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Does Lou know something we dont ?

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12-08-2004, 06:52 AM
  #1
Isles72
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Does Lou know something we dont ?

Forgive me if this topic has been discussed already .

Does Lou know something that we dont ?

I mean , if its a speculated 31-38 mil hard cap the owners are seeking why would Lou be spending 55 mil ? (I'm just going by what I've read in various posts which lead me to believe NJ's projected payroll for 04/05 would be 55 mil)

I'm saying this because of Lou's absolute respect from the hockey world as being a highly influential and highy respected general manager for quite some time now .

I would have to believe that Lou knows where the absolute line gets drawn in the sand by Bettman . Having a gm who is known for tight purse strings go over his typical 40 -45 mil Devils payroll with the notion a 31-35 mil hard -cap was coming down eventually just sorta puzzles me .

I dont hold Ferguson from Toronto in the same regard as Lou , but theres another shiny example of a team who didnt really seem to care about a hard cap which would potentially equate to them being upwards of 25 million over it .

Wouldnt this behaviour lead you to believe that a lux tax system is where this is headed ? Wouldnt MLSE direct Ferguson to chill out on the signings this summer if they truly believed a hard cap was actually coming ?Wouldnt a smart man like Lou keep his team within his usual 40 mil range ?



fingers crossed today

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12-08-2004, 10:35 AM
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Benji Frank
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In both cities, they have several big $$$$ players on contracts that will expire this year.

I think it was pretty much expected whatever gets negotiated would be phased in over a couple of years........

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12-08-2004, 10:50 AM
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Lou has been very straight forward about his off season signing strategy. He knew he was going to hurt by a couple of big arbitration awards to top players on his roster.

What he said was that he was aware that the new cba rules might make it impossible for "us to keep them all, but since they are signed we can now get something for them rather than give them away for nothing, if we left them unsigned."

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12-08-2004, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd
Lou has been very straight forward about his off season signing strategy. He knew he was going to hurt by a couple of big arbitration awards to top players on his roster.

What he said was that he was aware that the new cba rules might make it impossible for "us to keep them all, but since they are signed we can now get something for them rather than give them away for nothing, if we left them unsigned."
However, he needs to be able to deal these players to teams with a payroll that can accept them. Teams with room under a potential cap are generally teams who wouldn't spend a large amount on only one player. If there's a hard cap there had better be a phase in period, otherwise there's bound to be some problems.

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12-08-2004, 11:27 AM
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right now well over half the league sits easily able to get under a $35m salary cap.
many of these teams have so few NHL players under contract that they couldn't scrimmage if they wanted to. 8 to 10 to 12 players. The Capitals have maybe 8 legit NHL or signed NHL roster ready prospects. Boston has fewer than 10 roster spots accounted for.

why buy a player at pre lockout prices when the same money will buy two of the same caliber player after the lockout. There are plenty of teams with plenty of available payroll that will be buying when the new rules are in place.

would lou trade neidermeyer rather than trade gomez, brylin, and madden? who knows how lou would reduce his number. but he will and will gain ground on his competition in the process

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12-08-2004, 11:28 AM
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It wouldn't surprise me if there is a "transition period" for teams over the cap limit (hard or soft) in any case. I don't think that if they institute a luxury tax that the Wings or the Av's are going to be on the hook immediately for the full amount.

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12-08-2004, 11:28 AM
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from what i understand there will be no phase in/grandfather period.

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12-08-2004, 01:00 PM
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I have heard the same thing, that there will be no phased in approach to a salary cap/payroll limit. It would be implemented as soon as the league resumes. How the NYIslanders can ice a team for the next 6 years or so at the 35 million dollar level when they have Yashin's contract at 10 million per year, I don't know, but that's not my problem. Many teams would face similiar problems although the length of contracts tied to them aren't as long. For example if the NHL were to resume w/an immediate cap of 40 million there would be a half dozen teams that would be in serious trouble, such as the Wings, Blues, Rangers or Stars who have big money tied up in a handful of players, some with lengthy contracts (Unsure of the Wings situation although I know Lidstrom is re-upped for something like 9 mill per)

