My solution to the lockout (long)

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by TomWaits, Nov 10, 2004.

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  1. TomWaits

    TomWaits Registered User

    Feb 27, 2002
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    I have to admit I’m not sure where I heard this original idea but I here is my solution to the labour talks.

    When you look at the two sides of the arguments both sides have valid points. The players were not the ones that over paid themselves – it was the owners. On the other hand the owners need to protect themselves for other owners. With 75% of revenue going to salaries it out of whack. I also understand why players would not want to pigeon hole themselves into a salary cap and why the owners need to. Getting rid of Bettman or disbanding the NHL is also not the idea, there is a middle groud solution.

    My idea is to combine an open market and a salary cap together.

    The main source of revenue for the NHL is the Gate. So the question is who draws the fans through the gate?

    Let’s take the Stanley Cup Champions as an example:
    How many fans bought tickets to see Jassen Cullimore play? Or players like Tim Taylor, Darryl Sydor or Brad Lukowich? On the other hand how many bums were put in the seats because of Martin St.Louis, Nikolai Khabibulin, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richard?

    These players are what each team focuses it’s marketing on. These are the players that make the NHL run. Not to diminish the importance of Lukowich and Sydor because I’m sure the superstars on the Lightning will tell you they were keys to them winning the cup.

    I propose that the league creates a salary cap for each team and allow 5 players to be exempt for that Cap: similar to the Larry Bird rule in the NBA several years ago. In keeping with the example of Tampa Bay. They would probably set these players as their franchise-Cap exempt players:

    Brad Richards
    Vincent Lecavalier
    Nikolai Khabibulin
    Martin St.Louis
    Freddy Modin

    The ownership in Tampa Bay could pay each of those players what the “market†would dictate for Franchise players. If the Tampa Bay ownership felt that they could only afford two or three of these players the other two would have to be dealt or signed under the Cap. Teams would not have to have 5 Franchise players if they could not afford it or they wanted to leave room to trade for one later. Calgary might be an example of a team that only has one or two designated Franchise players.

    Let’s take this scenario to the other end of the payroll scale. It also allows teams like the Rangers, Leafs and Detroit that have deep-pocketed owners the ability to sign high priced players.

    The key is going to signing your 5 Franchise players wisely. Take the Rangers if they designated Jagr, Holik, Kovalev, Nedved and Lindros as their Franchise players they would be in serious trouble (as they are, they misspent their money.)

    The other 17 players would be paid under the cap. I would suggest a cap somewhere in the 12-14 million dollar range. This would also allow teams who are smart with their money to sign a few mid-range quality players in the million-dollar range.

    As for people who think that this would create a tiered system of upper and lower class players you are right but the league has that now. I do not believe that high level players making high level money is what’s wrong with the NHL it is over inflated salaries of the middle and lower range players.

    I would also suggest that teams are fined heavily if they go over the cap, and additional cap is allowed if players are lost for the season due to injury.

    Hey just my two cents

  2. Guest

    Guest Registered User

    Feb 12, 2003
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    Maybe I missed something, but how would this help a team like the Flames to keep a player like Iginla? Just as an example, the Flames would still have a hard task of resigning Iginla, and the market could be set that he would ask for a large some of money the other franchise players are making. This still may be too much for said team to spend on their franchise player, so what is really being solved in the process?

    I don't see any need to cap the roleplayers on the team, their salaries are escalating, but not at the same rate as the high end players.

    On the flip side, how about a salary cap stating that the top 5 salaried players on a team must fit within a structured total. For example, the top 5 salaried players on each team cannot exceed $30 million for starters. Let alone imagine if the top 5 salaried players had to be capped at $20 million which is more in line with the rest of the league.

    Based on last season, here are how some of the teams faired on their top 5 salaried players.

