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Lower salary cap is creating opportunities for less costly but less developed talent?

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09-06-2013, 02:39 PM
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Fugu
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Lower salary cap is creating opportunities for less costly but less developed talent?

Canadian Press:

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/...rs-sharks.html
Quote:
Now, the salary cap negotiated in the new deal is slated to dip to $64.3 million US from $70.2 million US. According to a widely expressed theory, the lower salary cap will create, if not mandate, opportunities for younger, more affordable up-and-coming talent.
Nelson, head coach of the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL, Edmonton's top farm club, feels a greater sense of urgency in his role of developing NHL-ready talent.

...
But Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe said that clubs now have a greater onus to produce NHL-ready talent.
"Development in the salary-cap world is so critical," said Lowe. "You're trying to find pieces that fit within the organization.
"But every player that you have, whether through the draft or a free agent signing, they're all valuable assets, and you want to develop them as best you can. Even if they don't play for you, you want to create some value so that they can perhaps turn into something for you down the line or perhaps something for another organization [trade-wise] that would be of value to your organization [on the return.]"
...
"There's more competition," said Lowe. "It's a much tougher business than it used to be, I believe, in terms of the [preparedness] on the ice.
"Everybody's spending money on development. This tournament is good from an evaluation aspect.
"But there's a lot of day-to-day evaluating as well."
...
"It's probably no different," said Lowe of the cap's effect on development time.
"There are specific players that can jump in right away. But in most cases, it takes player a couple [to] three years after they become a pro to move along the ranks."

The Canucks, who have limited cap space, in part because of a 12-year, $64-million US contract given to goaltender Roberto Luongo, have expressed a desire to identify players who might be able to step into their lineup quickly as a result of financial constraints and poor drafting in recent years.
...
But after talking to team management and scouts, it's evident that [B]the theory of the lower salary cap generating more young talent will be seriously tested <snip> and the fact this year's draft crop is considered above average.
...


It would be nice if the reduced salary cap enables teams to find more NHL-ready talent. But Penny is skeptical that it will lead to an infusion of new talent at the appropriate time.
"You'd like that to be the case," he said. "But if a guy's not capable of playing at the NHL level, you're not going to put him into your lineup if he can't do it.
"That's not going to work."
...

Boston Bruins scout Tom McVie said there is a greater sense of urgency to identify young NHL-ready talent because players don't get traded anymore — their salaries do.
"Your good players have gotta get the salaries and you've got to bring new blood into your organization right away," he said.

It seems there's a pressure and urgency to get younger players into the mix as soon as possible, but you can't really speed up the development curve itself. One option could simply be to expand the development pool and have more potential assets over time.

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09-06-2013, 02:55 PM
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It's possible we could see a slight uptick in scoring due to an influx of talented-but-raw prospects who will make more than their fair share of costly errors.

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09-06-2013, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
It's possible we could see a slight uptick in scoring due to an influx of talented-but-raw prospects who will make more than their fair share of costly errors.
I'd be a bit more concerned with stunting the development of some of those players. Sink or swim comes to mind. If you push a player too far beyond his limits, he isn't going to have the opportunity to learn from it. Not to mention, with young kids, there is the physical aspect. Young kids, who aren't as physically developed and who may not be experienced enough to avoid the dangerous situations are injuries just waiting to happen.

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09-06-2013, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
It seems there's a pressure and urgency to get younger players into the mix as soon as possible, but you can't really speed up the development curve itself. One option could simply be to expand the development pool and have more potential assets over time.
Well, this was/is a concern with many who followed the Lockout and resultant CBA with the lowering of the cap which it would appear will no doubt be rising yet again, dragging the basement up and into ranges that many a club will be having difficulties with. Like the last CBA, an awful lot of non-performing contracts were dumped, an influx of youth, not yet ready for prime-time but cheaper players signed. Higher turnover in the 18-21yr old brackets and still works in progress, while amongst the veteran players, a noticeable lack of hockey IQ, shallow toolboxes.