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12-08-2004, 01:27 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorneliusBennet
I have heard the same thing, that there will be no phased in approach to a salary cap/payroll limit. It would be implemented as soon as the league resumes. How the NYIslanders can ice a team for the next 6 years or so at the 35 million dollar level when they have Yashin's contract at 10 million per year, I don't know, but that's not my problem. Many teams would face similiar problems although the length of contracts tied to them aren't as long. For example if the NHL were to resume w/an immediate cap of 40 million there would be a half dozen teams that would be in serious trouble, such as the Wings, Blues, Rangers or Stars who have big money tied up in a handful of players, some with lengthy contracts (Unsure of the Wings situation although I know Lidstrom is re-upped for something like 9 mill per)
no question there is going to be some big wheeling and dealing in a short period of time to get payrolls where they need to be. here are some things to consider.
1. there are several teams with as many as 12 available NHL roster spots as of today. these teams are significantly below any salary cap number and are ready and willing to shop for players.
2. there will be a payroll minimum to go with the cap. teams like nashville will have to add payroll.
this means there will be a lot of teams that are buyers.

3. teams like detroit and philly that are far over any cap number have several options to reduce their payroll figure. the best gm's will use a combination of these options to maneuver their payroll.
a. the salary dump trade. there will be big market teams that must move a player for financial reason and will get what they have been giving in recent years when they picked up players dumped by other teams. usually not very much.
b. contract extentions...a player like lidstrom with a one year/$10m deal could very likely be convinced to sign a 3 or 4 year deal at a lower base salary. i think we will see a lot of that.
c. none dump trades....trading a high payroll player and a draft pick or not ready for the NHL prospect in exchange for a cheaper, yet ready to play prospect.
d. buy outs...there will be some of those two particularly with a guy like yashin. how much of that goes on has a lot to do with what the buyout deal is in the new cba.

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12-08-2004, 01:30 PM
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I'm sure a team like Boson who has 4 players signed will come to Lou's door looking for some players. He knows what he is doing.

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12-08-2004, 01:35 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd
no question there is going to be some big wheeling and dealing in a short period of time to get payrolls where they need to be. here are some things to consider.
1. there are several teams with as many as 12 available NHL roster spots as of today. these teams are significantly below any salary cap number and are ready and willing to shop for players.
2. there will be a payroll minimum to go with the cap. teams like nashville will have to add payroll.
this means there will be a lot of teams that are buyers.

3. teams like detroit and philly that are far over any cap number have several options to reduce their payroll figure. the best gm's will use a combination of these options to maneuver their payroll.
a. the salary dump trade. there will be big market teams that must move a player for financial reason and will get what they have been giving in recent years when they picked up players dumped by other teams. usually not very much.
b. contract extentions...a player like lidstrom with a one year/$10m deal could very likely be convinced to sign a 3 or 4 year deal at a lower base salary. i think we will see a lot of that.
c. none dump trades....trading a high payroll player and a draft pick or not ready for the NHL prospect in exchange for a cheaper, yet ready to play prospect.
d. buy outs...there will be some of those two particularly with a guy like yashin. how much of that goes on has a lot to do with what the buyout deal is in the new cba.
There is no way the NHLPA would accept something that would allow what you are saying to happen. I think the only way the NHLPA would accept a cap would be for salaries to be grandfathered. And as a fan of a large market team, watching my team having to hold a fire sale so that markets that don't deserve hockey can stay in the league would really encourage me to find another sport to watch.

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12-08-2004, 01:40 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HF2002
However, he needs to be able to deal these players to teams with a payroll that can accept them. Teams with room under a potential cap are generally teams who wouldn't spend a large amount on only one player. If there's a hard cap there had better be a phase in period, otherwise there's bound to be some problems.
I see absolutely no way the league could even dream of implementing a true hard cap without the phase in period. I don't think the teams would even really want that.

In regards to GM moves, I noticed that Ferguson (or the St. Johns Maple Leafs...but I believe it was spurred on by Ferguson) signed a new goalie a few weeks back (Aubin I think). That gives the Leafs (St. Johns) 2 very strong, and one decent AHL goalie. Seems more like a move for a backup NHL goalie in truth, since it's generally accepted that Tellqvist will take over the backup spot in Toronto whenever the NHL resumes. Maybe Ferguson is under the impression it's time for him to tweak his roster back to a playable one? Also, regarding Ferguson I believe he's thought of as somewhat of a knowledgeable man when speaking of the CBA. Although it was the old one, he probably has a fairly solid grasp on what the new one will look like.

