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Don't expect the cap to go down next year.

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Old
12-29-2008, 03:01 PM
  #1
Ozymandias
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Don't expect the cap to go down next year.

The alarmists who like to go into a frenzy about any possible bump in the road will have to take a deep breath until the end of the 2009-2010 season as the league is projecting increases in revenues of up to 6%, yet will be protracted to 2% because of the Canadian loonies' decline (unless it goes back up again).

http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/61008

Also, after looking at the numbers, it would make no sense whatever for the league to bring the cap down, even in the event of a decline in revenues, and here's why :

Last season, the NHL made profits of 2,56 billion USD. They are expecting it to rise close to 2,65 at the end of this season. Now the 2,56 billion is what put the mid-cap at 48,6 mil, putting the minimum close to 40,8 and the maximum to 56,7.

Now looking at the total salaries of NHL players for this season (according to NHLscap), players are gonna take a piece of around 1 547 449 365,00 $ of the entire revenues. That's already 58% of total revenues. The increase of player's salaries from the last summer signings have already accounted for the increase in revenues.

For the little difference that this will entail, they'll use the escrow accounts to take a very small percentage of total revenues from players to lower them down to 57% of total revenues.

And this is what will happen in the next few years, as long as there is economic turmoil (and that this CBA format is maintained, which is not a given). If at the end of the year, total salaries exceed 57% of total revenues, they will simply put a lock on the cap for the following season and let the escrow account take up a margin of the losses on the player's salaries so that the logic of a maximum of 57% of total revenues going to players.

It would make ABSOLUTELY no sense to lower the cap when the salaries will already account for close to the maximum that the present cap can allow. Some people have said that the new contracts would reflect the lowered cap, but that doesn't make sense for many players, who will complain to the NHLPA that members who did sign before the economic turmoil will be advantaged by that. Also, it would make no sense as to the maximum player salary is concerned, as some players are close to the maximum (20% of cap per team), and with a lowered cap, would be making more than the maximum.

So don't expect the cap to go down any time soon. Revenu sharing might be more substantial as an obligation asked by the league to its board of governors members to help the teams in despair in this time of economic turmoil. Player's salaries will remain the same, but will always be substracted by the escrow account if they make more than 57% of revenues.

I know the CBA says that there might be a decrease in the cap, but it doesn't say that it will be an automatic function, as they meet to ascertain the formula to calculate the new cap each year. Both the league and players will probably agree to put a lock on the cap instead of bringing it down, as it now seems the case, and it would be much more logical to do so, as the escrow accounts can effectively deal with any lowered amount of revenues, as its ratio (percentage taken from salaries) is also reviewed 4 times per year.

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12-29-2008, 03:18 PM
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Nice post.

While I agree that the cap wouldn't go down this year, I do believe its not this year that the NHL will feel the full hit from the economic troubles. The major reason being that this season's tickets and boxes were already sold before the economic crisis was in full stride. Next year is where we are likely to see a drop in sales as companies cut in their expenses and advertising thus its the year after that we might see a drop, or a non-increase, in the salary cap.

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12-29-2008, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jnthomas View Post
Nice post.

While I agree that the cap wouldn't go down this year, I do believe its not this year that the NHL will feel the full hit from the economic troubles. The major reason being that this season's tickets and boxes were already sold before the economic crisis was in full stride. Next year is where we are likely to see a drop in sales as companies cut in their expenses and advertising thus its the year after that we might see a drop, or a non-increase, in the salary cap.
I know that, my point was also that for the following seasons, the league will freeze the cap in case of lower revenues rather than lowering the cap, as the logic of management is much better with a frozen cap than with a lowered cap. And players will no doubt agree to that, as it will be fairer to both parties, using the escrow accounts to make the balance.

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12-29-2008, 03:24 PM
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The problem is that '09 is when the **** is expected to hit the fan, as the US is looking at a possible loss of 10M jobs in '09 which would likely be a crushing blow to an already weak economy. But it remains to be seen if that's what will happen, hopefully it won't be that bad, since I could be one of those 10M since I work in investment banking.

So teams need to be careful about signing players this summer, long term, cause in '10-'11 the cap could take a hit.

