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Free Agency & the CBA

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02-13-2005, 11:33 AM
  #1
Mighty Duck
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Free Agency & the CBA

Everyone seems hung up on money issues as far as the CBA is concerned, and the ability for teams to survive financially. I was wondering what you people thought about the free agency issues in the CBA, and whether a team should have undisputed rights to a player until he is 31 years old. I for one disagree with the current agreement, as I feel it should work for both. If and when a players contract is up, he should have the same rights as any other American or Canadian to apply for work where he chooses. There are 30 teams (businesses) in the NHL, and it is only far that when a players contract is done, he have that right. Your thoughts

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02-13-2005, 11:39 AM
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Lower the UFA age, which I think both sides have been willing to do. But to do away with RFA status completely will just undermine the importance of good management. Why draft well when you can just sit around and watch everyone else take the risks and snatch up the cream of the crop when it finally rises up?

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02-13-2005, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty Duck
Everyone seems hung up on money issues as far as the CBA is concerned, and the ability for teams to survive financially. I was wondering what you people thought about the free agency issues in the CBA, and whether a team should have undisputed rights to a player until he is 31 years old. I for one disagree with the current agreement, as I feel it should work for both. If and when a players contract is up, he should have the same rights as any other American or Canadian to apply for work where he chooses. There are 30 teams (businesses) in the NHL, and it is only far that when a players contract is done, he have that right. Your thoughts
It would make the point when these players have total Choice I would bet many would not chose small non-traditional hockey markets to play on and raise their families in ..

We need to have RFA so that they will be forced to go to these places through the draft system and the only thing left to decide is at what age they are paroled and can go where they want now..

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02-13-2005, 12:02 PM
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ColinM
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As Sens fan, I'm not exactly excited about the fact that the age of UFA will be lowered. Under the old system you got to keep your best players during the prime of their playing careers (i.e. age 25-29) at a discounted salary since those players could only really negotiate with one team. To me this was a bigger advantage for a small market team than a salary cap since who you can sign is more important than how much you can sign them for and it provided the opportunity to get good before becoming expensive. In an era with UFA at age 28, if the Rangers have cap space they will be able to sign the 28 year old Marian Hossa instead of the 31 year old Bobby Holik.

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02-13-2005, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Messenger
It would make the point when these players have total Choice I would bet many would not chose small non-traditional hockey markets to play on and raise their families in ..

they'll go where the money is

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02-13-2005, 12:17 PM
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I think that the players liked the old system, fewer free agents on the market increased the size of offers for the ones out there.

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02-13-2005, 12:41 PM
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Mess
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reilly311
they'll go where the money is
Correct because the New CBA and Hard Cap will take away his opportunity to go to the team of his choice.. and by taking away that teams money and giving it to these other teams to pay him ..

That is the definition of Revenue Sharing in the New NHL ..

Not only can he not go to the team he choses .. that team is also responsibile for his Salary on the team he does not chose ..

Makes sense to me .. Where's the problem ?

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02-13-2005, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty Duck
Everyone seems hung up on money issues as far as the CBA is concerned, and the ability for teams to survive financially. I was wondering what you people thought about the free agency issues in the CBA, and whether a team should have undisputed rights to a player until he is 31 years old. I for one disagree with the current agreement, as I feel it should work for both. If and when a players contract is up, he should have the same rights as any other American or Canadian to apply for work where he chooses. There are 30 teams (businesses) in the NHL, and it is only far that when a players contract is done, he have that right. Your thoughts
I prefer the high UFA age, but if the owners are going to get their cap and/or linkage, lowering the age of becoming a UFA is the one big chip they have to trade.

