling - which many fans eagerly accepted at the time - was linking players’ salaries to high ticket prices, implying that if a salary cap were imposed, players salaries would drop, and ticket price...