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Why does Bettman wanna see a limit on contract lengths?

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Old
11-09-2012, 06:08 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by CharlieLima View Post
* Signing up players on long-term contracts is something that the owners “like”.

My question is how come Bettman says he want a limit for contract lengths we he represents the owners? Or am I wrong with something?
Yes, you are wrong. Why do you think the owners sign long-term contacts? Because they "like" them, or becasue it enables them to sign more cap-friendly deals which are agreeable to the players? I'm sure the owners would like to sign shorter length deals to that same lower cap hit, but that means less salary for the player, which means a player wont sign the deal. If you really think its the owners who are solely signing these deals, you are absolutely missing something.

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11-09-2012, 06:13 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Absolutely! But the fact that such restrictions are even needed just seems bizarre.
Why is it bizarre? Its a competetive league (owners and players alike). Is it equally bizarre that players need restrictions on themselves with respect to injuring their PA bretheren?

In a competitive environment, you need restrictions or the natural progression of human competitiveness will cause an unsustainable downward spiral of stupidity. Players and owners alike.

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11-09-2012, 06:16 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by thinkwild View Post
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.
This does protect small market teams, because as it is now Philly can pay Weber that 14M per year for those 5 years but still has the cap space to pay another player a 6.2M cap hit (who can also be getting a much higher actual salary) because his cap hit is artificially low. Minnesota would have 24M locked up in 2 players instead of the 15M they do now. Preventing teams from hoarding star players at below market cap hits is what this is all about. Punishing the teams that did it for having an unfair competitive advantage was what the NHL's proposed cap retirement idea was all about.

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11-09-2012, 09:01 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by CharlieLima View Post
There is one thing that has really messed up my mind during this NHL-conflict, and that’s when I read that Bettman & Co. wants a limit for contract lengths.

First of all, we need to get some things clear:

* The wage cap was proposed from the owners back in 2004/2005.

* Long-term contracts that last for about 12-15 years are a direct consequence of the cap, since it allows you to “circumvent the rules” and keep well-paid players below the cap.

* Signing up players on long-term contracts is something that the owners “like”.

My question is how come Bettman says he want a limit for contract lengths we he represents the owners? Or am I wrong with something?
The NHL is wrong here. I'll give them the max variance clause to protect against front-loading contracts that keeps the cap hit low. But with

-salary cap
-50/50
-max variance of 5% year-to-year

there's absolutely no need for limiting contract lengths. There has to be some self-policing by the owners. If they want to sign a player to a 15 year contract, it's their decision. Max variance prevents the "cheating" aspect but beyond that it's the owners' responsibility.

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11-09-2012, 11:16 PM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducks DVM View Post
This does protect small market teams, because as it is now Philly can pay Weber that 14M per year for those 5 years but still has the cap space to pay another player a 6.2M cap hit (who can also be getting a much higher actual salary) because his cap hit is artificially low. Minnesota would have 24M locked up in 2 players instead of the 15M they do now. Preventing teams from hoarding star players at below market cap hits is what this is all about. Punishing the teams that did it for having an unfair competitive advantage was what the NHL's proposed cap retirement idea was all about.
I guess they are competing issues. Owners are asking for salaries to be rolled back, and yet the solution is to make all teams including small market ones spend more. And ensure the best players look for max 5 year contracts rather than long term cap space saving ones.

Now of course, the big markets can also do that, but so can small markets, and that is one of the few advantages they have

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11-10-2012, 08:42 AM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginu View Post
The NHL is wrong here. I'll give them the max variance clause to protect against front-loading contracts that keeps the cap hit low. But with

-salary cap
-50/50
-max variance of 5% year-to-year

there's absolutely no need for limiting contract lengths. There has to be some self-policing by the owners. If they want to sign a player to a 15 year contract, it's their decision. Max variance prevents the "cheating" aspect but beyond that it's the owners' responsibility.
Well, I guess I would have no problem with this if the annual salary was the same every season.

Maybe go to 10% maximum difference from years 1 - 10. But like what has been posted, if you limit the huge cash up front and if year 12 pays as much as year 1, the players aren't going to be quite as happy. And GMs likely won't be offering up these "circumvention-contract-lifetime-deals."

