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In CBA talks, NHL players should take strong stance on long-term contracts

Collective bargaining negotiations in the National Hockey League exist to protect the owners from their own ruinous behavior. The salary cap, the salary rollback, contract limits ... they're all concessions from the players in service of the owners' self-preservation. The CBA talks are like when you slowly remove your buddy's ATM card from his wallet as he trounces through a Vegas casino carrying one of those frozen beverages they serve in a plastic bassoon -- take a break, fellas, you've spent enough.

And yet, there's never any point to it, because every single team executive in the league that complains about "cost certainty" or competitive imbalance or a broken system will be elbowing his peers out of the way to circumvent or undermine the rules.