NHLPA scoring system revealed
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11-10-2004, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Originally Posted by
In the end, that is what I am saying. Just becuase a player asks for the sky, moon and the stars, does not mean that he should get it. An owner is perfectly capable of knowing what he can or cannot afford. And if he is such a bad businessman that he cannot make the distinction, then either sell the team to someone who can, or if driven far into the red, FOLD the team and get out of the buisiness entirely.
If there were no repercussions, then I think this would be a fine argument. I do think though that with professional sports a level of credibility is lost when teams move/fold or maybe even change owners. The strength of a franchise is not simply just playing the sport, but in maintaining themselves within a market for a generation or more where people are brought up as fans of a team or sport. You can certainly argue about overexpansion and moves to markets that shouldn't support hockey, but I think the league as a whole suffers if you take a "survival of the fittest" mentality.
This is certainly not unique to sport, there are other perhaps more important industries that are regulated or supported by the government...such as the bailing out of some of the airlines, that otherwise would have failed...or even limitations of insurance payouts for insurance companies...in other words the free market isn't really all that free, so why should pro sports be different?
Sad fact, but very true. This is one of my many reasons why I think that Esche was right when he called Bettman a "madman". If nothing else, that should be a clear sign that a lockout is about the last thing that the sport needs. All the lockout does is hurt hockey as a sport every day.
I have no like for Bettman, I do think he is among the chief contributors to this mess (along with certain owners and GMs). But that does not absolve the NHLPA or even the agents from their part. Certainly they're playing by the rules, and there is nothing wrong with that, it's just at point now that the rules need to be changed and there is resistance in certain areas, as well as reluctance to consider all options on both sides.
A stiff luxury tax means exactly the same thing. All a salary cap is screaming for is the ability to ENFORCE spending limits. An owner should already be aware of what he can or cannot spend. At least with a luxury tax, there would be a redistrubution of income. If there is a harsh penalty for going over a specified limit, even a team like the Rangers will eventually come to see the law of diminishing returns. Proponents of the cap will say that a luxury tax is not enough of a deterent. But what does that mean? Why does there HAVE to be a deterent? Let the owners spend what they will. But with a stiff luxury tax (say $ for $ over a certain amount), eventually owners will get tired of making a $4m player, essentially become a $8m player (becuase of the luxury tax penalty).
And if they were to implement something like this, what would be the real difference between that and a cap with fines or flexibility to distribute salaries over several years? Seems like with a stiff cap there really is only the appearance of a free market, but if the taxes are meant to enforce a spending limit then it seems like no would use it and so you'd have a contrived hard cap. Alternatively you have a scenario where only a handful of teams could afford to pay the fines...
They don't deny it. That is why they have already proposed what should have been a springboard to discussions. They already offered cutbacks in salary. They have proposed a luxury tax system. If nothing else, they have offered to come to the table, willing to conceded that salaries need to be reduced. At the very least, that should have been enough to start a negotiation.
Not much of an argument here, except that the NHLPA also dismissed 6 different variations of a cap with little consideration so they perhaps helped set the stage. I tend to think the owners are the ones who could do more to get things started, but they're the ones with the strength at this point and so they're probably looking to try and force the players to the table first.
It's a frustrating situation for a fan and at this point I don't care who starts...I just want them to start talking and stop announcing intractable positions in the media
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