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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

Is the NHLPA middle class about to get crushed, as some predicted?

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Old
03-25-2013, 06:58 PM
  #1
Shorthander
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Is the NHLPA middle class about to get crushed, as some predicted?

With the in-season signings that have been occurring, such as Getzlaf, Perry and Semin, it seems that 1st line players are still getting the same dollar figures they would've gotten pre-lockout -- despite the players share having been reduced in the latest CBA. With a dropping salary cap next year, and 4th liners always guaranteed league minimum, it seems like the 2nd/3rd line type players are in for quite a squeeze when negotiating their next contracts.

It seems like this could result in some more player movement than normal in the near future as teams may not be able to offer their good, non-star players the money the player and agent think that they're worth. In other words, it may take some time for the players to start accepting less.

Or maybe I'm way off base here, and revenues will continue to skyrocket despite the lockout if teams like Chicago, Boston, Montreal and Toronto have good playoff runs.

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03-25-2013, 07:16 PM
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Boba Fettuccine
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It certainly appears that way.

I don't think we'll see the Jarret Stolls of the world get 3.25 mill dollar deals anymore

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03-25-2013, 07:23 PM
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McNasty
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I think they're going to feel the squeeze on term as opposed to dollars. Deals like the standard 6 year 24 million for 2nd liners I think you're going to see closer to 3 years 14 million.

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03-25-2013, 08:43 PM
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cbcwpg
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Not surprising. The stars are always going to get their money, so if the cap comes down, it will be the middle tier players that have to pay.

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03-25-2013, 08:47 PM
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Manked
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Yes.

As mentioned, the stars will keep their money, it will be the middle class who lose out.

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03-25-2013, 09:11 PM
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deckercky
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Yes....however, I don't think it's going to be as badly as the Getzlaf and Perry signings seem to indicate. There will be some squeeze felt by stars because of the lowering cap, but it will probably take a bit for it to be shuffle out. There'll be contracts like Eric Staal and Rick Nash which look expensive shortly after signing, followed by contracts like the Sedins and Datsyuk which are quickly perceived as underpriced. Some part of that is hometown discount, and some part is perception of the market changing. When stars realise how much squeezing for that extra million hurts the team, some will leave it on the table, look better, and have more resources for their team.

I think there's already a bit of adjustment from Perry to Semin, who I consider to have comparable star power. Semin makes much less per year and for less years. Even accepting Perry as a bit better, he's not that much better.

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03-25-2013, 10:11 PM
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LadyStanley
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It's also an issue of the GM/owner having a "plan" of range of salaries for various positions. (And an owner/group willing to pay to get close to cap.)

For instance, Sharks have a (long term) plan of range of salaries they are willing to pay players in certain roles. (Might be squeezed a bit with cap dipping next season, but I'd expect some players to sign a shorter term deal and sign an extension for more $$s in future.)

Not all teams look/plan "long term" (3+ years, or longer), and some GMs/owners require a shorter term of "performance" so "throw" $$s at the problem. Takes discipline to keep to the plan.

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03-25-2013, 11:56 PM
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deckercky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
Not all teams look/plan "long term" (3+ years, or longer), and some GMs/owners require a shorter term of "performance" so "throw" $$s at the problem. Takes discipline to keep to the plan.
Yeah....it's going to be interesting to watch what various teams budget for various positions. I think teams that signed second liners to big contracts with term recently (Grabovski jumps to mind, but he's certainly not the only one) are going to feel a squeeze when it comes time to renew contracts for top players, whereas a team like Minnesota who paid elite players elite money but have relatively low salaries for the middle of the pack guys (and a glut of young talent ready to break through) will probably be able to weather the storm quite nicely (Heatley and Backstrom would be problematic if they weren't such short term contracts).

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03-26-2013, 12:36 AM
  #9
Habsfunk
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One thing I've felt is that with the salary cap soaring the past few years, it was getting to the point where most teams couldn't even find enough good players to spend to the cap (especially with so many stars getting signed to long-term contracts). That means the so-called middle class players were getting paid more simply because teams had more cap space to spend on them.

With Crosby making $8.7 million per year, that's essentially set a cap on individual players' cap hits. That means a team looking to spend to the cap would have spent more on middle class players. A lower cap will mean less money to spend on those kind of players, but since they were already benefiting from the old cap, I think they're doing fine.

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03-26-2013, 12:39 AM
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Shorthander
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I guess another possibility is that teams could start rushing their prospects more. If they don't want to fill the third line with plugs, they'll just put ELCs into those roster slots instead.

