Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by thrash27, Dec 13, 2004.
What will Bettmanâ€™s counteroffer be?
I have a terrible feeling that it'll include a salary cap.......... Therefore the players will reject it. I hate to be a downer, and I really hope that I'm wrong but it all looks so bleak right now
Of course he'll offer a salary cap, tied to league revenues of course. It's the only way to level the playing field, and to stop the big teams from buying players to make up for their poor drafting/bad trading/bad luck (injuries). He's assured owners all along that he will get a system that works for them, and it comes in the way of a hard cap.
A salary cap tied to a percentage of league revenue with a stuff 100% luxury tax above that figure + a draft penalty for excessive UFAs or salaries. (so it won't look anything like this I'm just getting in the 100-1 long)
he'll accept the NHLPA offer if all players sign a book and write a brief note saying what a great President he is and how they really love him and want to be his friend.
It should look bleak to you. You're a LEAFS fan! We wouldn't be in this mess if it were not for the few teams that are destroying the league (most notably the Maple Leafs and Rangers). These two teams have spend ridiculous amounts of money for players, in hopes of attaining the coveted Lord Stanley. I took great pleasure seeing the small-market Flames making a run to the finals, while the Leafs were teeing up on the 9th hole!
yeah but you can look at that argument on the other side of the coin .
the nhlpa is quick to point out that alot of smaller market clubs have been successful while the Rangers are the poster boys for ''what not to do '' .
so its not as though the nhlpa is promoting ''spend to win'' philosophy , rather , spend wisely , draft wisely and use the various levers in the cba to manage your team .
unfortunatly , the nhl wants an idiot proof system and they will get it , sooner or later.
How can you possibly make a claim that the Leafs are "destroying" the league? What have they done to create this "mess"?
I have a hard time believing that the current NHLPA offer, with the added concession of a buy-out clause for garunteed contracts, say one year's extra pay, wouldn't give the NHL the protection they need. However, a salary cap of 1.3 millionper player or 40mil per team shouldn't be something the players toss away so easily. After all, making 1.3 a year is better than anything else these guys could conceivably find anywhere in the world.
I'm not sure it's individual teams as much as the Jagr's, Lemieux's, Sundin's and Lindros's of the league, bankrupting their teams with their outrageous salary demands. If the teams don't pay, their season ticket base falls apart and it takes years to rebuild.
I hope (key word) it's a luxury tax starting at 55% of revenue which is roughly 38.5 million dollars and a hard cap around 50-55 million dollars.
Tax figures ranging from 50 cents to a dollar for dollar max
How can you blame them. New York for example is in a much more competitive market then many other teams. I also question if the expansion made by Bettman could have been done if it werenÂ´t for big spenders in LA and NY having allot of success in the early-mid 90Â´s.
The biggest reason there have been so few small market teams competing is the management in each teams. Nobody in NY has anything to do with the draft history Edmonton has for example.
The most successful teams lately also have a really good draft history, like Colorado, Ottawa and Detroit.
Yes it is all the Maple Leafs fault. Maybe you people in windypeg should have looked after your team a little bit better so they didn't have to move.
If no one paid those outrageous salary demands, then their demands would have to come down wouldn't they?
Someone needs to tell the owners that they should learn to be a little more responsible when dealing outrageous contracts to guys like Bobby Holik and Martin Lapointe. It's not the players job to restrict the owners wallets.
Here's how they (and the Rangers and Flyers and others) have done it:
Say a deep-pocketed, large-market team (like NYR), wanting to make a splash in their marketplace and with money to burn, signs a stiff (say Bobby Holik) to a $9+ million/year contract. When pending RFA #1 playing for a mid-market franchise (say, STL) with similar or slightly lesser stats reaches the end of his $3 million contract, he takes his team to arbritration, arguing that he should be paid $7 million because, look at Holik, see what he's making! The arbitrator rules for the pending RFA, STL pays the arbitration award because they don't want to lose a valuable asset in RFA #1, and BINGO! the new marketplace for ALL just-above-mediocre defencemen jumps 33% to 5-million dollars AMERICAN.
Next season, well-run, small market Canadian team #1 (say for example purposes, Calgary) sees one of their better, young defencemen coming up for RFA in the next year or two and smartly tries to lock them into a long-term deal making $3.5 million per, knowing that if they make arbitration they'll be awarded at least $5 million by either an arbitrator or the "market," because that's what the new bar is set to thanks to NYR's overspending. The agent for the defenceman (who also happens to represent Holik) rejects Calgary's attempts to sign that player to any long term deal, knowing that if they do, it will hurt that player's "market" value (which is already overinflated thanks to NYR). So the player rejects all attempts to be signed for the long term, and one of three things happens:
1) the player wins a huge arbitration award and the club (who won't be able to afford it) is forced to walk away from the award and make the player a UFA,
2) the team trades away the player for two unproven young players, knowing that they'll get at least something back for him long term instead of losing him entirely, or
3) the most likely scenario: the player gets the minimum 110% qualifying offer, and either the player holds out for a better deal (more likely) or they sign a 1-year contract, and then the process starts all over again next year with the player wanting yet another "better deal" (of course, it'll be for the "market," which in the interim has been inflated again with TOR's signing of UFA free-agent defenceman #2 to a $10 million deal).
