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Why does Bettman wanna see a limit on contract lengths?

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Old
11-09-2012, 01:07 PM
  #51
deckercky
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I think 7 year limits with a 10% allowable change per year would be reasonable. Still allows front loading, but to a much lesser degree. For a player with a $7M salary year 1, here's the most it could drop under that system:
7, 6.3, 5.67, 5.103, 4.5927, 4.13343, 3.720087

AAV of $5.217031M

To me, that's not too much. Year 7 can at lowest be 53% of year 1, compared to the current limit of year 2 being able to be 50% of year 1.


5% change wouldn't allow owners to have contracts factor in the increase that qualifying offers would include, since that's a 10% increase. Even at 10%, this wouldn't allow a player to make $4.5M year 1 and $5M year 2, something pretty standard in a lot of contracts. 5% is too restrictive and 5 years is probably too short for the players.

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11-09-2012, 01:17 PM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middletoe View Post
How big a deal is this for the players?

What problem would there be to having, for example, a 5 year maximum?
Ask Scott Gomez and Rick DiPietro.


Long term job certainty would be my guess, both financially and living arrangements. Makes it easier to tell your family that you're living in a place for the next 10 years for sure, unless we agree to move (most long term deals have some form of NMC)

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11-09-2012, 01:19 PM
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Perhaps his point was that the cap has created some undesirable consequences itself which could easily be fixed by removing the cap. Sure, there may be other poisons, but the more complex a system gets, the more things that can go wrong.
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
What's more foolish is citing something that doesn't exist-- parity.

You will have a hard time finding data to support "parity". It makes for a great sound byte, but the math to support it is absent. [edit: as a direct function of this cap; some will note the parity that existed prior to the cap]

It took a cap system to lead to lifetime contracts being the norm for players, and in some cases massively long contracts for guys years away from UFA status. We have decades of examples for what owners do with their money absent a cap.
Well let's see here, in the ten seasons before the cap, five different teams won Cups. (DET and NJD 3 times each, Colorado twice, Tampa and Dallas once)

In the seven season since the lockout, seven different teams have won Cups, only one of them from the previous ten years of Cup winners.

Yeah, adding the cap did nothing to form parity.

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11-09-2012, 01:21 PM
  #54
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I would think that if the NHL wanted a max limit for contracts length, the PA would want a certain minimum limit in return.

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11-09-2012, 01:24 PM
  #55
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Bettman doesn't want those "back diving cap circumvention deals" and term length is one measure he wants in order to eliminate those.

However, he doesn't need to cap the term to see those disappear, so this "ask" is probably a bridge too far. Longer term deals don't offer the union more money, just a bit more job security for the individual guy.

A better question is "why does Fehr oppose 5% variance in year-to-year compensation?", which is the actual measure that eliminates the back diving retirement deals. A high disparity between the cap number and the actual compensation actually HURTS his membership by increasing escrow on everybody else.

You can cheat the cap with a deal like that. But player percentage of revenue cheats you right back.

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11-09-2012, 01:25 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by The Dingo View Post
Supply is never going to exceed demand. The type of contracts prompting this have been(and are likely going to be) offered to super star/ franchise type players. There will never be enough of them in the league
Hence, why we need limits. Franzen is an example of someone who isnt a star. DiPietro, Ehrhoff, JStaal, some are good players but not star players. There isnt a huge amt of these days yet but it could get worse. One example for is Lecavalier. Skills are slowly diminishing prematurely and he has a LOT of term left at a high $ level. What is that situation going to be like in 3-4 yrs? It could be DiPietro lite. As a fan, I just dont want to be stuck with players like that for 4-5 seasons hogging cap room. NHL has the AHL to dump (assuming movement is available) unlike the NBA. In the NBA, these burdensome contracts can hurt a team's performance for extended periods.

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11-09-2012, 01:46 PM
  #57
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I absolutely agree that contracts should be limited in length. It probably were most mistakes are made by GMs. Giving a young star a 10-15 year deal?

How many times has that ever worked out as a benefit other than the player?

I think 5 years is too short but 6 is about right. Even 7 years I feel is too long.

I also like the fact that salaries can't differentiate by more than 5% year to year. I was expecting like 10-15% and actually think 5% is little unfair.

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11-09-2012, 01:49 PM
  #58
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Does anyone else have a feeling that once a contract term limit is introduced.. whether it 6-7-8 yrs.... we will see a huge overall increase in players signing at that max level?
vs
the open ended version it is now where players land where they land.. based more so on needs of both organization and player.

I just have a feeling that a max limit would almost act as a target for players and agents to aim for... with more players hitting them.

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11-09-2012, 01:53 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingsfan2965 View Post
Well let's see here, in the ten seasons before the cap, five different teams won Cups. (DET and NJD 3 times each, Colorado twice, Tampa and Dallas once)

In the seven season since the lockout, seven different teams have won Cups, only one of them from the previous ten years of Cup winners.