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12-29-2008, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
I know that, my point was also that for the following seasons, the league will freeze the cap in case of lower revenues rather than lowering the cap, as the logic of management is much better with a frozen cap than with a lowered cap. And players will no doubt agree to that, as it will be fairer to both parties, using the escrow accounts to make the balance.
I agree. I guess this is where those long term contracts are really going to start hurting. If the cap does not increase for several years, those contracts that would have become a bargain in the long run suddenly remain expensive to moderate.

Also even if the salary cap doesn't go down, teams' internal cap most certainly will as owners will try to divert funds from their hockey franchise to stop the bleeding somewhere else (for those who have that luxury).

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12-29-2008, 05:20 PM
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I might be mistaking, and I didn't read every line of every post in this thread, but don't player's existing salaries go down if the cap goes down? I seem to remember Jagr having to take a pay cut at some point in the recent past. Is it just the salaries that are over the new max that get cut, or is it everyone's?

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12-29-2008, 05:24 PM
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2010-11 is the year the cap will go down, not next season, this is old news.

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12-29-2008, 05:43 PM
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as the league is projecting increases in revenues of up to 6%
I'm shocked at this projection, considering the enormous amounts of empty seats in the weaker markets. I know the Winter Classic pads the numbers a bit, but wow.. this is surprising.

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12-29-2008, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by All-Star View Post
I might be mistaking, and I didn't read every line of every post in this thread, but don't player's existing salaries go down if the cap goes down? I seem to remember Jagr having to take a pay cut at some point in the recent past. Is it just the salaries that are over the new max that get cut, or is it everyone's?
No the salaries don't go down. The 20% max of the cap only applies when the player is signed, it doesn't go down later if the cap reduces.

Jagr's salary cut like all the other players 24% rollback was a one-time event when the new CBA went into effect.

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12-30-2008, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Habs View Post
I'm shocked at this projection, considering the enormous amounts of empty seats in the weaker markets. I know the Winter Classic pads the numbers a bit, but wow.. this is surprising.
Well, there has been quite significant increase NHL's exposure and revenues from Chigago and Boston, both markets that have done poorly for last couple of years, so that will definetly be part of the increase.

Regarding the idea of freezing the cap, the idea isn't really in accordance with the section 50.5 (b) of the CBA, but if both parties are willing to use growth fractor that would lead the cap to stay in current range despite actual decrease in revenues, I doubt there is anything that would actually prevent them from doing that.

Having said that, the parties in those negotiations are NHLPA and NHL as collectives. Somehow I would not be so sure that sufficient number of small market teams would support such idea within the Board of Governors, after all, the cap midpoint also determines the cap floor and I would assume that there would be more than sufficient number of owners that would actually welcome lower cap floor and would be opposed to artificial growth rate (unless it would be actually backed by real change of getting excellent nation wide TV deal or similar within the next few years).

Naturally, if things start to look too grim from NHLPAs perspective, they can try to reopen whole CBA. But especially with such uncertainties ahead, league would most likely argue in favor of less secured contracts, something that NHLPA definetly is not going to be in favour of.

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12-30-2008, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Noldo View Post
Well, there has been quite significant increase NHL's exposure and revenues from Chigago and Boston, both markets that have done poorly for last couple of years, so that will definetly be part of the increase.

Regarding the idea of freezing the cap, the idea isn't really in accordance with the section 50.5 (b) of the CBA, but if both parties are willing to use growth fractor that would lead the cap to stay in current range despite actual decrease in revenues, I doubt there is anything that would actually prevent them from doing that.

Having said that, the parties in those negotiations are NHLPA and NHL as collectives. Somehow I would not be so sure that sufficient number of small market teams would support such idea within the Board of Governors, after all, the cap midpoint also determines the cap floor and I would assume that there would be more than sufficient number of owners that would actually welcome lower cap floor and would be opposed to artificial growth rate (unless it would be actually backed by real change of getting excellent nation wide TV deal or similar within the next few years).

Naturally, if things start to look too grim from NHLPAs perspective, they can try to reopen whole CBA. But especially with such uncertainties ahead, league would most likely argue in favor of less secured contracts, something that NHLPA definetly is not going to be in favour of.
I think the weaker teams, like I've mentioned before, wouldn't be that much opposed to the freeze, as the revenu sharing takes care of their needs. If you look at the list of team salaries, must are above the cap mid-point. There are actually only 4 teams that are under the cap mid-point. And 21 teams have a higher total than last year's cap. The NHLPA would surely agree to it.