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12-08-2004, 02:45 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakes
There is no way the NHLPA would accept something that would allow what you are saying to happen. I think the only way the NHLPA would accept a cap would be for salaries to be grandfathered. And as a fan of a large market team, watching my team having to hold a fire sale so that markets that don't deserve hockey can stay in the league would really encourage me to find another sport to watch.
of course. you are a fan of a big market team. any team that can't keep up with your guys doesnt deserve hockey. why not go back to the 6 team league...eh?

frankly, the nhlpa would have very little reason to fight immediate application of salary cap limits. all contracts already signed remain valid. players with large contracts might find themselves in a great position to bargain their last contract year into a good 3 or 4 year extention. i dont see this as bad for players at all.

bad for bloated and overloaded hockey teams?? maybe. yes, the days of colorado carrying a $1.5m andrei nikolishin as the 4th line center and a multimillion dollar chris gratton as the 3rd line center would be over with. is that what you are really defending? or is the right of teams like detroit and colorado to load their roster with 4 and 5 $8m to $11m players?

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12-08-2004, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregStack
I see absolutely no way the league could even dream of implementing a true hard cap without the phase in period. I don't think the teams would even really want that.
I've put that exact question to one majority owner, two general managers, and two well respected hockey writers. all 5 say there is no expectation of any phase in period at all. either the owners need a salary cap or they don't if they can wait 3 years to phase it in, they dont need it all that bad.

additionally, teams that have grandfathered long term contracts will have longer periods of payroll problems not shorter.

part of the reason you see no way that the league would immediately impliment a hard cap is that you find it hard to believe a team like Detroit or NYR or Colorado would be willing to get hammered by trading a star player for financial reasons with little in return to a team like edmonton or nashville because it has always been the other way around. i realize that its hard to swallow that detroit traded for the NHL's leading scorer(Lang lead the league at the time he was traded ) for the last pick in the first round and a second teir prospect and might have to trade him away for less and might have to swallow some salary too. i know its hard to imagine, but not very doable.

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12-08-2004, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd
of course. you are a fan of a big market team. any team that can't keep up with your guys doesnt deserve hockey. why not go back to the 6 team league...eh?

frankly, the nhlpa would have very little reason to fight immediate application of salary cap limits. all contracts already signed remain valid. players with large contracts might find themselves in a great position to bargain their last contract year into a good 3 or 4 year extention. i dont see this as bad for players at all.

bad for bloated and overloaded hockey teams?? maybe. yes, the days of colorado carrying a $1.5m andrei nikolishin as the 4th line center and a multimillion dollar chris gratton as the 3rd line center would be over with. is that what you are really defending? or is the right of teams like detroit and colorado to load their roster with 4 and 5 $8m to $11m players?
Any city that can't or won't support their team should not have one. Simple. Why should big market teams take it up the fanny so that an owner can make money when they get 8,000 fans a game?


And as to contracts.. why, if Colorado wants to pay Chris Gratton $10million dollars a season, shouldn't they be able to? Any team idiotic enough to over pay for a 2nd or third line player deserves the contract that they are stuck with. There is only so long that a team can spend badly before things start correcting themselves (Rangers). There are enough grinders out there that there doesn't need to be a bidding war for their services.

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12-08-2004, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakes
Any city that can't or won't support their team should not have one. Simple. Why should big market teams take it up the fanny so that an owner can make money when they get 8,000 fans a game?


And as to contracts.. why, if Colorado wants to pay Chris Gratton $10million dollars a season, shouldn't they be able to? Any team idiotic enough to over pay for a 2nd or third line player deserves the contract that they are stuck with. There is only so long that a team can spend badly before things start correcting themselves (Rangers). There are enough grinders out there that there doesn't need to be a bidding war for their services.
8,000? who are you talking about? Pittsburgh? Edmonton averaged 14, 900 last year, the Capitals with an atrocious team averaged 14.5k last year. basically you are talking about the difference between averaging 15k a night and 17k in a bigger market and the bigger market being able to charge $50 a ticket more.

is that what you really want? 8 big market teams and 8 teams low budget no name teams for them to beat year in and year out??

the difference between a team like detroit and colorado and a team like edmonton or even tampa is the roster structure. big market teams have a lineups almost totally constructed of experienced and accomplished players. no playoff rookies area getting ice time in the playoffs for those guys. thats what all that money buys. its buys allstars and experience. in today's professional sports experienced teams win. teams with players that have adjusted to being rich and who's priorities have drifted back to winning. thats another reason why only big payroll teams win the cup. their rosters are full of experience. thats why grinders like kris draper get big contracts, why guys like claude lemieux or pat verbeek were always on a contender somewhere.

