New UFA/"Draft" Idea

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by speeds, Apr 11, 2005.

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  1. speeds

    speeds Registered User

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    It is obvious to all involved that someone is going to be unhappy with however the 2005 draft order is established. Whether you use last year’s standings, average the last 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 years, or give everyone an equal shot at drafting anywhere, someone is going to complain that it isn’t fair.

    One of the suggestions I’ve seen is to simply give every team a 1 in 30 shot at picking 1st overall (or a 1 in 30 chance of drafting at any position in the first round). I guess my question in response would be “Why have a draft at all in that case?â€

    And as I thought about it, I wondered if that’s a valid question. The case for the draft as a talent equalizer might not be as valid in a hard cap world, and might still be addressed by how the league goes about assigning rookie contracts under a cap, etc.

    Anyways, here’s my suggestion for how the NHL can bring new players into the league in a capped world (assuming that happens), without an NHL Entry Draft system:


    (1) All 18 and 19 year old players signed by an NHL franchise will have their full NHL salaries count against that team’s salary cap (including signing and performance bonuses), whether they play in the NHL, the AHL (if deemed eligible in a new NHL/CHL agreement) or in junior.

    These deals need not be 2 way deals, but they can be if both parties agree. Additionally, any 18 or 19 year old player bought out will be bought out at 100% of their salary and potential bonuses, WHETHER those bonuses are hit or not.

    (2) There will be a 4.0 mil cap on 18 and 19 year old salaries per season (including any and all potential bonuses), with 18 year olds signing 2 year deals and 19 year olds signing 1 year deals.

    (3) Upon expiration of those initial contracts all 18 and 19 year old players will have their QO amount SET by the league, at an amount to be determined but something like 1.5 mil for the purposes of this exercise, regardless of their salary as an 18/19 year old. They will also be eligible for arbitration.

    (4) All NHL teams will be limited as to how many 18 and 19 year olds they are allowed to have on their reserve lists; no more than 3 at any one time, and no more than 2 can be signed in one "signing season"

    (5) A "signing season" will last 3 weeks, and end the day before unrestricted free agency begins. So it will span from something like June 10th to 30th. Teams that miss the playoffs will be eligible to sign players over that full 3 weeks, while those who make the playoffs will only be eligible to sign players over the last 2 weeks of the signing period.

    (6) Any player not signed as an 18 or 19 year old will not be eligible for NHL competition until they become a UFA. They would become a UFA on July 1st, in whatever is deemed to be their 20 year old season. For any player not signed as a 19 year old this will be 1 year after their last eligibility in the 18/19 year old signing season.

    These UFA's will be bound to some of today's rookie contract conventions, but not all of them. They will have to sign 3 year deals, limited to 2 mil per season (including all bonuses), but they will not have to be two way deals (though they certainly can be if both sides agree to it).

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. speeds

    speeds Registered User

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    Just want to give my rationale behind each point, as best as I can understand myself

    This is to stop teams that are already good from using that advantage to stockpile talent in their system with no cap ramifications (if they sent them back to junio, AHL, Europe, etc). Also helps to put everyone on an even playing filed. Additionally this gives a rebuilding club a way to get up to the floor (assuming there is a salary floor) without having to purchase has-beens who don't fit into their future plans, and taking a roster spot away from a youngster.

    same as above, more or less

    This is to re-align their salaries with the unsigned 20 year olds coming into the league via UFA

    To stop one team from stockpliing too many youngsters. I'm not sure this needs to be there, but put it in anyways (for now)

    To give non-playoff teams a bit of a headstart, an advantage, on those teams who made the playoffs.

    Fairly self-explanatory, I think.

    Definitely looking for input here, I'm sure there are many ways to improve this I haven't thought of, and viewpoints I haven't considered, to fine-tune this idea, so any and all help is appreciated.
     
  3. Personally, I hate the suggestion. It makes no sense IMO. The concept behind the entry draft is not only to disperse talent, but to allow for player development. Your suggested solution would not do anything for player development and would likely set that effort back. Who is going to bother beating the sticks for talent outside of the top 100 players. Just hold open tryouts for your minor league team every year and see what unfolds. That or just raid those teams that do make the effort (just like what goes on now).

    From a economic standpoint the young players set the base range salary for all players, so a potential salary of $4 million is ridiculous. I don't care if the 18 or 19 year old is the second coming of Mario Lemieux, no young player deserves that pay day until he has proved his worth on a consistent basis. I don't like the league having the ability to set the contract value after the fact as well. Teams make mistakes they should ahve to live with them. That's what this lockout is all about, setting up a system that is fair and punishes those that spend foolishly. I also do not like your signing period. No signings will take place during this time frame as the players and their agents will wait for the big market clubs to come a callin'. There's no value to that period at all.

    All in all I don't see any value in the system you propose and see nothing wrong with the time honored system in place and the traditions that have surrounded the drafting, development and coming of age of these players. When the draft dies a big chunk of the game dies with it. The mystique that surrounded player development will disappear IMO.
     
