Another Interesting Article from Bob McKenzie

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by djhn579, Sep 21, 2004.

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  1. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/bob_mckenzie.asp

    As it turns out, some of the most damaging contracts NHL ownership handed out weren't dumb at all.

    Let's use Montreal's signing of goalie Jose Theodore as an example.

    Theodore was making $1.65 million in the 01-02 season, when he won the Hart and Vezina trophies. Coming into the next season, the Habs were under extraordinary pressure to get a new deal done with Theodore. That 'under the gun' mentality was based on his accomplishments of the year before as well as the fact he's a good-looking, francophone hockey hero in a puck-crazed marketplace. If the Canadiens started the season without him, the fans and media would cause a kerfuffle like no other.



    But Theodore's contract -- big bucks for a goalie with limited NHL experience -- turned out to be the catalyst for hyper-inflation of goaltender contracts throughout the league. Jean-Sebastien Giguere in Anaheim, Marty Turco in Dallas, Evgeni Nabokov in San Jose, and virtually every young No. 1 goalie in the league...they all used Theodore as the leverage to get huge salary increases. Theodore's deal, after all, can be used in salary arbitration.


    A good read on how one teams decision escalates salaries throughout the league...
     
  2. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    gee, a poor, defenseless Canadian team like that, how can they compete?
     
  3. Legolas

    Legolas Registered User

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    It seems to me that this article only proves further that owners are idiots. If an agent says "My player is just as good as Jose Theodore, pay him the same" then the response obviously is "Go and see if Montreal will give him the same contract then, because we sure can't afford to in our market, etc." A hardline for sure, but when all the owners are taking a smart position on contracts, players and agents lose leverage.
     
  4. BLONG7

    BLONG7 Registered User

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    Well said, the owners and GM's have to start to use some common $en$e!!!
     
  5. montreal

    montreal Go Habs Go

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    Bob fails to say that none of those goalies just came off a MVP and Vezina season. If they used Theodore's contract as a base, then the gms' are too stupid to realize that the Habs had the best goalie in the league and the NHL's top player, at the time of the contract. What other goalie can say that? So why base their contracts on that one?

    I do think that deal stinks and is going to give Gainey trouble after this year when he's up for another contract. Theodore has been a problem to sign twice already and Savard didn't help any by giving him so much money.

    As for McKenzie, I got an idea, why not bring up one of the worst contracts I've seen in the NHL, the rangers giving Holik 45M? Why do an article on Theodore and his 16.5M, who at least was named top goalie and MVP of the entire NHL. Holik at 9M is a damn joke.
     
  6. Legolas

    Legolas Registered User

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    I think his point is that Holik's contract and Jagr's contract weren't used as measuring sticks for future deals, which I find hard to believe. I'm sure Chris Pronger's agent brought up all the $10 million guys when he was doing his deal.

    As for Theodore, like all players he'll have to take less money on his next deal most likely, and if he's smart, he'll understand he wants to be the next Martin Brodeur, not the next Jocelyn Thibault. Staying in Montreal, even with all of the inherent distractions and issues that Theodore faces, is the best move for him to make...but then again I'm biased!
     
  7. don't mix apples and oranges, guys, as deals signed by UFAs like Holik cannot be used in arbitration cases. Furthermore Pronger's 10 mill a year contract was more a response to the Ducks having just given Kariya, at the time considered the best young forward in the game as Pronger was (and still is) considered the best dman in the game (or one of the top 2) so it was a comparison of another player in the same age bracket. Again, perhaps some of YOU are forgetting that Pronger signed that deal after having won the Hart and Norris Trophys which hadn't been done since Orr. If YOUR team had given Pronger that money under those circumstances NOT A SINGLE ONE OF YOU would be complaining about it now, would you?

    Having re-read some of the previous posts I think you guys seriously need to brush up on the history of Pronger's contracts with the Blues....
     
  8. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    Exactly the point. The best thing for the NHL about the Theodore contract is that it set the bar. Turco, Giguere and Nabokov got significantly less because they have not won either a Hart or a Vezina. The top guy sets the top wage and the rest follow. Pronger and Kariya are a little different because both guys came into the league before this CBA. They set the bar for a different age group.

    Pronger is still getting $10 million because St. Louis had to qualify him or let him go like Kariya was let go. They decided to keep him.

    The defenseman who set the bar for post CBA dollars is Jovanovski. The forward who set the bar for forwards is Iginla. As McKenzie noted for goalies it is Theodore.

    This is a point that has not been made very loudly by the NHLPA. I suppose it is because it is too complicated to fit into a sound bite. The bar for the very best is lower today than it was five years ago. The difference between players who came into the league before the entry level salary cap system was imposed and those who came in after is quite striking.

    It is very hard to argue that the entry level system has not provided a significant drag on salaries.

    Tom
     
  9. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    And a 10% drop in contracts should continue that trend even more, as the bar will be 10% lower.

    Of course some fans are trying to make the case that because players under the ALS get 110% qualifying offers, the 10% rasie would be wiped out. Of course. Why didnt I think of it. The problem with the CBA is that players get raises.
     
  10. montreal

    montreal Go Habs Go

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    I would be pissed if the Habs gave any player that kind of money. I was extremely pissed off when I heard Theodore went from 1.65M to 5M. Why cause it's not right to see a player jump that high in salary as it will throw off his future contracts, thus causing the team to either over pay down the road or much worse, not be able to afford him. Hart and Norris is not better then Hart and Vezina, so yea I'd be pissed but that's just me.
     
  11. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    The trend line has to be for lower salaries anyway. One of the impacts of expansion is that it creates new jobs. About half those jobs are taken by players who were not in the NHL prior to expansion. The other half is taken up by the best players extending their careers. It happened in the 1970's, too - the average age of an NHL player went up. Many more players in the 1970's and 1990's played until age 35 than did so in either the 1960's or 1980's.

    Within three or four years of expansion stopping, the trend towards older also stops. We can see that today. The league is getting younger.

    Under the CBA that is just expiring, older players are rewarded with contracts far beyond their value while younger players are underpaid. If the league did nothing as far as a CBA is concerned, salaries will drop on the demographics alone. They will get this boost under any CBA. younger players are paid less and the league is getting younger. The overall salary tab has to go down.

    Tom
     
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