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-   -   Off season on hold til a new cba (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=65999)

txpd 03-29-2004 12:28 PM

Off season on hold til a new cba
 
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens in the offseason. The CBA doesn't expire til September 15th which leaves the 45 day signing period from the opening of the free agent signing market and the end of the cba.

With many teams choosing to have as few as 4 players signed past this season(boston) I can't see why they would then sign players until after the cba is agreed on.

Signing any players in the offseason, ufa or rfa, means signing them in the current pricing system when the new pricing system stands to be a lot different. that could mean even losing some players. particularly rfa's that the new cba makes ufa's.

it was interesting to see Ottawa sign Alfredsson to a long contract right now. i expect that most teams will sign their draft picks before they are eligible to go back into the draft, like Parise.

I dont expect a lot of action elsewhere...what do you think? the timing of the expiration of the cba is very interesting

Slats432 03-29-2004 12:33 PM

I would surmise that it is unlikely that the NHL will negotiate an immediate change to the RFA/UFA structure. At the minimum, I would expect it take at least one season to be grandfathered.

Trottier 03-29-2004 01:01 PM

Been wondering about the same thing (off-season moves on brink of CBA expiration). Frankly, doesn't make much business sense to start adding any new players, via trade or FA) to a roster, as their status (either short- or long-term) could be affected by the new CBA. There is a significant risk involved for the teams. Of course, if the FA market is dormant, NHLPA can/will cry collusion.

Could be a lot of FA players in limbo (without a contract) well into late summer, early fall. And even when a new CBA is hammered out, they will likely have to scramble to quickly find jobs, putting them in compromised negotiating positions.

I expect a CBA to be reached and a long work-stoppage avoided, but I also expect it to be an off-season like no other. Lot of disgruntled people on this board, given the potential lack of player movement. :p

davemess 03-29-2004 01:05 PM

Teams are still going to have to Qualify players before the cba runs out, most of those players offered contracts better grab them as quick as they can.

I would guess most teams will resign at least 5 to 10 RFAs before the cba expires.

speeds 03-29-2004 01:07 PM

it's hard to know.

Some player might decide they want the security of a 3-4 year deal now, even at a bit less than they might be worth currently, thinking that they might be offered even less in a new economic climate.

Some teams weren't hesitant to throw out 3 and 4 year contracts last summer, I'm sure the same will happen this summer as well.

some teams will want to wait, others with budget room might try signing a couple guys thinking they'll get a good deal?

Frenzy1 03-29-2004 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by txpd
it was interesting to see Ottawa sign Alfredsson to a long contract right now. i expect that most teams will sign their draft picks before they are eligible to go back into the draft, like Parise.

Yes, but I think this was a good signing for both the team and player. IMO, this is a show of respect/confidence to Alfi, especially considering Havlat and Hossa.

I also think this sets the bar/scale as far as UFAs are concerned as well as players on the Ottawa team. It is also interesting to look at his signing bonus - which essentially adds to his bottom line. I would expect many teams to have large signing bonuses to the contracts as a means of cutting down/subsidizing the actual salary (See the NFL). I beleive that the bonuses are spread over the legnth of the contract, so this is a means of paying Alfi 8 mill per season, w/o setting it in salary.

Other teams/players can look at this as a base for their own deals. I think most GMs have been working on a budget, regarless of the CBA, and will stick to it. If the CBA mandates a 45 mill cap but the owner tells the GM that he can only spend 35, then the team only spends 35.

As far as the current system, I don't think a lot of RFAs will be leaving their current team regardless of value. All teams are in the same spot, unknown future and high availability of players and have their own players to sign. There just wont be a lot of offers and I think the home team always gets the opportunity to match (mostly because the player can try leverage the deal and he already has a home/difficult to move).

txpd 03-29-2004 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slats432
I would surmise that it is unlikely that the NHL will negotiate an immediate change to the RFA/UFA structure. At the minimum, I would expect it take at least one season to be grandfathered.

that sure puts all the leverage in the owners hands. they will have a salary cap AND be able to restrict free agents still? I don't think there is any way that the NHLPA is going to allow that. the free agent structure gets pushed back for one season only if the salary cap gets pushed back for one season.

there is just no way that happens.