    Original 6 Teams
    DET $36,436,286
    TOR $32,250,000
    NYR $31,000,000
    BOS $21,700,000
    MTL $19,050,000
    CHI $16,900,000

    Final Four Teams
    PHI $32,346,914
    CGY $18,150,000
    SJ $15,475,000
    TB $14,709,579
  3. Guest

    Guest Registered User

    Feb 12, 2003
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    Here is how all 30 teams stacked up as of the start of last season per
    STL	$40,500,000 
    COL	$40,307,458 
    DET	$36,436,286 
    DAL	$35,809,492 
    PHI	$32,346,914 
    TOR	$32,250,000 
    NYR	$31,000,000 
    ANA	$30,700,000 
    WAS	$30,400,000 
    LAK	$27,350,000 
    NJD	$25,530,099 
    NYI	$22,500,000 
    VAN	$21,775,000 
    BOS	$21,700,000 
    CAR	$19,103,738 
    MTL	$19,050,000 
    OTT	$18,450,000 
    CGY	$18,150,000 
    CHI	$16,900,000 
    BUF	$15,850,000 
    PHO	$15,550,000 
    SJ	$15,475,000 
    CBJ	$15,375,000 
    TB	$14,709,579 
    EDM	$14,150,000 
    ATL	$12,500,000 
    FLA	$11,050,000 
    MIN	$10,622,500 
    PIT	$10,165,000 
    NAS	$9,125,000 
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2004
  4. littleHossa

    littleHossa Registered User

    Apr 7, 2003
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    Here's the problem with your idea from what I see, those 5 players that can be exempt from a cap do what in the end? They give the large market clubs the ability to use their additional ressources to sign 5 stars. The clubs like Calgary that can only sign 2 will only have 2, but if the Rangers are under a cap but still want to sign 1 star, they can if they have a spot. So this system would be accepted by the owners of the large market teams. Check. The other teams would also see this better than the last CBA because they can keep salaries in control. All of the players on the team besides the stars will not be able to ask for more money than they're worth because of every team having to deal with a cap. Salaries will not escalate, and for the "stars", the market will dictate what they are worth. Check too.

    However, from the player's point of view, I don't know how they would accept this. It does bring in like you said a cap and what the players say they want, a "free market system" but that free market system is only for about 50-70 guys in the NHL. The majority of the players will be under a cap, and will never have hope of getting a contract based on what the market says they are worth. In fact there wouldn't be any free market system for all of the 2nd liners, 3-4 defensemen because all of them would be under a cap. Your solution in the end only satisfies the minority, only the star players will get contracts on what the market says they're worth. This proposition would draw a very clear line between two groups of NHL players, and there wouldn't be any grey zone, either as a player you're forced to have your salary limited by a cap, or you can demand as much as the clubs are willing to offer. Unfortunaly, for the players you can't say they have a compromise, one group gets everything they wanted and the other group gets nothing. The unhappy group is the majority however.

    To conclude this, from the owner's point of view, the system would be a mix of a cap and free market system like you said, but for the players, and the majority of the players, they would be under a cap, no ifs or buts, and that wouldn't be something that they'd agree on.
  5. Guest

    Guest Registered User

    Feb 12, 2003
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    Yeah, those are a lot of my thoughts on the proposal as well. The lower end of players really aren't the problem that would need to be controlled with a cap. It's a cap with the wrong emphasis.

    That's why I mentioned the above counter proposal. There are many teams (STL, COL, DET, DAL, etc) spending as much on their top 5 players as many teams pay on their entire payroll.

    When you consider that 2 teams spent over $40 million on their top 5 players, 9 teams spentover $30 million on their top 5 players, and 14 teams spent over $20 million on their top 5 players, it shows the division in the league. The average team spent just over $22 million on their top 5 players. Imagine the player movement if they set the threshold for that top 5 player cap at $30 million. You'd see a redistribution of talent of nearly $40 million from those teams going to teams like Nashville, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Florida, Atlanta, and Edmonton who would make great strides with added talent, let alone the teams above them on the list.
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