Yeah, adding the cap did nothing to form parity.

Detroit won once and came to a game seven the following year. It has helped the big market teams though.


That said-- neither your evidence nor mine is much more than anecdotal.

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11-09-2012, 02:02 PM
  #60
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Instead of capping term length, the league should lobby stringent rules in place to make it less desireable for owners to offer such contracts. That way, players aren't denied the opportunity to sign a career contract with a team for his own financial security, but the owners should assume more accountability for handing out these contracts.

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11-09-2012, 02:02 PM
  #61
deckercky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Detroit won once and came to a game seven the following year. It has helped the big market teams though.


That said-- neither your evidence nor mine is much more than anecdotal.
There's been a number of small market teams that have made the final, so it certainly hasn't hurt them.

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11-09-2012, 02:02 PM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DL44 View Post
Does anyone else have a feeling that once a contract term limit is introduced.. whether it 6-7-8 yrs.... we will see a huge overall increase in players signing at that max level?
vs
the open ended version it is now where players land where they land.. based more so on needs of both organization and player.

I just have a feeling that a max limit would almost act as a target for players and agents to aim for... with more players hitting them.
Probably. It's also going to spread around the star players a bit more as a result, since teams won't be able to keep several by artificially lowering cap hits by tacking on one or two low earning years on a 15 year deal..

If a 5 year contract limit is set (what the NHL has asked for), who is going to come out ahead in that scenario? A player signing once for fifteen years after hitting free agency at 26, or a player signing as a UFA three times in fifteen years? And consider growth in revenue and average salary in years 6-10, and 11-15.

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11-09-2012, 02:17 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckercky View Post
There's been a number of small market teams that have made the final, so it certainly hasn't hurt them.
Comparative data, please.

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Old
11-09-2012, 03:48 PM
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middletoe View Post
How big a deal is this for the players?

What problem would there be to having, for example, a 5 year maximum?
With guaranteed contracts, long term contracts represent financial security.

it is a big deal for the players.

Granted, the financial security gained in a 5 year deal is better than I will EVER know, but I am not a professional athlete.

If I were? I'd want the ability to sign a 10 year deal for as much as possible as well.

Additionally, 5 year deals will also bring about new problems such as contracts paying players 10 and 11 million annual salaries.

Players (all sports) have such a short window of opportunity to maximize their earning potential. Limiting terms to 5 years puts a player in a bad spot should he get hurt in year 4. Granted, it puts the team in a bad spot in years 5-10 if that were to happen, but the question was geared towards the players mindset.

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11-09-2012, 04:00 PM
  #65
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If one thing in the entire CBA changes, I would love for it to be the maximum term on contracts. Personally, I'd like to see 5 years, but I have a feeling 7 years will be the final number.

Long contracts do a lot of harm. As others have said, it's traditionally allowed the well heeled teams to offer tons of money, most of it up front, over long periods of time knowing that the tail end won't cost them anything at all, even if the player isn't producing. It also makes it easy for the player to retire or flee overseas. It also prevents the majority of star talent from every hitting the market and giving other teams a chance to improve. It can also put teams in a real bind when they sign these players and they bomb out, because contracts are guaranteed and there's no way to cut them when they stop producing. I love the idea with a 5 year deal where salary paid equals cap hit. It solves SO many problems.

The players are simply going to cry. That's what they do. It's all they do. They already have guaranteed contracts...but...they want it to be guaranteed for 14 years too.



I think the NHL should allow contracts beyond 5 years but just make it clear that frontloading won't be permitted. Annual cap hit will equal total salary divided by number of years on contract. Period.

That alone will keep teams from wanting to sign those ridiculous long term deals. It'll also keep them from signing players long term beyond a certain age. Again...the players will hate this but tough ****.

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11-09-2012, 04:16 PM
  #66
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Short answer: Limits on the length of contracts eliminates cap circumvention and eliminates the need for the NHL to have to deal with gray-area decisions like the one they faced with the Devils and Kovalchuk's contract.

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11-09-2012, 04:16 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Yes, that the owners can't restrict themselves. Sorry, but for me that's bizarre. But if it helps to protect the League then by all means have a rule in place that demands them to restrict themselves (of the forever present loopholes might be found, as billionaires are the greatest experts at finding).
There was a thread here on collusion last month. I am not a lawyer but the MLB has been fined for collusion for trying to limits some huge contracts.

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11-09-2012, 04:19 PM
  #68
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Bettman and the owners are control freaks essentially and will do anything the can to tie players down and preent them from getting fair compensation. They continue to create or at least try to create caps within caps on players but it never seems to be good enough.

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11-09-2012, 04:33 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by Fehr Time View Post
Bettman and the owners are control freaks essentially and will do anything the can to tie players down and preent them from getting fair compensation. They continue to create or at least try to create caps within caps on players but it never seems to be good enough.
How exactly do shorter terms on contracts tie players down?