Slats432 03-29-2004 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by txpd
that sure puts all the leverage in the owners hands. they will have a salary cap AND be able to restrict free agents still? I don't think there is any way that the NHLPA is going to allow that. the free agent structure gets pushed back for one season only if the salary cap gets pushed back for one season.

there is just no way that happens.

Just some background, I work in an industry that gets legislated in regards to safety codes and such.

I have never seen a major change in any legislation that would require immediate reaction.(Although it is much different than a CBA)

Everything always comes with some sort of grandfather clause to allow for companies to be able to react to the new rules.

If a new UFA age of say 28 was agreed to, then I would expect a clause such as.

Effective July 1 of 2005 any player reaching 28 years of age will be considered a Group III free agent.(Assuming that the CBA is reached before the season is written off.)

I don't see them saying, OK, CBA is done, and if you are 28, you are now UFA. That doesn't make sense at all.

AEKaki 03-29-2004 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by txpd
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens in the offseason. The CBA doesn't expire til September 15th which leaves the 45 day signing period from the opening of the free agent signing market and the end of the cba.

With many teams choosing to have as few as 4 players signed past this season(boston) I can't see why they would then sign players until after the cba is agreed on.

Signing any players in the offseason, ufa or rfa, means signing them in the current pricing system when the new pricing system stands to be a lot different. that could mean even losing some players. particularly rfa's that the new cba makes ufa's.

it was interesting to see Ottawa sign Alfredsson to a long contract right now. i expect that most teams will sign their draft picks before they are eligible to go back into the draft, like Parise.

I dont expect a lot of action elsewhere...what do you think? the timing of the expiration of the cba is very interesting


Parise is from college.
He wouldn't be eligible for re-draft for 3-4 more years.
Same for all college players, like Ryan Whitney of the Pens.

hillbillypriest 03-30-2004 12:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slats432
Just some background, I work in an industry that gets legislated in regards to safety codes and such.

I have never seen a major change in any legislation that would require immediate reaction.(Although it is much different than a CBA)

Everything always comes with some sort of grandfather clause to allow for companies to be able to react to the new rules.

If a new UFA age of say 28 was agreed to, then I would expect a clause such as.

Effective July 1 of 2005 any player reaching 28 years of age will be considered a Group III free agent.(Assuming that the CBA is reached before the season is written off.)

I don't see them saying, OK, CBA is done, and if you are 28, you are now UFA. That doesn't make sense at all.

Sorry Slats432, but I don't agree with you here.

In the absence of a collective agreement that defines team rights to restrict player movements, the presumption is that an NHL player is free to contract with whomever he pleases when a contract expires. This is the basic legal lever - essentially a human right - that the NHLPA will approach any collective agreement with.

The NHLPA only agreed to a system that granted less than full UFA rights for all players in exchange for other structural elements in the present CBA that they thought (correctly as it turns out) would increase salaries more than full free agency would. The NHL thought that they had won the last CBA negotiations because they were able to obtain some restrictions on free agency through the negotiations. In retrospect, it turns out that the NHLPA decimated the NHL because they had a much better handle on how the agreement they devised would work to the benefit of most players.

How the next CBA defines the parameters of UFAs and RFAs will depend on the concessions that are sought by the NHL and what are agreed to by the NHLPA. Specifically, if the NHL ever were to get the NHLPA to agree to accept a team salary cap, I would not expect that the NHLPA would also agree to leave UFA and RFA definitions where they are or grandfather some players within categories in the expiring CBA. Instead, I expect that if the NHLPA ever did consent to a cap, they would expect to remove most remaining team rights over non-contracted players.

For this reason, I think that teams and fans need to start thinking about just how dramatically the landscape would change if the NHL succeeded in winning their primary stated goal in these negotiations. If there is a cap, how much does it benefit a team to develop drafted players? Even under a cap, if a team is not prepared to match a player's best offer from another team, why wouldn't the team expect the player to go where he gets the best offer? These are key questions that teams need to be asking themselves before they ask for a collective agreement structure that does not match their long term player development strategy.


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