  4. dolfanar

    dolfanar Registered User

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    I don't know Iconoclast, the NHL survived a long time before the draft, and wiithout it teams had a whole network of player devolepment leagues that they ran, rented, loaned and otherwise supported.

    I think there is a kernel of a good idea in there, but overall when it comes down to it the NHL draft is simply too good a marketing tool (one of the NHL's only tools) to give up.
     
  5. So we're going to go back to protected territories and contracting of 12-14 year olds because it worked for a six team league? The draft has been working for as long as most of the fans here can remember, and has worked effectively for the most part, so why mess with a good thing. Just because some whiners from the big markets want a crack at Crosby doesn't mean the system should be changed. As my man Peca Fan said, the system is 90% on the money so why change it for something that is 0% on the money? And I agree with you completely on the marketing factor. The draft is huge and it would really hurt the game taking that away from the fans.
     
  6. Guest

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    Oddly enough, this was the exact same idea I had this weekend, but I didn't have the time and complete concept down to post it on here. It was also my point, that in a capped world, is the Entry Draft really necessary? I would say that all rookie contracts could still have a limit of sorts on them, as was in the previous CBA. The key would be to show what you can offer these rookies in terms other than salary. For instance, all 30 teams can afford to offer Crosby up to $4 million a year plus, but can they all offer the same opportunities in terms of playing time, and other factors? Maybe a bad example, but it gives the players a chance to start their careers where they think is best. In some cases, a rookie player may prefer to sign with Montreal, but Montreal is loaded and doesn't really require their services, or have room to develop that player. That rookie could then shop his services elsewhere.

    I think in a capped world, even free agency as a whole shouldn't be an issue. You can use many of the same arguements towards unrestricted free agency that you use for the Entry Draft. In an open system, you aren't going to see total chaos across the league with yearly massive turnovers, and it might keep the salaries balanced for a longer period as well.
     
  7. txpd

    txpd Registered User

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    I just don't think it would work well. Particularly where North American players are concerned. Maybe not so much with European players, but NA players have allegiance built up already. Sidney Crosby would NEVER sign with Washington or probably Ovechkin for that matter. Fluery(the goalie) would never sign with Pittsburgh.

    Jeff Halpern is the only player in the NHL who grew up actually predisposed to wanting to play for the Capitals. Half the teams in the NHL would NEVER get a top prospect unless it was a sleeper prospect.

    you can't do that.
     
  8. Guest

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    It's not like every prospect could sign with their top choice however. I agree that there needs to be a little something extra, because free market can easily lead to the best prospects flocking to the best markets, which essentially kills the small market teams.

    Say Montreal is at their 50 player maximum, and then 5 players come along wanting to sign with Montreal. Montreal would just not be able to do it unless they cut a bunch of their prospects. Odds are though, Montreal would make sure they have room for a player like Crosby, and that's where there needs to be some sort of system in place.

    I still maintain that the Entry Draft's effectiveness is diminished when you get a cap league. If someone could come up with an Entry Draft hybrid, I think that'd likely be the best solution to a problem that isn't broken yet :biglaugh:
     
  9. Guest

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    Furthermore, if teams were regulated so that they could not purge any rookie contracts, it would allow for teams to stockpile less.

    At any given time a NHL can have 50-some-odd contracts, NHL, AHL, etc. Most teams carry anywhere from 45-50 contracts on a yearly basis, and under the terms of a CBA with a cap, it would be difficult for 1 team to come along and offer the top 5 rookie talents a good enough contract that they could stockpile all the best youth in the league. As well, maybe allow it so that any single team can only sign a specific number of rookie contracts per season (once the draft is obsolved), like 3-4 for example. That would be another measure that would prevent teams from overloading on talent, but still give teams a solid build towards youth.

    Here is my proposal:
    Wipe out the NHL Entry Draft completely. All players enter the league on a rookie contract, regardless of age. Rookie contracts are 3 years long and have no requirements on being one-way or two-way. Teams can sign up to 4 rookie contracts per season, and can not exceed $6 million per season on these 4 rookie contracts. After the 3 year contract is up, the player becomes a Restricted Free Agent. Other teams can make offers to RFA's, but the original team holding rights to the player has the right to match the offer sheet at 90% or equal to the offer (similar to arbitration withdrawl rules under former CBA).

    In effect, this still keeps the value of scouting very high for any building franchise, as it is important to know who you want to spend your money on. It would allow up to 120 of the young players to go pro, and no single team to totally dominate the youth market. Teams are able to retain players after their 3 year contract at 90% of the offers of opposing teams.
     
  10. PecaFan

    PecaFan Registered User

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    You can "maintain" it all you want, doesn't make it true.

    There ceases to be excellent teams and pathetic teams under caps? Of course not. Different teams are always at different levels on the success curve. A cap has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    You seem to be equating a cap with "ease of building a superior team", and assuming that the league is going to be full of free agents. A cap isn't going to change that at all. Throwing cash at UFA's is still going to be a poor method of team building. You've still got to improve the old fashioned way, good drafting, good trading, and good management and coaching.
     
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