Frustration with NHLPA...
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09-10-2004, 03:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Montreal, QC
The problem is if an owner doesn't go out on the market and spend, fans label them as cheap. Fans also tend to respond by NOT buying tickets to the games. Agents call these cheapskate owners out, even--or at least praise those that actually pay. An owner that doesn't spend is ALWAYS deemed cheap and unwilling to pay for a winner. Those are terms ALWAYS used by the NHLPA, player agents and players themselves. THEN, if they do spend they're labeled as dumb--eventually--when it's revealed just how badly the owner overpaid for said player. So, the owners really can't win, can they?
Look at the situation in L.A. If the Kings re-sign Palffy for more than market value, they appease their fans but they hurt the rest of the industry. If they let him walk away, fans will NOT be happy at all but at least the Kings will be doing the right thing, from a financial point of view at the very least. At the end of the day, the fans' perspective should be what counts most of all.
As far as a luxury tax goes, it's being proven in baseball that it DOES NOT work. Steinbrenner doesn't give a rat's behind about spending whatever it takes to keep a winning team on the field. The NHL's answer to Steinbrenner is Mike Ilitch. Do you think Ilitch would blink an eye about spending a little more if it meant adding more pieces to his puzzle? No chance. Luxury tax doesn't provide enough limits, which doesn't add to the strategic process of building a winning team. Furthermore, a luxury tax that doesn't come with a minimum would not force teams to spend at least a certain amount--which is also bad for business in the grand scheme of things.
Whether the solution is a cap on payrolls, or a cap on individual salaries, something is required to help the system out. Because fans demand competitive teams but the current revenue situation in the league is mediocre, at best. Not all owners know HOW to win, but they all WANT to win--even Boston.
The longer the players insist on no salary cap, the longer it's going to take. Putting more caps on the rookies is not going to cut it. In fact, I find it absurd that people have a problem with the bonus Rick Nash EARNED in 2003-04, but don't have a problem with the salary John LeClair stole this past season. The players want to get paid for time served, but THAT's what gets the market out of whack as much as anything else.
If the highest salaries belonged to the BEST players in the league, REGARDLESS of age and experience, the league would be thriving right now.
end of rant.
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