I don't think they ever envisioned such economic struggles worldwide when they elaborated section 50.5. It is also a committee of both parties that decide the new cap, and it is not -precisely- fixed on the revenues of the previous year, but on tendencies too. The real itchy point is that if the NHL does bring the cap down, they'll have a much harder time to deal with the NHLPA in two years when they will want to renegociate (or just plainly renew most clauses) and that's if the NHLPA agrees to take the optional two years on the present CBA. As far as the equality in the salaries is concerned, its in the league's best interests to try and manage any lost of revenues by using the escrow accounts, until they do have to take more extreme measures.

Altho, I do agree they might lower the cap a bit, but it will never be as near to what some people have speculated, and it will not be at the end of the present season. They have to consider the previous contracts that were signed before the new cap numbers of the following season, and in this sense, would only assign a slow progressive downturn, along the lines of 2 to 5% per season, as to not affect the overall balance, such as teams who are very close to the cap and who are also their biggest contributors for overall revenues and revenu sharing.


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12-30-2008, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by All-Star View Post
I might be mistaking, and I didn't read every line of every post in this thread, but don't player's existing salaries go down if the cap goes down? I seem to remember Jagr having to take a pay cut at some point in the recent past. Is it just the salaries that are over the new max that get cut, or is it everyone's?
No they can't have a cut back again, that's what the escrow accounts are used for, to maintain the players at 57% of total revenues, like the 24% cut back was a league wide occurence to bring players to 57% of total revenues. Lowering the cap to a small degree wouldn't disrupt this logic so much, but a high decline in the cap would be opposite to the logic of having players get 57% of total revenues because of the existing contracts. A lot of players in the NHLPA would also be pissed that players who signed before the cap goes down are advantaged, whereas the players who will sign afterwards will lose in this deal. The escrow accounts don't discriminate, everyone get the same % cut from their salaries.


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12-30-2008, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
I think the weaker teams, like I've mentioned before, wouldn't be that much opposed to the freeze, as the revenu sharing takes care of their needs. If you look at the list of team salaries, must are above the cap mid-point. There are actually only 4 teams that are under the cap mid-point. And 21 teams have a higher total than last year's cap. The NHLPA would surely agree to it.
I am very confident that NHLPA would agree on freezing the cap. After all, the highest paid part of the players take the bigges hit through escrow payments, while the decrease in the cap would affect first the fringe NHLrs (using term roughly for all non-big name players), that are typically in shorter contracts and have to accept the remaining part of the teams cap space (after the big name stars have received their share). Since there is more fringe players that stars, they control the vote within NHLPA (definetly a thing to remember). The fact that majority of the teams spend close to the cap is perhaps the best indication, that salaries won't come down unless the cap comes down, so freezing the cap would move money within NHLPA from stars to the "lesser" players.

However, if we take the reports indicating that there are 4-6 teams that are loosing considerable amounts of money despite revenue sharing and cap for true, at least those teams would most likely welcome decrease in cap. We would then be quite close to the deceisive minority that could be able to block decision on BOG meeting. Quite many of the reported struggling markets would be same that would take the hit from the economic slowdown (Detroit being an exception, being most likely heavily affected by slowdown but not among the "weak market" teams).

Of course, the final result would probably be some kind of compromise. At bare minimum the big market teams would insist that the decrease would be spread among more years, lessening the impact. That would actually lead the cap to decrease already NEXT season, as precaution move against expected revedue decrease the season after (after all, "no cap space" could be easier argument for GMs/owners in contract negotiations than "not willing to pay that much because uncertainty in the future").

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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
I don't think they ever envisioned such economic struggles worldwide when they elaborated section 50.5. It is also a committee of both parties that decide the new cap, and it is not -precisely- fixed on the revenues of the previous year, but on tendencies too. The real itchy point is that if the NHL does bring the cap down, they'll have a much harder time to deal with the NHLPA in two years when they will want to renegociate (or just plainly renew most clauses) and that's if the NHLPA agrees to take the optional two years on the present CBA. As far as the equity in the salaries is concerned, its in the league's best interests to try and manage any lost of revenues by using the escrow accounts, until they do have to take more extreme measures.
I definetly agree on the idea that even decrease in revenues, not to speak aboyt actual economic crisis was probably not envisioned while the CBA was drafted. As the example mentioned in the CBA suggest, the option to negotiate was most likely ment for measure to react one-time event (such as mentioned TV contract), not a possible wide reaching decrease in revenues. After all, barring the lock out league's revenues HAVE increase every season. At the same time, recent increases in the cap makes one wonder if the original HRR calculations for 2005/06 season were really well based or could the league really increase their revenues in such dramatic rate for the past few years.

