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09-17-2004, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by I in the Eye
The salary paid to another 'similar' player is just the opinion (suggestion) of the team that paid the salary - at the time the salary was agreed to... Obviously, the team that paid the salary felt that the player was worth the salary at the time- but this neglects the opinion of the other teams as a whole - It also ignores the players 'variable' worth year-to-year...
I don't think so. I think it reflects the actual market. The Flyers don't think about Gagne in isolation. They look at the money guys like Tanquay and Legwand and Lecavalier are getting. They decide where Simon fits on that scale and makes an appropriate offer. The player agent looks at the same comparables and tailors a demand. Disagreements usually happen because one side thinks the player is close to Lecavalier and the other side thinks he is closer to Malhotra.

Nobody on either side would even dream of mentioning Martin Lapointe when negotiating Gagne's contract.

Because Boston felt that Lapointe was worth $5 million at the time of the signing, IMO, this does not imply that the league as a whole feels that Lapointe is worth $5 million... Nor does this imply that Boston thinks that Lapointe is worth $5 million to them now... Therefore, IMO, Lapointe's salary (and other current similar player salaries) shouldn't be the only formal benchmark for which other similar player salaries are based...
This comment reflects a basic ignorance of the way the old CBA worked. I don't mean to be insulting, but it really reflects on your credibility. Martin LaPointe was a Group V free agent. He became a free agent at age 28. This made him much more valuable than the typical UFA. Burke was asked about his contract at the time and he said that while Boston had overpaid substantially for the player, at least it was fairly certain he would hold most of his value as a player over the life of his contract. Boston paid for a player in his prime.

That said, Martin LaPointe is irrelevant. He was a UFA. Only players who signed their contracts as Group II RFA's can be used as comparables in arbitration. Nobody has ever mentioned Martin LaPointe's salary in negotiations. Martin Lapointe is not a benchmark for anyone. His contract affected 1) Boston, 2) the other teams pursuing him and 3) Martin Lapointe. Nobody else.

That is a fact. You can ask any player agent or any NHL GM. Martin Lapointe is not part of the salary structure. All UFA's get what they can get. Their contracts have almost no impact on anyone else. They do affect the ALS in a slight way, a way that affects the qualifying offer for a handful of players. That's it.

IMO, in determining player salary, it would be useful for GM's and teams to know what the NHL and the other teams think (as a group) about a given player's value...
I don't think your suggestion is illegal. It just doesn't get anywhere. A player's value is fairly obvious to all parties. There are probably 1,000 or so players who are signed each season if you include the prospects. I'd bet 970 of them are settled between the two parties without any problems at all. In a typical year maybe 20-30 players actually get to arbitration and perhaps two or three end up as holdouts.

It isn't that hard. The best players set the bar and everyone else falls into line. The Canucks have signed three influential contracts in the last few years - Jovanovski, Naslund, and Bertuzzi. It isn't that hard to pick out the important deals. Iginla is obviously one. Theodore. Richards. Elias. The best players in each age group and at each position are the key players, the ones who set the standards.

Name a single player on a big market, free spending team who has had any impact on a comparable the CBA allows. The bar is being set by Calgary, by Vancouver, by Tampa, by Ottawa (Chara) by Edmonton (Brewer) by Buffalo (Satan) by Florida (Luongo) by Boston (Thornton) by Colorado (Hejduk, Tanguay) by Carolina (O'Neill).

Which Toronto contract has had an impact? Antropov? Which Ranger contract do you think made the biggest difference - Puriton or Lundmark? Which Dallas or Detroit player ruined the salary structure for everyone? Which Flyer?

The assumptions people have about how the old CBA worked are flat out wrong. It is a combination of media ignorance and a deliberate disinformation campaign from the NHL.


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