ExPat, my first recollection actually was somewhat accurate. There is a proposal to move the Floor $11M below the average and the Cap $5M above the average. It would not widen the $16M band, but it would push the low and high ends down (relative to % of gross revenues) which is what the NHL wants. Why the NHLPA would want this I have no idea, but Saskin is advocating this proposal. It won't be voted by the player reps until after July 1, so free agency may be pushed back in the offseason until this is settled.
Now you've hooked me... how do you set a floor to be the Average? Average of what? You won't know your average payroll till all the signings are done?
Maybe it's that the Cap and floor numbers have to be a percentage of the Gross. (as in the existing CBA) Maybe it's a percentage of the gross divided by the number of teams? That would be an 'average gross' number (indicative of the income of an 'average franchise') then what you're saying is that the floor would be $11 million below that and the ceiling $5 above????
If so, you're right, there's NO WAY the union would go for that. If they offered to increase the overall percentage of the gross dedicated to player salaries as part of the plan, it's possible they could rope the NHLPA in that way, but I don't see how this plan is better for the owners as a 'whole'(see my reference to baseball style economics where there's no incentive for teams with poor balance sheets to spend a dime of revenue sharing on the players but rather to just pocket the money.)