STL Post Dispatch: Blues [players] get economics lesson
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11-20-2003, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Originally Posted by
Degroat, I hear you completely, and I do wonder why I bother sometimes. Not one person on the other side has proven my scenario false, yet the claim that increased payroll NEVER yields an advantage. Some of them have softened their stance a little, they just won't come out and admit it directly.
As for me, this is my last post in this thread, so I'm going to make some final points.
The scenario that I provided is relevant. THe other side has failed to provide any evidence that it isn't true, nor have they produced any reason why such an occurence is likely. Teams have used the free agent market to supplement their team core to put them over the top. The purpose of the example is to show that a team with lower spending abilities, due to market limitations, will have difficulty in participating in the free agency market (whether it involves re-signing a current player as a UFA, or signing a player from another team) because the on-ice impact that a potential signing must have must be much greater than the on-ice impact that it must have for a team with a higher spending capacity because of their market. This limits their participation in using this portion of the CBA to their advantage.
People can point to the follies of using UFA, and how it limits the growth of prospects, but the fact is, teams with the higher spending capacity have the choice in the matter. There are times when the best course of action is for a team to go out and get a vital piece for their team in summer via UFA. At this point, the richer teams can go out shopping to get that piece, while the poorer teams are usually left out in the cold. Any time they are bidding for players in a completely open market, they are at a distinct disadvantage, since often they cannot put the same value on a player that a richer team does, even if that player will have a higher on-ice value to the team. In times where going down the free agency route is not the best alternative, the bigger spending teams can easily hold off on their spending, and give playing time to their youngsters. The point is, the wealthier teams have a choice, while the poorer teams are forced to go down the latter route. More options means increased likelihood of success.
To go back to the beginning of this discussion, I've always said that the best option for the NHL is a luxury tax system. I felt it was the best cure for the NHL problems. The NHLPA has offered this up in their initial offer, which seems to indicate that they agree.
Here's the critical flaw in your argument is. You assume that rich teams and poor teams are constants. You believe that Calgary will always be poor and that Dallas will always be rich. However, that isn't the case. If Calgary puts a winner on the ice, they can afford that big name UFA just like the Stars can now.
This isn't about big markets vs small markets. You arguments are all about rich vs poor. Why does that make a difference since all the teams have the opportunity to switch from one side to the other?
If the rich and poor teams were fixed, then the NHL would have a problem. But they aren't. When a team gets good, they become a rich team. And when a team gets bad, unless they are the Rangers or Leafs, they get poor. However, since a player's salary is more a function of his age then his talent, a poor team can afford a good young team. Then when that good young team is bringing in revenues of a good team, the team goes from poor to rich. And since the team is rich is can afford to keep the good team together when it goes from young to old.
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