But really, is this much of a hardship for players? - these 12+ year deals affects only a handful of players. Can't they see the good and fairness in limiting the term? If not, they are having their own class warfare within the NHLPA.

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11-10-2012, 10:54 AM
  #82
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These contracts push up the salary costs because they have a higher salary than cap hit for the life on the contract and you can flush out high cap hits out of the system by the player retiring towards the end of the contract.

Shorter contracts and less allowed variance in salary from year to year makes sure that what is on the books is what it actually costs.

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11-10-2012, 12:12 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian View Post
These contracts push up the salary costs because they have a higher salary than cap hit for the life on the contract and you can flush out high cap hits out of the system by the player retiring towards the end of the contract.

Shorter contracts and less allowed variance in salary from year to year makes sure that what is on the books is what it actually costs.
Which is cool because of all the players that have snuck out of the end of their contracts by retiring early. Oh wait, THAT HASN'T HAPPENED. But it's cool, because the FoxNews approach to arguments always works. If we say that Obama is a communist enough, some people will believe it. If Bettman accuses the players of retiring early to get out of the end of their contract enough, people believe it.

Screw facts when you can just create PR smear campaigns.

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11-10-2012, 12:22 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by ldnk View Post
Which is cool because of all the players that have snuck out of the end of their contracts by retiring early. Oh wait, THAT HASN'T HAPPENED. But it's cool, because the FoxNews approach to arguments always works. If we say that Obama is a communist enough, some people will believe it. If Bettman accuses the players of retiring early to get out of the end of their contract enough, people believe it.

Screw facts when you can just create PR smear campaigns.
What are you talking about?

The reason that it hasn't happened yet is because no one with this type of contract is at the stage where salary is very low and cap hit is very high. The cap system is young, as are the players with cap circumventing contracts.

They'll start retiring once their salary is very small in relation to their cap hit. That's the entire point of these types of contracts.

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11-10-2012, 12:41 PM
  #85
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Why must they go from extreme to extreme? Just find a balance.

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11-10-2012, 01:09 PM
  #86
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The nhl has to be careful not to be too stubborn about keeping it at 5 years.

THe players have been used to long long term deals these past few years, that the owners have came out to offer them. But now you want to take that away from them, and pretty drastically??

You got one stubborn child the league that is wanting drastic changes too fast. You got the union who have unrealistic wants, in terms of how long a contract length should be. (and other things)

I got a proposal. Why not model after the nba's , in terms of max/contract length. It is a little better for the owners, but players can get a few years longer than what is proposed now

- If you were drafted and been playing with the same team until free agency, you can potentially get a max deal at 7 years length (max amount based on percentage of team cap).BUT if you jump ships, you can only get max deal for 6 years. UFA to start from age 27


Benefit for owners = smaller markets especially can entice star players to stay for max deals. Or worse case do a sign a trade. This way , a team like Nashville doesn't lose a player like Suter for nothing. League becomes more competitive now

Benefit for players = not as great as previous flexibility in terms of max/length of deals but at least its better than 5 years. Also UFA age starts from 27 and not 28,29 like the league wants it to start.

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11-10-2012, 01:14 PM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldnk View Post
Which is cool because of all the players that have snuck out of the end of their contracts by retiring early. Oh wait, THAT HASN'T HAPPENED. But it's cool, because the FoxNews approach to arguments always works. [...] If Bettman accuses the players of retiring early to get out of the end of their contract enough, people believe it.

Screw facts when you can just create PR smear campaigns.
Yet you can't say it will not happen, as we haven't seen one of those contracts end yet - either by retirement or by expiring. BUT the way the contracts are structured, the length of the deal and the rules that were in place when they were signed suggest that most of the players who signed these deals will not all play them out for the duration of the contract.

Hossa, Luongo, Kovy, Parise, Suter, Weber.... you think they'll all be happy making 500k at 40? With a 5-7.8m cap hit, the team will likely be overjoyed to have them retire. With very few exceptions, most players really slow down by the time their late 30's roll around. Look at Weight, Modano, etc for some examples. Yes Lidstrom and Selane remained a top player at 40... but those examples are few and far between. For all those who've signed these long term deals, I would be surprised if more than 1 or 2 (other than perhaps Crosby's - which expires at 37) actually played out their entire contract. In fact I'd actually put money on it that out of all the contracts going to 39/40+, less than 2-3 players will actually play out the entire contract.