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11-09-2012, 04:37 PM
  #70
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The group in this equation that people are overlooking is agents. Their advice is always to get the highest $ total on a contract. I have seen quotes where an agent would take $40mil, 7 year contract over a $35mil, 5 year contract. It's security against injuries and the vagaries of performance. They also give a lot of weight to the frontload where the money is paid immediately.

Fugu,
This goes to your issue of cap versus no cap. My hypothesis is that the change in landscape with free agency has lead to the cap in all leagues except baseball. Free agency brought on agents who have had a lot of time to work their game plan and evolution of pro sports. Even without a cap, the luxury tax in baseball acts to cap spending. A quote from Steinbrenner even had him paying attention to the bottom line when defending his payroll spending. Despite their profligacy, he was checking to see that the Yankees remained in the black.

My second hypothesis is that their are slight variations in owner groups between leagues. IMO, the NHL counts more nouveau riche among its owners. Some of them one-shot wonders that don't really have experience in managing finances prudently in a sports management environment. I would count them as a whole against the owner groups of other leagues as the one most likely to self-destruct. A corollary is that they would be the group least likely to be caught in collusion.

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11-09-2012, 05:05 PM
  #71
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Because signing a player to a 10+ year contract is needless. Cap a contract at 5 years.

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11-09-2012, 05:31 PM
  #72
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With the Kovalchuk decision, the NHL largely got rid of the most egregious of the tailing type contracts.

If there was a limit now of 5 yr contracts, a player like Weber say, rather than taking $14 mil for the first couple years and slowly working down to about $1 mil at the end of he career, (in pretty much exactly the way he would get the money if he signed a series of 1 year deals) and getting a cap space saving cap hit for the team of $7.5 mil a year, would instead sign a 5 year $14 mil contract.

The immediate effect will make it seem like contracts are spiraling out of control. That the disparity between the top and bottom players is increasing. That the need for a new cba to reign in out of control inflationary salaries, as it would no doubt incorrectly be described, is becoming evident. And the dire warnings of the infamous Tampa model of many years ago would return.

One of the worries of the cba from bettmans 1st lockout was that small market teams were losing their 31 year old ufas to big market teams. The desire was for something that would protect small market teams from that loss. But this would make it happen even more. If there was a max of 5 year contracts, well i guess many teams will at least have a chance of getting Crosby on their teams some day. There would likely be a couple of windows where he might be in play.

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11-09-2012, 05:43 PM
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralGenesis View Post
so your logic is that without a cap there wouldn't be longer deals and that the owners like signing long-term deals?

I don't think I agree with either proposition.
What was the longest deal you saw pre-cap? Most deals were 3-5 years. Yashin's and Jagr are the only ones that I remember that were pretty long.

The long contract came in immediately with the cap as teams sought to lock a player up at a certain cap hit for as long as possible. They also started adding additional years with a lower salary to reduce the cap hit as much as possible.

So disagree as much as you want...

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11-09-2012, 05:47 PM
  #74
thinkwild
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Also, before the cap, St Louis, Colorado, and Dallas were seen as big markets using their money advantage and were a large part of the core of teams responsible for fans wanting a cba that helped small markets.

Now that we have a cap, they are all seen as small markets who need a new cba because they cant keep up with the big markets.

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11-09-2012, 05:55 PM
  #75
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It's a double-edged sword. Mostly long contracts are abused by rich teams to fit stars into the cap at a low-ish hit. It also allows for teams that may be more middle of the road to compete for top UFAs, even though they really might not be able to afford it. Can Minnesota really afford Suter and Parise? Personally I don't think it's healthy for them to have those contracts, but due to long term contracts it becomes feasible on paper.

Edit: personally I like the idea of term limits... as no restriction on lengths almost makes the current system a soft cap. However you look at it it's circumvention of the whole point of the cap, and I'd like to see that stopped or significantly slowed because its causing teams to get themselves into trouble.
I actually think that Minny is one of the few non rich teams who those deals make sense for. Signing those players provided several instant payoffs. More merchandizing sales, and more season ticket holders (I thought I remember reading that they had to hire more staff for this). So with those increase sales, and more tickets sold per game (plus more merchandizing and concession sales) that should make a small dent in part of the 15m that goes to each annually (cap hit).

Now IF they can consistently make the playoffs (say into round 2), then there's another 6-8+ million. Now you've covered more than half of the salary that those two star players make, and are left only paying the 5-10m that the playoffs, merch sales, etc didn't cover. 5-10m for 2 star players is a damn good deal.

Yes I know the deal is front loaded, and they make a hell of a lot more in years 1-9, but when you look at the options for them to make back a decent chunk of that thru on-ice success, I think Minny was one of the sole teams who could actually make a business case for signing those two stupid contracts.

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