In any of the cases above, how can CGY possibly compete on the same level as TOR and NYR to even re-sign their home-grown talent? Answer: THEY CAN'T.
You see, none of these franchises can be taken in isolation - the competitive "marketplace" in TOR or NY is markedly different from, say, CGY or ATL. However, the decisions that teams in TOR, NY, PHI or MON affect EVERYONE regardless of revenues or how well-run the organizations themselves are run, because the players and the agents hold all the cards in negotiations - thanks to the horrible deal the owners signed with the players back in '94.
Hope this clears things up - and this is another example of how this League needs either a hard cap or a very steep luxury tax structure, combined with a comprehensive league-wide revenue sharing system that includes regular-season and playoff revenues, to survive long term.
If this was the case, removing the right to salary arbitration would fix all probelms. Right?
If it were only that easy. Yes, arbitration as it currently stands is a BIG part of the problem - but there's more to it than that. Unfortunately, since one agent represents many players (and they're competing against themselves in the marketplace, which in any other industry would be a blatant conflict of interest), it doesn't work that way. Removing arbitration (or giving the clubs the right to take an underperforming player like Alexei Yashin to arbitration) would only slow the upward trend of salaries, but the agents will always find a sucker like NYR to sign someone to a big UFA contract, and then they would pressure their clients with similar stats to hold out if need be for a "market" deal.
It doesn't help that big agencies like IMG (who represent players from all major sports, not just hockey) are treating hockey players in negotiations like MLB and NFL players, when the revenues generated in the NHL from TV and sponsorships are a tiny fraction of those leagues...
Agreed, I am no Leaf fan at all. In fact they are my least favorite team, but I don't look at them as driving up salaries, they just pay what is market rate, not set to market rate
Look at teams like St Louis (Pronger), Ducks (Kariya), Avs (Sakic/Forsberg), Wings (Cujo/Lidstrom), Rags (Holik), Pens (Jagr), and Bruins (Lapointe). These are the teams that have messed it up for everyone else.
There are others as well, but those are the type of contracts that have destroyed the league.
One thing that is mystifying me from NHLPA supporters is when they point to bad management and bad drafting as the reason teams are on the verge of bankruptcy. When did it become on teams drafting record for them to stay in the league? If you draft and trade badly then your team should suck, not disappear.
Part of a stable league is teams not having to move locations every few years.
Yes Edmonton drafted VERY badly in the 90s. But that doesn't change the fact that they had to trade, Guerin, Weight and lost Cujo all because other teams set the market value of these players and the Oilers couldn't match that.
They drafted badly and their teams hasn't been good because of it, but should they be forced to shutdown because of it? It isn't like they don't have the support of the fans, they are very popular, but because of the lack of population in the city, the team can't match revenues of cities that have 5+ million people.
I agree with that. Allot of changes have to be made, no doubt. But Bettman isnÂ´t trying to put together a league that can survive and grow. He is trying to breake the PA and make a helluva lot of money for the owners. He is trying to make the teams he put in the wrong markets succesful. Remember it isnÂ´t teams like Edmonton who has problems. Edmonton currently ranks between 12-16 of the most profitable teams.
Edmonton doesnt have financial problems. They are among the top 12-16 teams in revenues.
If the NHLPA is smart, they should negotiate with the framework the league gives them. It won't get much better and at least they'll salvage this season and all of next.
Bettman only needs the minority of owners to lock out the players and right now he has the majority willing to flush this season and next one down the drain to get the right deal.
what scares me is that we are going to lose this season because of pride, of "not giving in"-Iam afraid they won't be "smart"
Well for starters, they built over half their lineup through free agency which in effect causes inflation and higher ticket prices.
They competed for Holik, Kasparitis and others which in effect drove the price up to rediculous levels.
They barely make use of the draft or their picks.
Their fans and coroporate sponsors fuel league inflation because they are dumb enough or too loyal and are willing to pay anything just to say they were at the game and then sit on their hands when they do attend.
If I remember correctly, Ola, the NFL "broke" the NFLPA back in 1987 and I haven't heard the players complaining about their salaries lately, even though owning an NFL franchise is a license to print money. I tend to think that the best solution is one in which EVERYONE makes a helluva lot of money, but maybe that's just me. As for Edmonton, under the current system, their team has been repeatedly gutted, rebuilt, and gutted again and again, even though they're for the most part well-run and focus on growing their own talent through their minor league system. Is the current CBA the kind of system that appeals to you? I don't believe so, since you do admit that a lot of changes have to be made.
And I don't think that the "wrong markets" argument holds much water, either. The three NHL teams that have either filed for bankruptcy or are the closest to it - Ottawa, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh - don't strike me as being in the wrong markets; they're just cash-poor franchises, and in the case of Pittsburgh and Buffalo especially, they had ridiculously poor arena contracts that had high lease rates and didn't pay squat on parking, concessions, etc. Ottawa has the additional exchange rate burden to bear.
To continue my earlier point, it's interesting that agents can conspire with their many clients (and with other agents) to set market values for their clients and it's called "negotiation," but if owners conspire with one another to informally set market limits it's called "collusion." Something is wrong with this picture to me...
And I hope this is the point where the agents come into play. They're not paid to be emotional, they're paid to do what's best financially for their clients. One would hope they will step in and advise their clients against doing something exceedingly rash.
The agents have been the forgotten faction as of late, IMO they won't be forgotten for long.