Creative CBA solutions? Do you have one? Have you seen any?
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10-12-2012, 06:34 PM
Business of Hockey
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: South Mountain
What would my ideal new CBA look like?
Big Picture Stuff
- Keep the same definition of HRR.
- Split 50/50 between owners and players.
- If the 2012 season had started reasonably on time I would have preferred a one year bridge to get down to 50%. With what's looking to be at least a partial lost season two year bridge is okay. Year 1 it's a 55/45 Player/Owner split, Year 2 is 52/48 and Year 3+ is 50/50.
- CBA length similar to 2005 terms, including NHLPA options.
- Use the same formula to establish the cap midpoint.
- Either set the cap ceiling to $6m over the midpoint (currently $8m) or 10% over the midpoint. The reason behind this is to reduce the likelihood that players will lose a portion of their salaries via escrow. In most years of the past CBA the players did so--the salary cap was set too high more often then not.
- If the NHLPA desires to lower the salary cap ceiling calculation even further so most years the owners will be paying extra to the players instead of vice versa that would be okay. It would best be done in the base formula though, as past history shows the optional yearly inflator was always used, even when it probably shouldn't have.
- What should salary cap floor be set to? What would be the maximum gap of spending that allows lower revenue teams some budgetary discretion while maintaining a reasonable envelope of payroll competitiveness across the league. Reading some various articles on MLB's situation back in the early 2000's when the top portion of teams were averaging a 2:1 ratio over the bottom portion the league set a goal of moving to a 1.6:1 ratio (62.5% of the ceiling). I think that's a reasonable figure that approximately matches the cap situation in 2006-2007, the first year the CBA's $16m range was used where the $28m floor was 63.6% of the $44m ceiling.
- Between my suggestion to reduce the ceiling calc and adjust the floor calc if a 50/50 HRR share were in place for 2012-2013 and the 5% escalator remains in place that would have yielded a cap of $60.6m and floor of $37.9m. Note: I'm proposing to phase in the 50/50 target over more than one year but wanted to highlight what the cap would have looked like with an immediate 50/50 split. With the proposed 55% in year 1 that would give a cap of $66.1m and floor of $41.3m for 2012-2013.
- Maximum player contract length of 7 years. That should be enough to close most of the retirement deal shenanigans in a simple way.
- Teams can loan players on 1-way contracts to the minor leagues at no penalty if the player's salary is 50% or less of league average. Players on 1-way contracts greater than 50% of league average can still be loaned, but a portion of the contract will count against the team's cap. Suggestion would be dollar for dollar over 50% of league average salary, but willing to negotiate. This will allow teams to still take risks on signing potentially fringe roster players to 1-way contracts without penalty while reducing the incentive to bury large contracts for cap reasons.
- Remove the 35+ rule, but introduce a new system to address the concerns that caused the rule to be created as well as the retirement contracts. If a player aged 30+ retires for any reason while still having future seasons remaining on their contract then any teams the player played for will have a cap hit assigned to them equal to the difference between the player's salary and cap hit during the period they played with the team. This cap hit will be spread equally across either half the # of years the player played for the team (rounded up) or the years left remaining on the contract, whichever is smaller. This idea would work similarly to how the buyout process assigns a cap hit to a team that accounts for over or underpayment of salary compared to cap hit. For example, if Zach Parise (contract of 12/12/11/9/9/9/9/9/8/6/2/1/1) decides to retire after year 10 of his contract he would have been paid a total of $94m while only carrying a total cap hit of $75.4m. That $18.6m difference will be assessed against the team's cap at $6.2m/year in years 11-13. If a player is traded during their contract then all teams the player paid for are assessed according to the salary received vs. contract for the period that played for the team.
Free Agency and Contract Terms
- Keep the existing ELC structure.
- Continue proportional increases in the ELC maximum contract size similar to 2005 CBA. Increase league minimum from current $550k to $650k or $750k over life of CBA.
- UFA after 8 accrued seasons or at age 28. This is a bump of one year over the current 7 seasons or age 27.
- Open to further restricting or eliminating team-elected arbitration arbitration as a concession to players.
Escrow and Player Salaries
- No rollbacks to player contracts, unless the NHLPA would prefer to do so. The players are going to get their negotiated % of the pie regardless. A rollback only affects what portion of that pie goes to players currently under contract versus players on new future contracts.
- Escrow system otherwise the same.
- As noted earlier, willing to negotiate a solution where escrow clawback becomes very unlikely to be triggered, but that will require pushing the cap lower.
- If the current revenue sharing calculation model continues to be used, raise the % of revenue sharing from it's current 4.5% (~$150m/year) to ~8% (~$260m/year). With increasing central revenue from the new TV deals it should be possible to achieve much of this increase without substantial hikes on the direct revenue sharing payments from the top clubs. Depending on the exact amounts that are available for funding this % increase could be phased in over more than one year.
- Increase the market size thresholds permitted to receive revenue sharing to include the same list of cities as it was initially in the 2005 CBA (Toronto, NY area, Los Angeles, Chicago)
- If a different system for sharing revenue is used then a completely different set of math and %'s would be required.
- NHL will continue to allow its players to participate in the Olympics.
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