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Altho, I do agree they might lower the cap a bit, but it will never be as near to what some people have speculated, and it will not be at the end of the present season. They have to consider the previous contracts that were signed before the new cap numbers of the following season, and in this sense, would only assign a slow progressive downturn, along the lines of 2 to 5% per season, as to not affect the overall balance, such as teams who are very close to the cap and who are also their biggest contributors for overall revenues and revenu sharing.
In the end, we do agree. So many teams are so close to cap (with players signed or with players to sign) that BOG won't allow the cap to crash either (and if NHLPA supports slower decline of cap, they can prevent the crash). Decreasing the cap slowly thise season in anticipation for the next season, followed by another decrease if the grim predictions come true would in my opinion be the most sensible (and likely) solution.

Still, the major uncertainty can mean even less extensions to be signed during the season than normally. As of right now GMs are most likely over cautious and individual players are not yet ready to give in.

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12-30-2008, 10:22 AM
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Are sports unions going to become pr conscious in any way ? Some of the Booras driven baseball contracts seem to be leaving a bitter taste in some fan's mouths, and this can only get worse. Is it that naive to think that at a point, they may have to partner with ownership in ways that they hadn't before ?

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12-30-2008, 10:27 AM
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Are sports unions going to become pr conscious in any way ? Some of the Booras driven baseball contracts seem to be leaving a bitter taste in some fan's mouths, and this can only get worse. Is it that naive to think that at a point, they may have to partner with ownership in ways that they hadn't before ?
Isn't that what the NHLPA did in the last CBA? Such a revenu cap ensures that both parties get what they want, that equality is maintained and that both parties get rewarded from growth.

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12-30-2008, 10:40 AM
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Isn't that what the NHLPA did in the last CBA? Such a revenu cap ensures that both parties get what they want, that equality is maintained and that both parties get rewarded from growth.
Yeah, hockey is covered, the problems going forward will be individual market related as near as I can tell, but a sport like baseball that already has a balance problem, may be held up as a particular example in the next year or so.

Further, while we know that if the CH for example were to sign an elite player for a near max. contract, their choice within established limits, it would stand out more than usual.

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12-30-2008, 12:11 PM
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As McPhee said, the problems are going to be at the individual club level. Using average revenues and average expenses is flawed.

The salary cap could become irrelevant to some of these owners who have seen their personal net worth drop significantly and the revenue generated by their hockey teams decline. It is the salary floor that will become their biggest concern. Forcing an owner to spend a minimum of $42 million on player salaries could create some huge problems.

Average ticket prices were $48.72 last year but that is more than likely an inflated number if you consider promotions, give-aways and discounts. http://andrewsstarspage.com/NHL-Busi...ket-prices.htm

If you take a club like Atlanta who had an average ticket price of $41.50 and an average attendance of about 14,500 the total gate revenue for the year would be $25 million. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?year=2009 Between inflated attendance numbers and ticket promotions, total revenue as calculated by these numbers could be 10% higher than actual revenue.

National TV revenues were about $6 million per team in 2007. http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slu...yhoo&type=lgns If Wikipedia is close to being correct, NFL teams collect about $93 million per team per year for TV revenues.

At present Atlanta pays about $45 million in player salaries. http://www.hockeybuzz.com/cap-central/ But the team is responsible not only for NHL players salaries but also for salaries of minor league players, the coaching staff, the admin staff, travel expenses, building rental and so on. I have no idea what those numbers would be but they are significant.

That means the shortfall between gate revenues and expenses has to be made up with local TV rights, luxury box rentals, merchandise sales, selling hot dogs, etc. To me, that sounds like a lot of hot dogs.

