How does a lower UFA age help the "small markets"?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by MarkZackKarl, Jan 17, 2005.

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  1. MarkZackKarl

    MarkZackKarl Registered User

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    Of course anyone with an ounce of rationality would realize that this whole fight is for the big markets, and how they can have New York , Chicago and LA (and Toronto to a lesser extent) become among the dominating teams. I mean, lets face it, having the NHL's next dynasty in Ottawa is not good for the league, but great for Ottawa fans. THe league wants to make sure that we cannot dominate for the next 7 years which seems almost guaranteed. Their solution? Lower the UFA age so that our best players would be available at 27, or 28 to go to the bigger market teams. AT least at 27 the player is not declining as he is at 31.

    So how does the lower UFA age, the thing the owners want most, help the small markets?

    Its funny, most people for some reason thought that this was about the small markets, but its really about the big markets. How do we allow the big markets to become competitive within a year or two instead of 4 or 5 that is needed under this system? Forget the honest way to build and win, lets short circuit it so that the big markets can turn around within a ocuple years!

    Yes, that is best for Ottawa and best for the small markets.

    So, someone please tell me : How does a lower UFA age (the thing that the owners are after) help the small markets?

    GOod luck everyone!
     
  2. West

    West Registered User

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    To my understanding this is something that the PA always pushes for and something the owners are usually willing to sacrfice. I think most teams would love to go back to the days of no FA (even the Rangers).
     
  3. MarkZackKarl

    MarkZackKarl Registered User

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    yikes

    BS. The players wouldn't mind it, but make no mistake, its the owners that are pushing for it. When they hit their "deal" they'll say "well, we had to make a concession for the players, so we allowed increased freedom". It will sell over for the poor people that are supporting them in this lockout, making them think that the players are the ones that really care about it. If you didn't notice, the NHLPA's proposal on the 9th of December had NOTHING changed with regards to the UFA age. While the league proposal had a few years of reduction of the UFA ages ...

    Now, someone plpease, why would the NHLPA not ask for a reduction in UFA ages if thats what they really wanted? If they really wanted it, they would have put it in their proposal right? Hey look , its the OWNERS who want to change the UFA ages.

    I can't believe you swallow all the BS despite all evidence to the contrary.
     
  4. Sanderson

    Sanderson Registered User

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    Um, the league isn't interested in lowering the UFA age, but you have to give something to get something.

    If you want to have something that gives you an advantage, you have to give the other side an advantage in another field or they will never agree to give you the thing you want.

    It usually works, it's just that there is a fundamental difference in opinion between the league and the NHLPA right now.

    That's not BS and there is no evidence to suggest the owners are the ones who are interested in reducing the UFA-age.
     
  5. MarkZackKarl

    MarkZackKarl Registered User

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    ufa

    OMG. You really think the league isn't interested in lowering the UFA ages? WTF? you dont think Toronto and New York want to have better younger players at their disposal once July 1st comes around? EVeryone knows they dont devleop enough oftheir own players ,and the only assets readily available to them as UFA's are all 31. These guys dont help teams win. Its evident that the bigger markets want to have the ability to sign the Iginla's Lecavlier's Havlat's etc when they are in their prime.

    Hook, line and sinker indeed.

    The league wants the lower UFA ages as much if not more than the players do.
     
  6. Beukeboom Fan

    Beukeboom Fan Registered User

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    Welcome to Conspiracy Theory 101!

    If a system is put in place where big markets can't "hijack" talent from small market teams due to having a bigger checkbook, UFA age becomes less important.

    Teams that draft and develop players well with still have a HUGE advantage in whatever system is put in place.

    I think you are letting your "fandom" for the Sens cloud your viewpoint. Even under the old system, the Sens were either going to have to either join the big spenders ($50+M payroll) or start making some tough decisions.

    Hard caps with younger UFA ages do make it more difficult (to almost impossible) to have a dynasty or incredibly dominating team. I don't think the league is out to get OTT (or any other young team with a lot of talent like ATL, NASH, etc) but rather put a system in place that somewhat levels the playing field economically. Part of that makes it difficult to have 2 #1 d-men, and 3 legit #1 RW'ers.
     
  7. fan mao rong

    fan mao rong Registered User

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    Here's why. Since this lower free agent age, you surmise, would be incorporated into a hard cap system, the entire market for players would be reset. If a team doesn't wish to get near the cap on "non-descript" players, most of these would go to the minimum salary. Teams would all have the same upper limit on total payroll (hard cap) so sums paid for "high-end" players would be relatively equal. So, theoretically small market teams would not necessarily be disadvantaged by a hard cap. Some of the Canadian players might favor signing with Canadian teams perhaps also mitigating the hard cap disadvantage to some. If this argument is of concern to the Player's Association they can always accept a hard cap and refuse to accept the lowering of the Free Agent age.
     
  8. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    You know, more and more people are starting to realize exactly what the NHL's motives are. All it takes is a little independent thought.

