this has probably been beaten to death but it is a very important issue facing the NHL. Just about everyone thinks there will be more cost certainty when it comes to rookie contracts in the next cba. By closing the performance loopholes, small market teams should be able to keep young top talent until they are at least 25.
The problem is that if there is a 1.5 mill rookie cap, then players like Ovechkin can makes as much or more by staying in Russia. If the WHL gets off the ground, it would be a boon to them if they could sign Ovechkin to a 2.5 mill contract.
The problem facing the NHL is that they have to have the rookie max low enough to impact the payroll but it can't be so low that star rookie players won't come to the nhl until they are 25-30. years old.
I doubt it will be too much of a problem considering there was an entry-level contract cap in the last CBA. It goes up gradually each year. I think for this past season is was at something like $1.1M/year maximum for entry-level contracts. Since players were still leaving europe at $1.1M/year, I would think they will still leave at $1.5M/year.
I think what they're trying to do with the entry-level cap for this new CBA is cap the incentives. I don't think there was any regulation on the amount of incentives you could include in one of these contracts (but don't quote me on that).
Saxon Sports Information and Research
on another board, the topic of Tverdosky came up. It turns out that he is making 2.5 mill tax free in russia. That works out to 3.5 in north america. If there is a firm rookie cap, then Ovechkin could easily earn this much in Russia.
If you were ovechkin, would you rather make 1.5-2.0 mill in north america or 3.5 at home?