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07-05-2010, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Originally Posted by Fitzy Duke of NY View Post
I have had a solution for this all along, and its called raising the UFA age to 29 or 30 years.

Make the arbitration eligibility later, as well.

What they should do is eliminate the salary cap altogether and raise the UFA age further than what it was from 1995 to 2004.

A player becomes a UFA at the age of (based on the last contract before hitting free agency):
  • Bottom third of salaries: 32
  • Middle third: 33
  • Top third: 34

RFA compensation would be as follows (based on the new contract offer):
  • Bottom third: the next 3 first round picks.
  • Middle third: the next 5 first round picks.
  • Top third: the next 5 first AND second round picks.

This would guarantee that if you draft players, you keep them. The RFA's would have very little room to maneuver because the compensation for their services would be greater than what a team would have to give up in a trade. This would give GMs more leverage.

By the time a player becomes unrestricted, he's deep into his decline.

An average (or worse) NHLer is just not going to get big money at the age of 32-33 when his playing career is close to over.

A 34-year-old star would still find it hard to get big money just because he's already so old. Nobody will give you a large multiyear contract at the age of 34 unless you are a Hall of Famer like Messier or Gretzky, and even then it won't be anything enormous like the $10 million Kovalchuk wants.

Late-career free agency would give a player a final chance to cash in once, or to go to his favorite team, or to go to a team with a high probability of winning the Stanley Cup.

Salaries would not be particularly high, and the draft will matter more.

Right now the draft is less important because you can always sign a young free agent, and you can always lose a good player you drafted.

Just keep players restricted until late in their career, then give them one shot to go to whatever team they want.

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