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02-13-2005, 12:45 PM
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Mighty Duck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinM
As Sens fan, I'm not exactly excited about the fact that the age of UFA will be lowered. Under the old system you got to keep your best players during the prime of their playing careers (i.e. age 25-29) at a discounted salary since those players could only really negotiate with one team. To me this was a bigger advantage for a small market team than a salary cap since who you can sign is more important than how much you can sign them for and it provided the opportunity to get good before becoming expensive. In an era with UFA at age 28, if the Rangers have cap space they will be able to sign the 28 year old Marian Hossa instead of the 31 year old Bobby Holik.
I hear what you are saying, and understand your point completely. But shouldn't a hockey player have the same rights as any other Canadian (Competition Act) & American (Anti-Trust Laws). Or because he plays for your team of choice not have the same rights you do as a Canadian or American, because we think he makes to much money, (in our mind) and as we all seemed to think they are all a bunch of selfish spoil brats. Is it fair to take away there rights as citizens of our countries. If GM has a engineer who's contract is up, and Ford would love to sign him, should GM have exclusive rights because he was there employee or a top Lawyer, Doctor and Computer Programmer be tied to the company the gained experience thru'. I believe we must understand what we are asking here. To go against the very thing our parents fought for, "Freedom." I know this sounds silly, but think about it. Today the world dictates to the hockey players, who’s next. This is what unions have been about for years, and yes I know lots of people are against unions, but the very life style they live can be traced back to unions standing up for fair wages and equal opportunity. Yes it sounds lame, to take the side of a bunch of spoiled, over paid brats, who we spend our good hard earned money to go to the rink and cheer for or complain about, and call them names, and throw beer on, and spit on, and expect them to not have the right to move to a team and apply for a job of their choice. I don't think they should have that right, and for this reason only, we should be allowed to break our laws. Just an opinion!!

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02-13-2005, 01:54 PM
  #10
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Franchise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty Duck
If and when a players contract is up, he should have the same rights as any other American or Canadian to apply for work where he chooses. There are 30 teams (businesses) in the NHL, and it is only far that when a players contract is done, he have that right. Your thoughts
Remember, these "30 businesses" are franchises, meaning they paid money to the NHL to get a team. Unlike other franchise businesses like KFC, McDonald's etc., the product is the players not the recipe, which is why there is an agreement between the players and owners that deals with the draft and free agency issues.

The PA has never pushed for a much drastically lower UFA agee. Now, comparing the NHL restrictions to the other 3 team sports:

1) NBA, Rookies are locked into a 3 or 4 year rookie deal, then become UFA. Their current team can offer them the most money (The Larry Bird Exemption), which is why most rookies resign with their current team.

2) NFL, most rookies, outside of the top few picks get a standard 4 year deal, but right after that expires they become free agents, some are restricted and 1 player per team can be "Franchised" meaning they get the average of the top 5 paid players at their position. But, most are UFA and can sign with anyone they want.

3) MLB, player's rights are owned by the team for their first 6 years in the big leagues. They do have arbitration rights.

Now, the NBA, their players used to be Juniors/Seniors out of college, but more and more are coming out of High School, or they only play 1 or 2 years of college. So, their UFA at a very early age now, but the Larry Bird Exemption allows teams to keep their players.

NFL, these guys are between 21 - 23 coming out of college, so they're between 25 - 27 when they are free agents and given the physical pounding they take and the fact that hardly any trades occur, free agency is expected after 4 years since there is also a salary cap to keep teams even.

MLB, like hockey they have a minor league system, so they can bring in guys after they develop a bit. So, most guys are in their early 20's when they come up with the big club.

NHL, like MLB they draft guys are 18, but most don't play in the NHL until their early 20's as well. Definately a lower UFA can be sought, but this is an issue that will be tied to the CBA.

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02-13-2005, 02:17 PM
  #11
Jester
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooseOAK
I think that the players liked the old system, fewer free agents on the market increased the size of offers for the ones out there.
i actually read a really interesting article somewhere about this exact thing. the owners from a financial point of view would be better off with the UFA age being much lower due to the supply and demand of economics that it would create. with a lower UFA age, say 25, every year there would be a LOT more UFA's on the market, thus bringing down the price of each individual. so from the NHLPA's "maximize contracts" point of view, they are better off with the UFA being high.

this is why you haven't heard a ton of groaning from the NHLPA about the UFA age... they are better off with it high. that being said, i think we will see it come down some, 28-29 area probably. i would be pretty surprised if it came down to 25 or so like some speculation i've seen has thrown out.

in any event, an interesting issue from both sides perspective. one wouldn't think that lowering UFA age would help with contract inflation, when in fact it does.

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02-13-2005, 03:46 PM
  #12
Mighty Duck
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Some good points, but the fact remains, the NHL needs the players to have an association or union to have a CBA. To break a union might be suicide for the NHL, as the current agreement allows teams to basically break laws in both countries. It is done to some degree in the NBA, NFL, and in MLB. I think to much is put into the UFA thing, as I agree UFA in the form of what the NBA has would be better for both sides. As players would be paid for performance rather than a team just trying to keep their assets. Teams wouldn't be so worried about keeping assets if there were more players available. Result would be lower salaries. Supply and demand, lots of supply, lowers the price. Just a result of a free market.

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