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What if the Field Was Levelled?

July 24, 2019, 12:40 PM ET [229 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
You know it, I know it, Bergevin and Molson know it, Montreal is not necessary a destination of choice for free agents. Why? Well there are many reasons regularly put forward: the market is a pressure cooker (get over yourself Montreal, that's the case in many other towns), the first language is French, the weather is brutal (come on, Winnipeg anyone?) and last but not least: the taxes.

I think we all remember the summer of 2017 when Alex Radulov signed a five-year, $31.25 M deal with the Dallas Stars and Bergevin said that Montreal had offered the same amount of money. While Radulov said it was too late as he had agreed with Dallas before Montreal matched the offer, the medias were quite clear that $31.25 M in Dallas was more than $31.25 M in Montreal. In fact, if we use the tax calculator function on Cap Friendly, we see that with Dallas, Radulov pays 40.02% in taxes while if he was playing in Montreal, he would be paying 53.02% in taxes meaning that he would leave $858,087 on the table per season.

This situation is let's face it, rather annoying for Habs fans, front office and more importantly for the players as well. What can be done though? Well, if the NHL was able to implement a revenue sharing program which meant that teams who earned more were "taxed" so that teams who didn't make as much received a money influx why couldn't something similar be put into place? How, well, here's my idea...

As most of you know (even though very few care I'm guessing unfortunately) the Canadian Women's Hockey League folded this off season. Simply put there just wasn't enough money to go around and pay the players salaries that would have allowed the ladies to focus purely on their sport and not have to get a day-time job as well. Couldn't the NHL help in this matter in the same way as the NBA did for the Women's game in Basketball? The NBA actually owns the WNBA and this league has been running since 1996 rather successfully if I may add. So here's my idea what if the NHL imposed a new "tax sharing plan" which would mean that every player would be paying the same amount of taxes so in Montreal, the players would still pay their 53.02% in taxes but in Dallas, 40.02% would be paid to the government in taxes and the extra 13% would be paid to the league which would use that money to operate a Women's league and pay the players of the said league?

Think about it, that would mean that money would no longer be the deal breaker for free agents since they would be paid the same amount everywhere. Of course, your team would still have to be the one to offer the most money to be chosen by a free agent but Montreal's $30M would be worth the same as Dallas' $30M. Not only would this level the playing field in the Men's game but it could allow to Women's game to finally grow as it should.

Furthermore, what if the Women's league, much like the WNBA, operated during the NHL's offseason? I don't know about you but I for one, am starved for hockey in the summer and I would really enjoy the possibility of seeing some good hockey during the dog days of summer. That way, both leagues wouldn't be competing against each other and perhaps the women's game would gain some new fans. People do watch women's hockey in the Olympics so why wouldn't they in a different setting, especially if that doesn't mean that they have to miss their team's match.

I know, this is easy to say in theory but I bet the same was said about the revenue sharing initiative in the early days. Of course, the players would have their word to say if that idea is ever to be used but there are already players from the Men's game who are supporting the ladies' cause, just last weekend, Jack Eichel and Max Domi made that clear:

The jersey doesn’tmatter. The mission does. #ForTheGame #WomensMovementNeverStops pic.twitter.com/MsPNfT4kzH

— PWHPA (@PWHPA) July 21, 2019

Is that such a crazy idea? Let me hear your thoughts guys...
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