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09-20-2003, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Originally Posted by
Forget a cap of any kind, it's not going to solve all problems, as some infer.
Owners should instead concentrate on elimination (ideally) or at least the defanging of,
a process which is the antithesis of a salary cap, in that it
artificially inflates salaries
Bettman should tell Goodenow: "Fine, no cap of any kind. And, we'll even agree to lowering the UFA age to 28, as long as the player's original team has the right to match (like NBA). But you give up arbitration rights."
Players will come out of the deal with more liberal FA rights, teams will have the ability to retain roster continuity if they choose (by matching FA salary offers), and owners place a drag on runaway salaries, at the source of the problem - arbitration - which begins long before UFA status. Effectively, teams would have cost certainty with players, in whom they have invested time and money drafting and developing, through the majority of those players' 20s. Likewise, players would be paid much "fairer" market value, in that they wouldn't be able to "cash in" on an absurd arbitration award, based on just one or two good seasons.
Not naive enough to think NHLPA would accept that offer, but it is an alternative starting point.
I understand the logic behind ridding the league of weak (economically speaking) franchises, and 90s over-expansion was clearly misguided. However, it's worth noting that, far as I can tell, any pro sports league that has ever starting dissolving franchises en mass, within short time dissolved, itself. (See: ABA, WHA, USFL.)
Trotts, usually I agree with you, not on this one.
A hard cap may not solve all problems but it's a good start because it stops the large markets from bidding every year for every top player and spreads the top talent to all markets, which removes the expansion tags from a lot of places where the teams are very popular and draw well but get limited exposure and little marketing around the league.
There is a reason why the NBA Nets are on ESPN/ABC as opposed to the Knicks and why the same network has the Rangers as opposed to the Devils.
The NBA is marketed to the best teams and players, not the largest markets. The NHL has done such a poor job marketing it's young stars they cannot get any ratings unless they televise name veterans, which is why we get a steady diet of Roenick, Hull, Sakic and Leetch no matter where the teams are in the standings.
Contraction will not work because most of the remaning teams cannot afford to sign the top players released from those teams and payoff the contracts of the players they would want to buy out.
Most of the teams that fans think have revenue to share think in terms of baseball and the Yankees television contract and marketing and that is just not the case in the NHL.
Most hockey teams lose money. Even Msg reported losses of nine million last season from it's sports teams. Detroit plays in an old building and does not break even unless they reach the finals. All these teams with brand new building are losing money or barely breaking even with payroll less than the league average and good attendance at high prices. There is very little revenue to share and not enough to go around where it could make a difference.
No group of teams can spend enough with a luxury tax where it will reward smaller markets with enough money to add salary or make a competitive difference unless it's dollar for dollar and starts at the league payroll average and that's one Bettman will not win on.
Regarding Arbitration you make some good points but it is a process where a players production is decided on players numbers vs other players. Both sides give examples comparable to their situtation and both sides can compromise and in rare circumstances teams can walk away from an award. The arbitration market is esculating salaries a lot slower than unrestricted free agency each year but it is a problem.
How is a player's original team supposed to match an offer designed so that they cannot afford it when we are already seeing that teams in smaller markets with group IV players cannot match offers from large markets? The only thing that has saved small markets is the huge price in draft picks. The players and their agents know a better offer is coming from another place as Pittsburgh knew about Kasparaitis for a long time before trading him to Colorado. Under your system would Vancouver be able to match a ten million dollar offer for left wing Todd Bertuzzi based on his one 50 goal year?
A hard salary cap would make that much tougher because almost no team would have enough room in their cap. This helps Vancouver keep it's star player. Under the current system he will get a huge offer and leave the Canucks.
How many Ranger fans here think Dolan should offer Bertuzzi big money and get him at all costs if he keeps producing has he had when he becomes unrestricted?
How many think he is taking less to stay in Vancouver?
I know if I were a Ranger fan and a fifty goal left wing was available I would want him signed at any costs and demand it of Dolan to do all he could. To expect owners to police themselves and continue a drag on salaries and not get a star player is not going to happen if the right names come along so it has to be done for them.
I do not think the game should be shut down, I think in the absolute worst case senario the owners should get some replacement players and wait for players to start crossing because they will and always have in other sports and that forces the players association to give in and accept a hard cap with no luxury tax and no revenue sharing with the compromise of lowering the age for ufa.
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