With the economy in a downturn and a chance that it could stay that way for a while, the NHL is facing some serious problems. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and there are a lot of weak links in the NHL right now. It is the job of Gary Bettman and Bill Daly to paint the brightest picture possible an instill confidence in their league. Privately I am sure they are very concerned. They would be fools if they weren't.

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12-30-2008, 12:26 PM
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As McPhee said, the problems are going to be at the individual club level. Using average revenues and average expenses is flawed.

The salary cap could become irrelevant to some of these owners who have seen their personal net worth drop significantly and the revenue generated by their hockey teams decline. It is the salary floor that will become their biggest concern. Forcing an owner to spend a minimum of $42 million on player salaries could create some huge problems.

Average ticket prices were $48.72 last year but that is more than likely an inflated number if you consider promotions, give-aways and discounts. http://andrewsstarspage.com/NHL-Busi...ket-prices.htm

If you take a club like Atlanta who had an average ticket price of $41.50 and an average attendance of about 14,500 the total gate revenue for the year would be $25 million. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?year=2009 Between inflated attendance numbers and ticket promotions, total revenue as calculated by these numbers could be 10% higher than actual revenue.

National TV revenues were about $6 million per team in 2007. http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slu...yhoo&type=lgns If Wikipedia is close to being correct, NFL teams collect about $93 million per team per year for TV revenues.

At present Atlanta pays about $45 million in player salaries. http://www.hockeybuzz.com/cap-central/ But the team is responsible not only for NHL players salaries but also for salaries of minor league players, the coaching staff, the admin staff, travel expenses, building rental and so on. I have no idea what those numbers would be but they are significant.

That means the shortfall between gate revenues and expenses has to be made up with local TV rights, luxury box rentals, merchandise sales, selling hot dogs, etc. To me, that sounds like a lot of hot dogs.

With the economy in a downturn and a chance that it could stay that way for a while, the NHL is facing some serious problems. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and there are a lot of weak links in the NHL right now. It is the job of Gary Bettman and Bill Daly to paint the brightest picture possible an instill confidence in their league. Privately I am sure they are very concerned. They would be fools if they weren't.
I think the mid-point would be to put the mid-cap lower, but extend the gap between the mid-point and max-point, and mid-point and minimal-point. Instead of having a difference of 16 mil between max and minimum, they might put it to 20 or 24 mil, lowering the mid-point to 44 mil, max point to 56 mil and minimal to 32 mil.

This would eliminate some of the parity for the time being until the economy goes up again, but will also permit the rich teams to spend on the players and poorer teams to save on salaries, keeping the NHLPA happy and helping out the weaker teams economically. There's always a solution to any problem without drastically changing what seemed like a good working system that only needs a few tweeks.

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12-30-2008, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
I think the mid-point would be to put the mid-cap lower, but extend the gap between the mid-point and max-point, and mid-point and minimal-point. Instead of having a difference of 16 mil between max and minimum, they might put it to 20 or 24 mil, lowering the mid-point to 44 mil, max point to 56 mil and minimal to 32 mil.

This would eliminate some of the parity for the time being until the economy goes up again, but will also permit the rich teams to spend on the players and poorer teams to save on salaries, keeping the NHLPA happy and helping out the weaker teams economically. There's always a solution to any problem without drastically changing what seemed like a good working system that only needs a few tweeks.
That seems reasonable to me as well. The differential between the top and bottom teams would still be smaller than it was before the new CBA and it would be miles ahead of the MLB situation. It might be tough to get the union to agree but they need to be realistic here as well. Losing teams means fewer guys playing NHL hockey.

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01-01-2009, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
I think the mid-point would be to put the mid-cap lower, but extend the gap between the mid-point and max-point, and mid-point and minimal-point. Instead of having a difference of 16 mil between max and minimum, they might put it to 20 or 24 mil, lowering the mid-point to 44 mil, max point to 56 mil and minimal to 32 mil.

This would eliminate some of the parity for the time being until the economy goes up again, but will also permit the rich teams to spend on the players and poorer teams to save on salaries, keeping the NHLPA happy and helping out the weaker teams economically. There's always a solution to any problem without drastically changing what seemed like a good working system that only needs a few tweeks.
Unfortunately, the range of the cap is not something than can be changed without re-opening the whole CBA.