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Old
11-10-2012, 01:41 PM
  #88
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Again...if the players aren't happy with longer ELC's, longer periods to UFA, and shorter max contracts....just cave in...

And get rid of guaranteed contracts.


The players are afforded ENTIRELY too much luxury for the risk all of those things entail. There is absolutely NOTHING to protect the owners when some one plays lights out prior to a contract, and checks out after cashing in. There's nothing to help the teams when someone gets injured, and their play is forever altered.

They can't cut them. The players cry like lilttle girls with skinned knees when you try to send them down...

The owners have no recourse for structuring their rosters because the players have all the rights.

Shorter contracts prevent players from getting complacent. They prevent teams from getting hamstrung by underperforming players. They prevent salary cap circumvention as there simply aren't enough years in the contract TO front load it.

I don't know how the league's ever made it THIS far when nearly ever single employment condition is to the benefit of the players.

I mean...is there ANYTHING out there that's designed to help protect the OWNERS? i mean...outside of team elected salary arbitration, which players hate because the owners make them cry?

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11-10-2012, 01:46 PM
  #89
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The league doesn't want the long term contracts for a bunch of reasons. I believe the two largest is that they drive player costs and market value of the players up by allowing cap circumvention. The other is that an expensive long term contract on the books actually takes current value away from a team. It's tougher for some owners to borrow against a franchise or sell if there are 3 expensive and bad contracts on the books (with insurance obligations) greater than a few years out. The super long contracts are bad for franchise value in the short term.

I'm not sure why so many players like the long term deals, only a few dozen players will even be offered a 5 year deal, let alone one longer than that. It's probably in the interest of the overwhelming number of PA members (not stars, high end RFAs, or agents) and the owners to get away with from the long contracts greater than 5 years. Since it's in both sides' interest, I'm skeptical that they'll change it.

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11-10-2012, 04:26 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Twilight Sparkle View Post
The reason the league is pushing for it is:

- It creates an unfair competitive landscape. Big signing bonuses become bought players instead of hockey moves.

- It affects the product on the ice when the salary structure makes certain players overpaid, locked-in forever. (The montreal Canadiens fans don't get to move on from Gomez any time soon, for example)

To be clear the NHL doesn't give away more or less money to the players with the cap on contract length. That amount is fixed by HRR%. This is the NHL saying that the way things are now is kind of dumb, unfair and easily repaired with no great injury to either side.

A few things here:

1) There is no way to have a league that is "fair" for every team (at least not in the way you are using the term). Yes some teams have more money. Some teams have better scouts or better coaches or are able to charge a higher price for tickets or lucked into getting a franchise player by a flukey draft event. Too bad. It's called competition. This isn't horse racing so unless you want to make Crosby or Stamkos skate around with extra weight on their backs, you have to realize that ANY system is going to give an advantage to some teams and not others.

2) The league is proposing what, a 5 year contract cap? Gomez signed a 7 year deal and Montreal traded for him with 5 years left. How were they screwed by the current system and how would a 5 year cap help them? It's simple: If you don't want to sign a guy for 6 or 7 years, don't.

3) It absolutely causes injury to both sides. If a player wants a 6 year deal and a team wants to give it to him, why shouldn't they be able to? I'd say nobody is injured by their mutual decision to enter into a contract.

I hear completely conflicting arguments from people about these contracts:

1) You sign a guy long term and you are locked into keeping him and then he is unmovable. Thus it's bad to sign a guy for a long contract.

2) If you allow teams to offer these contracts the poorer teams won't be able to match them.

But if signing guys to extra long terms is bad for the team that does it (and if you look around, that seems to be the case), then why should the poorer teams care that they can't offer them?

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11-10-2012, 04:34 PM
  #91
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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?
.
But it's a choice GMs are free to not make. If these contracts end up hurting your team, a good GM won't make them. Why must a limit be put on parties who DO want to make these types of deals if the solution for those who don't want to make them is already available?

