What We Learned: Blame your NHL owners for your team’s cap crunch, difficulty competing on (Puck Daddy)

Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it. Tony Gallagher's column yesterday was about the way in which the salary cap has had a negative impact on the ability of big-market, profitable teams to spend as they normally would on talent in the offseason, and what that essentially means for the fans in those markets. (Gallagher equated it to a "screw you" from the NHL, which given the league's history with these kinds of gestures probably isn't all that far from the essence of the truth, even if it misses the mark somewhat.) Contained within that column was the nugget that the Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning are spending more or less the same amount on players this season. The implication was that this was inherently unfair to the fans in the "traditional" (see also: money-making) (see also also: Canadian) hockey markets because you're paying, by Gallagher's count, $390 there to see a team of the same quality as someone paying $90 in Tampa, which seems a generous estimate of what a ticket to a Lightning game probably costs these days. But what that misses, really, is the fact that these teams with their high revenues —remember, there are only a small number that actually make money every season, and thus can spend commensurately — didn't so much want to stick it to their fans.

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