Even 2013 Norris Winner PK Subban of the Habs, well, heres a guy who still hasnt learned how to time his checks properly, hitting the boards or open air more often than his intended targets, and isnt exactly dependable in all situations the way youd want your leading Defenceman to perform. Sure he had 38 points, a decent +12 +/- rating but playing in a weaker division. He's like the Poster Boy for all that ails the NHL. Unfinished but high priced "product". The NHL itself despite itself appearing more often than not as a "Development League". So they all employ system hockey. Nothing risky. Coaches & GM's know they'll be fired without the wins; players micromanaged & it starts at AAA from Pee Wee on up. The organizations & clubs at least in Canada based on mini-NHL models. Sponsorships, selling seats.

So I dont know how you could expand upon the "Development System" without actually raising the Draft age back up to 20, allowing only maybe the top 30 to be selected at 18, one player per NHL team given a bye if you will, either left in Jr or perhaps playing in the NHL or assigned to the AHL/ECHL. Yet this too problematical as the Junior clubs, the AHL & ECHL are again "businesses" first, really a misnomer to call them "development leagues". More "transitional leagues". Wish I knew the answer, how to best address the lack of finished talent entering the league short of Contraction.

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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
It's possible we could see a slight uptick in scoring due to an influx of talented-but-raw prospects who will make more than their fair share of costly errors.
Ya, but see thats a problem isnt it? NHL Coaches are not about to just let some 18 or 19yr old go out there and free-lance, get all creative (unless an exceptional generational talent) & run amok. Defensively irresponsible. Just not on. That being said, my understanding of the situation at the amateur levels, from AA to AAA is that players are being given a lot more rein, more headroom to play wider open Pond Hockey as opposed to system, projecting that within 5-7yrs a generation of more well rounded offensively oriented while still defensively responsible players being ready by 19, 20 years of age to make that jump from Major Junior to the NHL.

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09-06-2013, 03:47 PM
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HalfordPHT 12:34pm via WordPress.com Cap crunch has NHL vets trying out for their old teams wp.me/p14QU5-9CKT

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09-06-2013, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourn View Post
I'd be a bit more concerned with stunting the development of some of those players. Sink or swim comes to mind. If you push a player too far beyond his limits, he isn't going to have the opportunity to learn from it. Not to mention, with young kids, there is the physical aspect. Young kids, who aren't as physically developed and who may not be experienced enough to avoid the dangerous situations are injuries just waiting to happen.

Your bolded comment builds the proper bridge between the present youth movement and the salary cap issue outlined in the article posted by Fugu and the corrections that started in North American Minor / CHL hockey app. 10 years ago. At the forefront was Dave Branch of the OHL.

Basically the loss of young hockey talent started when players reached their early teens. The pointless violence and fighting was the root. The OHL stepped-up with appropriate rule changes and sustained the pressure to this day creating a very positive effect throughout junior hockey.

John Tavares was the first exceptional, 15 year old, in the OHL during the 2005-06 season. This was possible because the level of violence and fighting had been reduced. Since then these positive trends have continued throughout junior hockey. The OHL has exceptionals entering the league virtually every season. The WHL and QMJHL are drafting younger players - 16 year olds on a 3-5 season development path. Conversely at the older end the 19 or 20 year old junior goon is virtually extinct. Likewise in Midget AAA or equivalent the roster limit of five 17 year olds is rarely used, many teams going with 0 or 1 such player, preferring the younger 15 and 16 year olds. All this creates the extra roster spots to develop younger players while providing a safer hockey environment.

The feeder leagues to the CHL are getting younger with elite AAA hockey down to Pee Wee virtually across Canada. Slowly school involvement, mainly private, with educator/coaches is also making an impact.

At the same time the NHL has slowly eliminated the fighter element while trying to provide a safer hockey environment.

By the time the present 15 and 16 year olds reach the the NHL you will see a different NHL in terms of safety and responsibility.