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11-10-2012, 04:41 PM
  #92
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Originally Posted by Ginu View Post
The NHL is wrong here. I'll give them the max variance clause to protect against front-loading contracts that keeps the cap hit low. But with

-salary cap
-50/50
-max variance of 5% year-to-year

there's absolutely no need for limiting contract lengths. There has to be some self-policing by the owners. If they want to sign a player to a 15 year contract, it's their decision. Max variance prevents the "cheating" aspect but beyond that it's the owners' responsibility.
Best post of the thread. A 5% rule stops teams from circumventing the cap. Fine. But if people want to institute a contract length limit just because it's not fair that some teams can't offer them? Too bad. Why not just eliminate private ownership of franchises and have the league own all teams and run each with an eye to never let one get too good.

It's competition. There are going to be disparities in talent and resources.

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11-10-2012, 06:08 PM
  #93
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One other reason that the league doesn't want long contracts, especially circumvention types. They drive up the face value of contracts which is obviously an issue in this negotiation with "Make Whole". There are reports every year about players being irritated by escrow. The answer is to reduce or eliminate escrow within the system. Bring the face value of contracts in line with the percentages or better yet below such that the players get a bonus check each year within a linked system. Cut the 5% inflator. Eliminate circumvention contracts. Maybe unbalance the range (eg 6mil above, 10mil below). Doing these things should provide a minimal financial benefit to low rev. teams.

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11-11-2012, 12:59 AM
  #94
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Originally Posted by Butch 19 View Post
Well, I guess I would have no problem with this if the annual salary was the same every season.

Maybe go to 10% maximum difference from years 1 - 10. But like what has been posted, if you limit the huge cash up front and if year 12 pays as much as year 1, the players aren't going to be quite as happy. And GMs likely won't be offering up these "circumvention-contract-lifetime-deals."

But really, is this much of a hardship for players? - these 12+ year deals affects only a handful of players. Can't they see the good and fairness in limiting the term? If not, they are having their own class warfare within the NHLPA.
It's pointless. You want to both limit the number of years and the max salary per year a player can receive? That leaves no room for market freedom. With a salary cap, 50-50 and a max variance between years, owners have to be held responsible for the rest. If the players don't like it, well the max variance is the only clause they're giving. They'll get no change to the max contract length, no change to UFA age, no change to arbitration, and no change to entry level contracts. The NHL is within their right to prevent cheating, which the front loaded contracts do. If this is the only clause, Fehr will accept it.

I like what Fehr has done- as much as people hate that we don't have hockey, Fehr is doing what's best for the league. We know the finances of this league are messed up and we need to finally fix it. Yes, we can drop the puck now. But without revenue sharing, this league is going nowhere fast. Sure he's playing hardball too but Bettman refuses to acknowledge the problems with the game. Poor markets, lack of revenue sharing, little to no reaction to head shots, both 2 and 3 point games? These are all under Bettman's watch. Fehr's insistence on revenue sharing from the beginning, I hope, is a realization to the owners that the league's business plan sucks b@lls. And to fix the league, you have to fix the bottom teams. It wasn't in the original NHL proposal, but it is now. And that's Fehr's doing. Hopefully after this mess, we won't have another lockout. Which the league used as a first course of action.

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11-11-2012, 01:02 AM
  #95
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Originally Posted by CharlieLima View Post
There is one thing that has really messed up my mind during this NHL-conflict, and that’s when I read that Bettman & Co. wants a limit for contract lengths.

First of all, we need to get some things clear:

* The wage cap was proposed from the owners back in 2004/2005.

* Long-term contracts that last for about 12-15 years are a direct consequence of the cap, since it allows you to “circumvent the rules” and keep well-paid players below the cap.

* Signing up players on long-term contracts is something that the owners “like”.

My question is how come Bettman says he want a limit for contract lengths we he represents the owners? Or am I wrong with something?
I don't know about this. The players can kinda use it against the owners in saying "team X will give me 10 years you are going to have to atleast match". If the max is 5 years then that levels the playing field.

