Free Agent "Cap"

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Ziggy Stardust, Jan 25, 2005.

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  1. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    Should NHL teams be "capped" at how much they are allowed to spend on free agents (or how many players they are allowed to sign)?

    This is on unrestricted free agents (not restricted free agents). And in order to maintain job security for players... perhaps teams should be given a limit on the amount of players they wish not to qualify (who are restricted free agents).

    I think this enables teams to not only spend responsibly but also be cautious on the long-term/short-term commitments they make.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2005
  2. garry1221

    garry1221 Registered User

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    something along these lines could work IMO, possibly something along the lines of

    teams may only sign 2/3rds of their FA's (UFA and RFA)

    the amount each team may spend must not exceed the average amount of the lowest 3 payrolls (average totalled at start and end of season; average of final two sums used as the signing amount.

    i'd give the concession of one franchise player tag, the tag only has to be renewed every 6 - 8 years, and should the player's contract be up before the 6 - 8 years that player is not counted as part of the 2/3rds rule

    there's kinks to work out but all in all i think a decent start
     
  3. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    I do like the idea of NHL teams having a "window" to try to re-sign their UFA's.
    I would propose a rule that would give teams the option of selecting a limited amount of their own UFA's that they wish to retain. Maybe create a new GROUP classification in which these UFA's will fall under.
    These UFA's are free to negotiate deals with other clubs... BUT... the team that held his rights during the season has the option to match that deal or simply walk away from it. This way the player isn't too restricted in movement and it gives a team the possibility of actually retaining their UFA's. There is constant movement in the NHL and it is hard to identify with a team when so many players keep changing jerseys.

    As for the cap on free agent signings/spending by teams on UFA's on the market. There should be a tie in to the teams overall performance, revenue stream and other factors, such as the teams previous payroll... how many UFA's the team signed in the past off-season... etc.

    I think this is a concept that could work in the NHL and would not harm the players from gaining fair market value. Can't both sides agree to something along these lines?
     
  4. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    Another idea I wanted to add to this concept... let's assume the free agent age is dropped down to 28. Player X came in to the league at 20, with 8 years of service to his team. Let's say this player developed to become a star... marquee player.

    Would it not be fair to give the team who held his rights to have the right to match any offer that comes his way? That way, the market sets his value, and it is the teams option whether or not they wish to retain him at that price. I guess you can say it is like restricted free agency rules, but w/o the compensation and restrictions.
     
  5. Reilly311

    Reilly311 Guest

    Well, what if team gets injures and has to sign FA's to fill up holes? Not gonna work. Who cares how many you can sign. Just don't go over the limit.
     
  6. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    I should have noted that this applies to free agent signings during the off-season. Lets say during the season teams will be "capped" by a limit of FA's they can bring in as well... but in the case of an injury... if a team can't fill the hole by calling up a player maybe allow teams to sign free agents to fill holes. Afterall, why would a team throw money away and lock up a player to a long-term deal if they are only going to get temporary use out of him?
     
  7. txomisc

    txomisc Registered User

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    How about a luxury tax on UFA signings rather than simply capping them? If you think about it being able to sign a UFA is perhaps the biggest luxury of them all. If UFA signings would count more against payroll than a general contract it could, perhaps, serve as a good reason to not overspend. Say a UFA contract counts at 110% of what its signed for. A 5 million dollar per year contract would now cost a team 5.5 million. Put that money into a pool for the less fortunate owners.
     
  8. garry1221

    garry1221 Registered User

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    but after the first year the player's contract wouldn't count to be pooled, there's way too many ways for gm's to get around that one. whether it's a low base w/ easy to reach bonuses or a backloaded contract every team would get around that with ease.

    example: team x signs player a (ufa) to a 2 year/ 2 mil contract, first year that player gets paid 800k (making the lux tax equal a whopping 880k), 2nd year 1.2 mil (and no penalty).
     
  9. txomisc

    txomisc Registered User

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    Well what I meant was a yearly thing. the 1.2 million would also count at 110% so there really wouldnt be any benefit there. Also you could count money for reached incentives. If the guys base salary is 1 million but he reaches incentives for bring his actual payment to 2 million, simply take that 2 million and tack the 200,000 on top of it.
     
  10. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    I do like the idea of taxing some of the free agent money spent and adding it into a pool to be disbursed eventually. This adds to the league's goal for more "parity." But as I stated earlier, all tax money gained by the smaller markets needs to be put back into the "pot" and has to be spent on hockey operations.

    Seems like we are coming up with a few more creative ideas that could possibly work... more so than both the owners/players. :mad:
     
  11. Habs13

    Habs13 Registered User

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    How about a cap in terms of the amount a UFA player can make over his previous contract? Say, 25% maximum increase on the players most recent NHL contract. Hell, why not make it 10%..
     
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