    Anyway, you're absolutley right, their fixation on a hard cap is to ensure the big market teams have access to superstar FA's in their prime. Its all for TV. The league couldn't give two ***** if Calgary or Edmonton or anybody else went OB or ever won another game. And you can bet the league will include loopholes in the hard cap that allow the rich teams to circumvent it. Its really too bad they've done such a great job convincing most fans the league is looking out for them. What a joke.
     
  9. Volcanologist

    Volcanologist Used Register

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    It's funny, though, how many fans of small-market teams are filled with romantic zeal about the hard cap these days.

    They really honestly think that the world is going to turn upside down, and their small-market team is going to start getting over on Detroit and the big teams.
     
  10. gerbilanium

    gerbilanium Registered User

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    Has Ottawa had any important unrestricted free agents lost yet or are all there good players still too young? They were able to resign their gooduns' because they have next to no bargaining power (except for that *** Yashin' who has always defied logic and reason).

    If the current system was still in power there is no way in hell that Alfredson and Chara and whoever would all be able to play in Ottawa. They may say that they love Ottawa and that's why they signed for a reasonable contract but it is really becasue they had far less bargaining power.

    It would be a shame when you have to trade Alfreddson at the trade deadline to Toronto or Detroit when his UFA impending next contract is up.

    The cap won't mean Utopia though, you may have to get rid of some salary if you have done a great job of developing players, the difference is that you may lose them to ANY team not just Detroit, Philly or T.O.
     
  11. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    Stan Kasten of the Thrashers:

    "What can we do for a TV contract? Increase our appeal. The league won't like me saying this, but Jarome Iginla, Martin St. Louis, Rick Nash - these players have to be in (bigger markets). Your best and brightest young players have to be in your biggest media markets to give us a fighting chance."

    A fighting chance, indeed.

    The biggest revenue issues for the NHL are Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Lousy teams there and the league is Mickey Mouse. Also Boston.

    Tom
     
  12. s7ark

    s7ark RIP

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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH This conspiracy stuff is hysterical.

    Please offer one IOTA of fact that the owners WANT to lower UFA and aren't just offering it up to as compensation for what they really want (revenue-salary linkage).

    Oh no you have your big ideas that this lockout is just to screw with your sens even though UNDER THE CURRENT CBA YOU HAD TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY! If you hadn't been bailed out by a rich owner your team would be in Portland as we speak.

    Since then you have decided that your owner won't mind losing millions of dollars every year just so his team can win. That is insane. These are business men that know how to invest their money. He maybe a huge Sens fan in order to buy the team, but that doesn't mean he wants to lose millions just to support them. I am a huge Oiler fan, but I wouldn't pay $5 million a year to watch them play either. As a businessman Melnyk would be able to recognize a poor investment and bail.

    This lockout is to help teams like Ottawa remain competitive. If you are so pleased with your team and your drafting (and you should be both have been exceptional recently) then have faith in the fact that they will still be able to do that in the future.

    Also, when the cap comes in, the asking price for players will have to go down as teams can't afford to tie up 1/4 of their salary on a Pronger or a Jagr. So if these guys still want to play they will have to accept less money or goto a team with lots of cap room (ie. a young or bad team). So if Pronger is only making 7 million and Jagr drops to 6 that lowers the asking price for a Hossa or a Redden, making it easier to keep them. As ALL salaries go down it makes it easier to keep teams together, or make trade based on the players abilities and not their contract.
     
  13. gerbilanium

    gerbilanium Registered User

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    Those comments make me puke. Having big stars in big cities has NEVER made a difference. How many stars have to go through the Rangers before this becomes obvious. New Yorkers aren't ******s, they want a winning team not a star. The best thing for hockey is if they stop trying to sell it.

    If hockey needs to be 'sold' to a person for them to watch it then it will never be appreciated by that person. If you absolutely require every game to have 18 goals all of them on breakaways then you don't deserve to watch hockey.
     
  14. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    The players did not mention it in their proposal. The NHL proposed a timetable to reduce free agency to 30. A timetable to reduce it a year? Bettman on December 14th:

    "We also proposed liberalizing the requirement for unrestricted free agency, acknowledging that the 31-year-old age limit was negotiable downward."

    Why do the owners want that? Giving something to get something, my ass. They table an insulting offer in every respect except this area? Here's where they are offering a sop to the players? Giving something? If you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you.

    Under a capped system early free agency doesn't mean anything to anybody except the very best players. Which, of course, is the point.

    Tom
     
  15. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    Having old stars obviously does not make a difference. Kasten referred to the brightest young stars. New York kept signing yesterday's stars.

    There are no good young marketable players in the big US markets. They are in places like Tampa, Columbus, Nashville, Minnesota, Florida, Buffalo and Atlanta. How is that good for the league? Do small market Canadian teams sell on US TV? What good does Jarome Iginla do the NHL in Calgary?

    Tom
     
  16. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    Just look at the NBA. Lebron is probably already one of the top 3 most recognizable and popular players in the league, and he plays in Cleveland. Or look at Grant Hill when he was in Detroit. Its an issue of marketing.