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11-11-2012, 01:06 AM
  #96
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Originally Posted by Dr Quincy View Post
Best post of the thread. A 5% rule stops teams from circumventing the cap. Fine. But if people want to institute a contract length limit just because it's not fair that some teams can't offer them? Too bad. Why not just eliminate private ownership of franchises and have the league own all teams and run each with an eye to never let one get too good.

It's competition. There are going to be disparities in talent and resources.
Not only that but if you want to lock up a young star for 10 years, you'll still be paying a high cap hit because of the max variance. With a fixed cap, smaller market teams will have more cap space available, which increases their level of competition. And they're protected by revenue sharing. If Fehr gets revenue sharing and accepts the max variance and the NHL concedes on everything else relating to player contracts, we have a sustainable system if we go 50-50 that can really help this sport grow and end this stupid lockout business.

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11-11-2012, 01:08 AM
  #97
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Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
I don't know about this. The players can kinda use it against the owners in saying "team X will give me 10 years you are going to have to atleast match". If the max is 5 years then that levels the playing field.
But then there's absolutely no fun left with UFA day, which is a big event for the NHL. If every team can go 5 years and 20% of your cap, that's the max contract. There's no "fun" left. If someone wants to go 10 years, go 10 years. The other team has to match. It leaves some unpredictability in the system. If we want to go that far, why not just put everything in a computer and remove the human element completely?

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11-11-2012, 01:09 AM
  #98
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Originally Posted by SJeasy View Post
One other reason that the league doesn't want long contracts, especially circumvention types. They drive up the face value of contracts which is obviously an issue in this negotiation with "Make Whole". There are reports every year about players being irritated by escrow. The answer is to reduce or eliminate escrow within the system. Bring the face value of contracts in line with the percentages or better yet below such that the players get a bonus check each year within a linked system. Cut the 5% inflator. Eliminate circumvention contracts. Maybe unbalance the range (eg 6mil above, 10mil below). Doing these things should provide a minimal financial benefit to low rev. teams.
You can fix circumventing contracts without limiting the length of the contract.

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11-11-2012, 01:17 AM
  #99
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It's pointless. You want to both limit the number of years and the max salary per year a player can receive? That leaves no room for market freedom.

I like what Fehr has done- as much as people hate that we don't have hockey, Fehr is doing what's best for the league. We know the finances of this league are messed up and we need to finally fix it. Yes, we can drop the puck now. But without revenue sharing, this league is going nowhere fast. Sure he's playing hardball too but Bettman refuses to acknowledge the problems with the game. Poor markets, lack of revenue sharing, little to no reaction to head shots, both 2 and 3 point games? These are all under Bettman's watch. Fehr's insistence on revenue sharing from the beginning, I hope, is a realization to the owners that the league's business plan sucks b@lls. And to fix the league, you have to fix the bottom teams. It wasn't in the original NHL proposal, but it is now. And that's Fehr's doing. Hopefully after this mess, we won't have another lockout. Which the league used as a first course of action.
Market freedom? This is a private league.

The NHL had RS in their first proposal, and have increased it in each one since. If you do the numbers, the NHLs plan does a LOT more for the NHL than the PA's. If you really want a sustainable solution, move to the median to determine HRR. However the PA will NEVER agree to that. Hell the PA moaned and *****ed when they tried to get some reasonable deductions to the HRR that should have been there to begin with. Increasing RS is fine (and should be done anyway), but unless they go to the 40-50% range, it'll never be enough, and we'll be in the same situation in 6-8 years.

It has nothing to do with team finances, or the locations of teams and everything to do with the system the NHL put in place in 04. Not that they have a lot of choices... as the PA wouldn't agree to reducing HRR. The PA has absolutely no interest in helping the league or ensuring their sustainable. Their sole interest is in getting the players as much money and freedom as possible.

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11-11-2012, 01:21 AM
  #100
Riptide
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Yukon
Country: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginu View Post
You can fix circumventing contracts without limiting the length of the contract.
Yes. Limit the variance - even just saying it can't drop more than 1m per year - although I really dislike this as there are valid reasons and contracts out there that are front loaded and make sense to do so. And change the +35 rule to cover ALL contracts. I think this second one would make more of a difference than the first.

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