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11-26-2012, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by thinkwild View Post
I did get that backwards didnt i. Im trying to remember the 2004 numbers, they were posted here. The mean salary was about $1.6 or $1.8 mil or something and the median about $1.1. At that time, the top ufa's were signing in a range of Heatley's $7.5 mil to Crosbys $8.7 mil as the top salary as that was the individual player cap at the time. But as the salary cap nearly doubled, the cap hits of the top ufa contracts, often yes because of backdiving risk structures, maintained that level. The effect was to allow what we used to derisively call the Tampa model, of 3 top ufas, being unsustainable, especially without at least a third of your every day roster playing for six figure contracts. But, by maintaining the Crosby ceiling even as the cap doubled, Crosby and Malkin can get some support and the much disparaged Tampa model from the start of the last cba is again very viable. As is a potential return to at least a better chance of maintaining an elite team longer.

It never really seemed to get noticed. But it seemed quite different team building environments between the start and end of the cba because of that. What will happen to these dynamics going forward. With short term no variance contracts, top ufa's will more likely get 5 yr $14 mil contracts or whatever the individual max will be. There is little room for the security/cost trade off. The disparity would more likely return. Is it being accounted for?
I'm not sure the difference between the top players and the rest really decreased overall -- the average salary is currently $2.4M to a $1.4M median. Crosby would still be set to make $12 million in 2013-14 without a rollback. The TB model might have worked longer than it did, had they had the hindsight to frontload the Lecavalier, Richards and Boyle deals a la Zetterberg or other 2005 CBA deals.

But I fully agree with the idea that team building will likely be different if 5-year limits are set into place.

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