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12-08-2004, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd
I've put that exact question to one majority owner, two general managers, and two well respected hockey writers. all 5 say there is no expectation of any phase in period at all. either the owners need a salary cap or they don't if they can wait 3 years to phase it in, they dont need it all that bad.

additionally, teams that have grandfathered long term contracts will have longer periods of payroll problems not shorter.

part of the reason you see no way that the league would immediately impliment a hard cap is that you find it hard to believe a team like Detroit or NYR or Colorado would be willing to get hammered by trading a star player for financial reasons with little in return to a team like edmonton or nashville because it has always been the other way around. i realize that its hard to swallow that detroit traded for the NHL's leading scorer(Lang lead the league at the time he was traded ) for the last pick in the first round and a second teir prospect and might have to trade him away for less and might have to swallow some salary too. i know its hard to imagine, but not very doable.
I'm calling shenanigans. I don't care who you talked to, they don't know what sort of system is going to be in place.

If there is a hard cap at $31M, what are the Stars going to do - give their first round draft pick for someone to pay Bill Guerin? Oh, and by the way, who has enough salary room to fit Bill Guerin in below a cap at that level? That's right - no one except PITT, NASH or MINN. And I'm sure they can't wait to pay BG $9M per year for 3 more seasons.

I do remember a NHL exec saying that whoever is paying for a player (AKA - WASH picking up $4M per year for Jagr) will have that count against their payroll, but that's all subject to negotiations.

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12-08-2004, 07:02 PM
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As is shown by the PA's offer, negotiations can reduce already negotiated contracts. Guerin has already agreed to a million dollar paycut. But as would be expected by a hard cap, You cant accumulate too many of these players. If Guerin and Young went to Washington, the 2 teams would be in financial parity.

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12-08-2004, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd
from what i understand there will be no phase in/grandfather period.
They don't need one. Contracts signed under the old CBA aren't valid unless they're recognized in the new CBA. How that's done is a matter for negotiations. I suspect they'll agree to limit the term of a contract that can be guaranteed (eg only the first 3 years may be guaranteed).

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12-08-2004, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Buffaloed
I suspect they'll agree to limit the term of a contract that can be guaranteed (eg only the first 3 years may be guaranteed).
It is an odd concept. Calgary can offer Conroy $3mil for 3 years. And LA offers $3mil for 4 years. So Conroy goes to LA. Who then cancel the contract after 3 years. Maybe they couldnt afford to match the signing bonus.

I dont think there's many RFA's on untenable long term contracts. Its perhaps UFA's. If Philly could buy out Leclairs contract or Dallas Turgeons for x% after 3 years, but had to put up y% in signing bonus, it doesnt seem such a bad option. Its not cost certainty, but maybe it helps? I just dont see UFA salaries as the problem, and if they sign a long term contract to lure a player, they shouldnt get out of it for free, but nor would we want to hamper the team unnecessarily

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12-08-2004, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd
either the owners need a salary cap or they don't if they can wait 3 years to phase it in, they dont need it all that bad.
I agree with you. But remember this, you're discussing this with a person who strongly doubts the owners numbers. I don't think the owners need a salary cap at all, I'm sure they'd love to have one, and will get one (of sorts), but the "need" is not there.

Either way, I think if the owners intend to "negotiate" they will bend on a phasing in period. Maybe I'm wrong, I've never claimed to be an all knowing person in regards to the previous, or future CBA.

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12-08-2004, 10:58 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkwild
It is an odd concept. Calgary can offer Conroy $3mil for 3 years. And LA offers $3mil for 4 years. So Conroy goes to LA. Who then cancel the contract after 3 years. Maybe they couldnt afford to match the signing bonus.
It's not that odd. NFL contracts can be guaranteed for any portion of the term.

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12-08-2004, 11:35 PM
  #23
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Perhaps there is room for a tradeoff, by allowing a contract to be bought out after 3 years for x% if y% is paid up front. Maybe its a flexibility granting trade-off that helps the game. Not sure if its a real problem though.

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