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09-06-2013, 04:14 PM
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I don't if it's related, maybe because media is more out there-but there seems to be throughout the NHL the famous "tweeners": Not good enough for top two lines, but don't belong on "grinding/defensive" 3rd/4th lines (assuming a team plays that system-could this be a part of that? Just seems odd throughout the NHL how "hard' it is for a team to a "top 6" player, but there's a plethora of tweeners and 3rd and 4th lines. Whether this is part of the "lack of development" I guess is hard to say.

I will chime in with my own pet theory: It would be interesting to see development comparisons pre and post internet: Now when a player gets drafted, particularly the first round, the media is there, the players everywhere are 24/7 in the media. Compare that to pre internet/mass television where the draft wasn't televised, and the only way you knew who went where was picking up the newspaper the next day-the kids seemingly were away from the spotlight and were able to be developed quietly.

Now it seems a player drafted is seen (unfairly) by the public as a "bust" if he isn't putting up the numbers expected-meanwhile he just might take a lot longer to develop, or maybe he just overachieved and while drafted as a top 6 player really is more suited to the 4th line in the NHL (which goes back to the tweener comment).

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09-06-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Your bolded comment builds the proper bridge between the present youth movement and the salary cap issue outlined in the article posted by Fugu and the corrections that started in North American Minor / CHL hockey app. 10 years ago. At the forefront was Dave Branch of the OHL.

Basically the loss of young hockey talent started when players reached their early teens. The pointless violence and fighting was the root. The OHL stepped-up with appropriate rule changes and sustained the pressure to this day creating a very positive effect throughout junior hockey.

John Tavares was the first exceptional, 15 year old, in the OHL during the 2005-06 season. This was possible because the level of violence and fighting had been reduced. Since then these positive trends have continued throughout junior hockey. The OHL has exceptionals entering the league virtually every season. The WHL and QMJHL are drafting younger players - 16 year olds on a 3-5 season development path. Conversely at the older end the 19 or 20 year old junior goon is virtually extinct. Likewise in Midget AAA or equivalent the roster limit of five 17 year olds is rarely used, many teams going with 0 or 1 such player, preferring the younger 15 and 16 year olds. All this creates the extra roster spots to develop younger players while providing a safer hockey environment.

The feeder leagues to the CHL are getting younger with elite AAA hockey down to Pee Wee virtually across Canada. Slowly school involvement, mainly private, with educator/coaches is also making an impact.

At the same time the NHL has slowly eliminated the fighter element while trying to provide a safer hockey environment.

By the time the present 15 and 16 year olds reach the the NHL you will see a different NHL in terms of safety and responsibility.
Interesting you mention Tavares-it kind of blends in with my idea about the media and pressure. It was a while ago, but when Tavares FIRST hit the scene in Junior, the media were throwing around terms like "generational talent" and comparisions to Crosby. This is the media part that needs responsiblity. Tavares hits the NHL and the first couple of years took awhile to catch up to the NHL pro level. Now he is a a talented player, though the "generational" comments are now long history-but again his draft was so media covered and discussed, and then when he didn't start putting up Crosby numbers his first season (or even now) well all of a sudden some actually labelled him a bust. Again, because of the media made those demands.

I am glad that he was in the "relative" quiet of Long Island as opposed to Toronto, Montreal or New York, as he would be have been run out of town within the first wo years-look at what Kadri is going through (not to compare his talent to Tavares)and how long he took develop.

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09-06-2013, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
HalfordPHT 12:34pm via WordPress.com Cap crunch has NHL vets trying out for their old teams wp.me/p14QU5-9CKT

The Red Wings are notorious for finding serviceable but cheap veterans for spots that might have gone to prospects. They've always been a 'win now' organization under the current braintrust, but the cap does bring about pressure no one had to consider before. If you delay introducing prospects too long, their development is stagnated, in addition to having less time to squeeze them in as cheaper RFAs and rookies. I really believe the final step in development is actual NHL ice time. Babcock often states the NHL is not a development league and only guys fully ready for prime time, who can beat out any vet ahead of them for a spot, will get a ticket to the dance. I think that overlooks that final finishing that every prospect needs to really be NHL-ready and capable of beating out vets (of which there can be an endless supply). So why not just keep recycling cheap veterans? The prospects should have greater potential and thus are actually worth more even as assets.