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03-26-2013, 05:51 AM
  #11
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I won't say that they'll be getting "crushed" per se, but they will definitely take a slight hit because 2nd/3rd line players were getting overpaid because most teams had tons of cap space.

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03-26-2013, 06:18 AM
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Well, David Desharnais is probably the most recent "middle class" signing, and he just got 3,5M...

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03-26-2013, 07:05 AM
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It's more likely that the middle class will continue to get paid on teams not up to the cap. Think Florida paying Fleischmann $4.5M/year and so on. The more teams that move away from the cap floor, the better off the player collective is.

Teams up against the cap have to prioritize, but in a way they always had to in a cap system.

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03-26-2013, 10:02 AM
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Burke the Legend
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Median level of talent is increasing in the league which also makes 2/3 liners more easily replaceable so there's more of a premium on exception game breaking players. Look at how easily mid-range talent is replaceable in the NFL due to the huge talent factory. Hockey is a fast growing sport and is getting closer to that level of talent pool.

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03-26-2013, 10:19 AM
  #15
tarheelhockey
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Carolina signed Semin for $7m last night and is apparently about to waive Jussi Jokinen at $3m today.

Sign of the times.

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03-26-2013, 04:10 PM
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If the middle class gets squeezed, then it makes expansion more viable in the short-term.

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03-26-2013, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Well, David Desharnais is probably the most recent "middle class" signing, and he just got 3,5M...
I think DD fits more into the "upper middle" class of the NHL. By middle class I think more of the 40 point wingers, 3rd line tweener type players.

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03-26-2013, 07:43 PM
  #18
Stephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dingo View Post
It certainly appears that way.

I don't think we'll see the Jarret Stolls of the world get 3.25 mill dollar deals anymore
Could be a good thing. Maybe this will make the league a younger place as teams use more and more ELCs to offset to gain skills advantages instead of having a vast, overpaid middle class made up of expensive veteran players who are only good for boring defensive play. And obviously the front liners deserve the money. We don't need a league where Ville Leino or Christian Ehrhoff make the kind of money they do.

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03-26-2013, 07:51 PM
  #19
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I'm expecting league revenue growth will mean nobody really gets "crushed"...

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03-27-2013, 02:22 AM
  #20
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A player on Sid's level is not necessarily the greatest example. A generational talent with a lot of marketability probably figures that he would have more to gain by allowing his franchise more money to build a winner around him. A couple more rings wouldn't hurt him from an endorsement standpoint. European players, especially Russians and Slavs, have more of an incentive to maximize their salary because language deficiencies often reduce their marketability (ironically given this assessment, my first jersey is Malkin.. But I wear Crosby more because I've lost a lot of weight and it's gotten too big) . This is also an irritant for Quebecois players from socioeconomic cohorts that do not tend to be bilingual (while English fluency among Quebecois is much higher than French fluency among English Canadians, it is still under 40%, as per statistics canada) , unless of course they play for Montreal.

Obviously, this is less of a problems for Swedes and Finns, who tend to have high to near-native English proficiency. They mainly have to deal with the fact that they do not have much of a following when they begin their careers in North America, unlike guys who grew up playing in the Chl. Likewise, French Canadians outside of Quebec tend to be very fluent in English unless they're young children, elderly, or from remote Franco-Ontarian or Acadian communities.

I hope I am score with this post.

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Old
03-27-2013, 02:37 AM
  #21
billy piton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorthander View Post
With the in-season signings that have been occurring, such as Getzlaf, Perry and Semin, it seems that 1st line players are still getting the same dollar figures they would've gotten pre-lockout
that simply isn't true.

weber, suter, parise, kovy, richards and even frickin tyler myers will earn 11-14m this season. it's way much money than getz, perry and semin will get.

you can compare their contracts in the next eight seasons, as well. perry and getz will get around 20m less than sutter, parise&co.

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Old
03-27-2013, 02:40 AM
  #22
Brooklyn Americans
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But if we don't appreciate the top 1% of NHL players, they may move away and form their own hockey league and leave the middle class NHL slobs to fend for themselves.

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Old
03-27-2013, 04:32 AM
  #23
me2
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Teams might split into teams with great 1st lines and nothing vs teams with great depth based on value for money players.

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03-27-2013, 07:41 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
If the middle class gets squeezed, then it makes expansion more viable in the short-term.
Interesting angle.

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Old
03-27-2013, 09:10 AM
  #25
Burke the Legend
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BTW last night on TSN hockey show on at 6:30 or 7:00, Dreger & friend start talking about this exact topic. I think they even say exact phrase "is NHL middle class about to be squeezed (or crushed, I forgot)".

Think of your own content Dreger you clown lol.

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