Originally written on Kukla's Korner  |  Last updated 10/17/14

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: Ray Whitney of the Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL game against the Nashville Predators at Jobing.com Arena on November 3, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Predators 4-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
From having to buy out Ray Whitney to inevitably waiving goodbye to Jiri Hudler thanks to the crazy economics presented to this summer’s free agent class by a $70.3 million “upper limit,” the CBA and the salary cap have conspired to take away the Red Wings’ personnel advantages over its opponents. The cap and its goal of enforcing parity make sustaining a Wings-like level of excellence almost impossible, but thanks to superb drafting of some once-a-decade players in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, as well as the lingering presence of a once-a-generation player in Nicklas Lidstrom and some astute “bargain” signings and trades from Ken Holland and the Wings’ management, Detroit’s made the Western Conference finals three times, the Stanley Cup Final twice and have won the Cup once over the past six seasons. Maybe even more importantly, the Wings have made the playoffs every year over the cycle of the CBA that’s about to expire, which remains an almost incredible exception to the ...
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