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09-06-2013, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
The Red Wings are notorious for finding serviceable but cheap veterans for spots that might have gone to prospects. They've always been a 'win now' organization under the current braintrust, but the cap does bring about pressure no one had to consider before. If you delay introducing prospects too long, their development is stagnated, in addition to having less time to squeeze them in as cheaper RFAs and rookies. I really believe the final step in development is actual NHL ice time. Babcock often states the NHL is not a development league and only guys fully ready for prime time, who can beat out any vet ahead of them for a spot, will get a ticket to the dance. I think that overlooks that final finishing that every prospect needs to really be NHL-ready and capable of beating out vets (of which there can be an endless supply). So why not just keep recycling cheap veterans? The prospects should have greater potential and thus are actually worth more even as assets.
Of course, as I think you are actually asserting, Babcock could make this claim because of access to cheap vets who wanted to play in Detroit but who still had lots to contribute. That is a luxury that very few teams can afford.

I also think the days of this being the case in Detroit are nearly over. As great as the organization has been the team is aging, and they are no longer first on the list for the prime FA's. More and more they will have to pay full market value for players that would previously had come cheap.

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09-06-2013, 05:16 PM
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Well, this was/is a concern with many who followed the Lockout and resultant CBA with the lowering of the cap which it would appear will no doubt be rising yet again, dragging the basement up and into ranges that many a club will be having difficulties with. Like the last CBA, an awful lot of non-performing contracts were dumped, an influx of youth, not yet ready for prime-time but cheaper players signed. Higher turnover in the 18-21yr old brackets and still works in progress, while amongst the veteran players, a noticeable lack of hockey IQ, shallow toolboxes.
Where is the pressure coming from then? Talent dilution and overexpansion?

The existence of a cap really does limit what teams can pay, and furthermore, not all teams are anywhere close to their cap maxima.



Quote:
So I dont know how you could expand upon the "Development System" without actually raising the Draft age back up to 20, allowing only maybe the top 30 to be selected at 18, one player per NHL team given a bye if you will, either left in Jr or perhaps playing in the NHL or assigned to the AHL/ECHL. Yet this too problematical as the Junior clubs, the AHL & ECHL are again "businesses" first, really a misnomer to call them "development leagues". More "transitional leagues". Wish I knew the answer, how to best address the lack of finished talent entering the league short of Contraction.
...
Ya, but see thats a problem isnt it? NHL Coaches are not about to just let some 18 or 19yr old go out there and free-lance, get all creative (unless an exceptional generational talent) & run amok. Defensively irresponsible. Just not on. That being said, my understanding of the situation at the amateur levels, from AA to AAA is that players are being given a lot more rein, more headroom to play wider open Pond Hockey as opposed to system, projecting that within 5-7yrs a generation of more well rounded offensively oriented while still defensively responsible players being ready by 19, 20 years of age to make that jump from Major Junior to the NHL.

Kind of related to my point above.

The league has stabilized in terms of size (number of teams) and thus the total roster spots available has been constant for some time now. Most prospects don't make the final cut anyway.

The question may be that a higher level of talent isn't available to place the bar at a high enough level, perhaps, so are we seeing a slow erosion in that placement?

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09-06-2013, 05:18 PM
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Of course, as I think you are actually asserting, Babcock could make this claim because of access to cheap vets who wanted to play in Detroit but who still had lots to contribute. That is a luxury that very few teams can afford.

I also think the days of this being the case in Detroit are nearly over. As great as the organization has been the team is aging, and they are no longer first on the list for the prime FA's. More and more they will have to pay full market value for players that would previously had come cheap.
True, up to a point. I think you're see more of the elite guys pass them up. Detroit is a stickler for not "overpaying". That's already been in progress for the last 3 yrs.

