I totally agree. The star players should absolutely be getting a bigger piece of the pie. Every team should have two or three guys who make huge money and the rest should be paid according to their roles--not what a UNION has negotiated for them.
As for the watering down issue... I'd submit that it IS an NHL problem. We've just become used to the fact that there are so many teams and the calibre of play is such. I like to think that there is a critical mass of players that make the game as good as it can be (while still keeping a decent number of franchises for revenue purposes,) and that the NHL has exceeded it by that 6 or 8 teams.
The NBA and NFL are more position specific. Stars drive the games. They get paid. In the NFL's case, they could ADD a team or two and not affect the product.
What do we get? Talk about how the Capitals were a better team when Ovechkin's minutes were being cut back?!?!?!? Insane!