I'm too lazy to try to sift through Google for articles about the 2004-05 lockout, but one thing I remember which may or may not be true was that the salary cap and floor were touted as a panacea for small-market owners. I remember quotes from people like Peter Karmanos and Charles Wang. Maybe those didn't happen - I wasn't following it too closely. What's interesting is the teams that have changed ownership since the lockout. These teams are as follows:
* Aquilini bought 50% of the team during the lockout, bought the rest afterwards
If I called Anaheim, Dallas, Florida, Nashville, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta small-market teams would anyone get upset? St. Louis is the only one that's questionable, maybe Anaheim too. If I called Columbus, Carolina, Colorado, and Long Island small-market teams would anyone get upset? Again, Colorado's questionable. So we've got 8 out of 12 small-market teams changing hands between lockouts - why did those owners sell? Hard to say in each case, but it's hard to imagine these teams have Bettman's ear. Bettman was established as an NHL commissioner for 10 years before these people got on board as owners, and it's hard to know where they might stand on this prolonged work stoppage. I don't believe that either party - Bettman or the New Owners - has the other's back.