The cap mid point (that is used to determine maximum and minimal team salaries) is open to negotiations: the parties can agree on other growth factor than standard determined in the CBA. But the salary cap system itself with minimum at 8 million below mid point and maximum at 8 million above cap is not subject to negotiations, it is defined in CBA and can't be modified without re-opening the whole CBA.

Now, would owners trust NHLPA to use their right to re-open (according to CBA, only NHLPA has that right, the owners ARE bound if the NHLPA so wishes) to only address that question in current market situations? What the league can offer the players in order to have them to agree on any changes to CBA?

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01-01-2009, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
The alarmists who like to go into a frenzy about any possible bump in the road will have to take a deep breath until the end of the 2009-2010 season as the league is projecting increases in revenues of up to 6%, yet will be protracted to 2% because of the Canadian loonies' decline (unless it goes back up again).
The revenues for this season were mostly accrued prior to the season with season ticket, luxury box sales, and the like. I'd expect that disposable corporate and personal income will be tight next season and will adversely affect 2009-10 ticket sales. The cap will be thus negatively affected for the 2010-11 season. The lower Canadian dollar will also be troublesome for Canadian teams.

Owners are smart and new player contracts will be offered with an inevitable lower cap in mind. Bettman has been suggesting this on his Sirius/XM radio show of late. Guys like Hossa only signing a one-year deal and Gaborik turning down a long term $8 million deal may find these strategies backfiring.

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01-01-2009, 02:16 PM
  #22
gnr25
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Originally Posted by 24Cups View Post
Guys like Hossa only signing a one-year deal and Gaborik turning down a long term $8 million deal may find these strategies backfiring.
Except for the fact that Hossa and Gaborik are already multi-millionaires and have enough money to last the rest of their lives.

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01-01-2009, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gnr25 View Post
Except for the fact that Hossa and Gaborik are already multi-millionaires and have enough money to last the rest of their lives.
That's rarely the thought process of a professional athlete. The more money you make the more expensive a lifestyle requring more money. Hossa hopes to cash in with a Cup and then a long-term money-laced contract IMO.

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01-02-2009, 01:48 PM
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Unfortunately, the range of the cap is not something than can be changed without re-opening the whole CBA.

The cap mid point (that is used to determine maximum and minimal team salaries) is open to negotiations: the parties can agree on other growth factor than standard determined in the CBA. But the salary cap system itself with minimum at 8 million below mid point and maximum at 8 million above cap is not subject to negotiations, it is defined in CBA and can't be modified without re-opening the whole CBA.

Now, would owners trust NHLPA to use their right to re-open (according to CBA, only NHLPA has that right, the owners ARE bound if the NHLPA so wishes) to only address that question in current market situations? What the league can offer the players in order to have them to agree on any changes to CBA?
Technically you don't have to completely re-open the CBA. As long as the NHL and NHLPA both agree they can make any change to the CBA they want. There are other instances where they have done so such as lifting the ELC resigning restriction.

Having said that it's not something that's likely to happen I would think.

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01-03-2009, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 24Cups View Post
The revenues for this season were mostly accrued prior to the season with season ticket, luxury box sales, and the like. I'd expect that disposable corporate and personal income will be tight next season and will adversely affect 2009-10 ticket sales. The cap will be thus negatively affected for the 2010-11 season. The lower Canadian dollar will also be troublesome for Canadian teams.

Owners are smart and new player contracts will be offered with an inevitable lower cap in mind. Bettman has been suggesting this on his Sirius/XM radio show of late. Guys like Hossa only signing a one-year deal and Gaborik turning down a long term $8 million deal may find these strategies backfiring.
REALLY????


No duh, read the entire thread you big genius, its already been mentioned and everybody who knows the cap won't be going down at the end of the season knows that.

As for the second paragraph of your post, you are giving way too much credit to owners/GMs who have a wide open purse. I hope you realize that some teams won't be in deficit and will off big contracts to players like Hossa, Zetterberg, Gaborik, ect. Bettman also suggested to maintain the cap until the crisis is resolved as the escrow account can easily take care of equality between players, which is something you should address in argumenting this subject instead of repeating things that already have been said. Do you really think marginal and talented players who will be making less on their new contracts than those who signed extremely lucrative and long contracts before economic problems arose, will find this fair? Do not forget that the NHLPA is a vote of majority, and it is the majority that will be affected by this, not the 50 or so players who had signed long lucrative contracts.

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