    The NHL won't draw one more rating point if Iginla plays in New York. They draw that rating point when they make peole want to watch Iginla play anywhere. The NHL has never shown an ability to do that. They had the most famous player of all time in the second largest media market for 8 years. Where did it get them?
     
  17. gerbilanium

    gerbilanium Registered User

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    I'd agree with most of that. The league should do more smart marketing, not some gimmicky pluck a good player from a team and drop him into a circus in New York and expect a miracle.
     
  18. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    ESPN insider reports:

    "The whispers around the league are that the Cavs already are sweating whether LeBron will re-sign with the Cavs when he becomes a free agent.
    The concern is twofold. One, the Cavs know that by the time LeBron hits restricted free agency in the summer of 2007 they have to be fielding a team that has a legit shot at the title. If they don't, LeBron might decide against signing an extension, sign a one-year tender with the club and become an unrestricted free agent in 2008.

    No top player has ever done it before. Why would LeBron take the risk? Because sources claim that he has clause in his endorsement contracts that substantially increase their worth if he's playing in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. With the Nets heading to Brooklyn in 2008, LeBron could have as many as five teams to choose from to make it happen."

    It is more than just TV ratings. It is the footprint. If hockey is not big in the big US markets, it is not in the national US media unless a Bertuzzi slugs a Steve Moore. If hockey is covered extensively in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles it sells hockey in Carolina and Nashville.

    It is not the stars as much as good, competitive teams. If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound? If the Rangers can't make the playoffs, is the league Mickey Mouse?

    Tom
     
  19. grego

    grego Registered User

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    You assume they should put the best players in Big US markets to increase TV ratings in the US. But guess what, if you raid the Canadian teams completely even in Canada the ratings, where we love hockey will drop. There will still be some people watching hockey, but it is only the absolute die hard hockey fans.

    Those that are fans of a specific Canadian team, will not necessarily cheer for another team. I refuse to cheer for an American team, unless if they are playing against Calgary that game. If UFA drops and the Oilers lose their players at an even younger age, the attendace will drop in many cities in Canada like Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and likely even Ottawa.

    I don't see how that is so much better to the league, to try and get a better TV contract in the US they totally abandon a guaranteed market in Canada, and cause 4 teams in Canada to relocate to the US.

    But this must be what you believe the NHL wants if you think they absolutely want the age lower on UFA.
     
  20. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    this is direct conflict with the claims from the cap supporters that they cheer for the "logo" on the front, not the "name" on the back.

    so which is it ?

    dr
     
  21. mudcrutch79

    mudcrutch79 Registered User

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    Why don't you just give us a link to Tom Benjamin's blog? You've made an even less convincing case for this than he has. I agree with much of what he's said about the lockout, but it's absurd to say that the lower UFA age is the thing the owners want most. In order to believe this, you'd have to believe that a majority of the clubs have decided that they can maximize their investments by allowing the stars to congregate in the major markets. Given that this is a sport without any significant revenue sharing, and without the prospect of any (unless you want to put forward a baseless suggestion that that's what the owners want second most), there's no rational basis for this suggestion.
     
  22. Winger98

    Winger98 Moderator

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    My general idea for why the owners might want a lowering of the UFA age while the players would fight it, is that it could potentially place far more players on the market every summer. I'm not economics major by any means, but I have to think the assumption is that with more players to choose from, the salary "wars" in signing a player would decrease and salary offers could be lower.

    By keeping the UFA age a bit higher, the players ensure fewer players are hitting the market at any one time forcing a more competitive market, especially for older vets who the players may see as having "paid their dues" and deserve the opportunity for a larger pay day. :dunno:
     
  23. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    The only revenue the league shares significantly is national TV money. It should be pretty pbvious by now that Peter Karmanos and his ilk aren't going to contribute much to the NHL getting a big TV contract. So to get more TV dollars, they recognize they need to have the best players in the biggest markets. Look at Stan Kasten's quote.
     
  24. mudcrutch79

    mudcrutch79 Registered User

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    There's never going to be a TV contract that will equal what an owner can take in in local revenues with an elite team. Period, end of story. That Stan Kasten quote is nice, and it's certainly logical from a league point of view. If hockey had the potential in the US for a football or baseball type TV contract, I could maybe understand it, but it just doesn't make sense. The NBA contract is worth $12 million US per team, per season. If you're a small market owner in the NHL, do you want to encourage your players to walk at 27 for the pie in the sky dream of a $12 million per season annual TV cheque? The revenues from a strong team are worth more than that, and are far more likely to come to pass.

    It's a nice conspiracy theory, but it doesn't stand up to any rational consideration. The money is too low, and too improbable.
     
  25. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    Each NHL team got about $4 million from national TV last year. I don't think its too much of a strech to say they could get it up to $6-7 million with the right teams being dominant. How much do you think Carolina's local TV contract is for? It certainly aint $4 million a year, let alone 6 or 7.
     
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