However these aren't the guys competing with the prospect trying to break into the league. It's the Dallas Drake at 40, or even Alfredsson at 40 yrs of age, and much lest notable names, who get the 1 yr contract as fillers. They're the ones getting those potential prospect spots.

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09-06-2013, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
At the same time the NHL has slowly eliminated the fighter element while trying to provide a safer hockey environment.

By the time the present 15 and 16 year olds reach the the NHL you will see a different NHL in terms of safety and responsibility.

Net result being more highly skilled players, of the type that teams have tended to rush at the present time?

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09-06-2013, 06:06 PM
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Going Forward

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Net result being more highly skilled players, of the type that teams have tended to rush at the present time?
Net result going forward would be a more skilled NHL down the road.In the mean time certain existing contracts, not only player, have to be purged or tolerated.

Situation is not only player related. Changes at all levels of the game are required to reach the objective. Coaching, scouting, administration, management, ownership, refereeing, etc from the minor hockey level through the NHL.

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09-06-2013, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Where is the pressure coming from then? Talent dilution and overexpansion?... The league has stabilized in terms of size...The question may be that a higher level of talent isn't available to place the bar at a high enough level, perhaps, so are we seeing a slow erosion in that placement?
No I think the talents there however it isnt being taught, groomed properly as it was way back when during the old Sponsorship era up until 1963 and for several years thereafter with the introduction of the Universal Draft. Certainly overly hasty expansion & the lowering of the age of draft eligibility as a result of the WHA's rise & Ken Linesmans lawsuit in lowering the NHL's all contributed to our watching an awful lot of players over the years who were clearly challenged in various elements of the game.

Contemporaneously through the late 60's & into the 70's on, the business models for the main development leagues in the CHL all changed dramatically, no longer recipients of NHL club support & sponsorship. They had to now be very much concerned with filling their buildings, selling seats etc. Winning. In the QMJHL you had firewagon hockey, practically basketball scores through the 70's while in the OHA & WHL more akin to the Broad Street Bully type of play. Development system? Thats actually a laugh. Farthest thing from it.

So yes, weve gotten some stability now in terms of numbers of NHL teams and for some time, and in fact you could easily accommodate another 2-4 teams over the next decade with the increase in participation & talent coming up in the States, the greatest untapped well thus far. However, the sport itself has become cost prohibitive for so many that a naturally talented athlete at 5, 7 or 10 is more likely to take up something else (and not just in the US, its a problem in Canada as well). Most of the top US Draft picks over the last 20+yrs have come from upper middle class families. If the talent bar is to be raised then hockey at the entry levels in the US & in some regions of Canada simply must be made more approachable, inclusive, affordable. And, its got to be Fun with a capital 'F'. More Pond Hockey, less system & play by rote.

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Net result being more highly skilled players, of the type that teams have tended to rush at the present time?
Yes, that C58's inference, suggestion. That a conscious decisions been made to "relax" if you will what for many years now has been a play book of robotic's, drab grey engineered factory players. Less homogeneous

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09-06-2013, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Net result going forward would be a more skilled NHL down the road.In the mean time certain existing contracts, not only player, have to be purged or tolerated.

Situation is not only player related. Changes at all levels of the game are required to reach the objective. Coaching, scouting, administration, management, ownership, refereeing, etc from the minor hockey level through the NHL.
But how does that combat players being rushed? I think that's what Fugu is commenting on. Those are exactly the type of players we're seeing rushed now, and that isn't necessarily the best thing.

Skill aside, there are things that are always going to be factors when it comes to a player's age: experience(of the professional variety), physical and mental development, etc... There are always exceptions, but typically a player would be better off developing, growing into their bodies a bit more, and just getting more experience. If you start rushing some of these players into the NHL, you risk stunting their growth and possibly seeing them get injured. That seems like it would lead to a weaker NHL, not a stronger one.

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09-06-2013, 08:25 PM
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Being Rushed

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But how does that combat players being rushed? I think that's what Fugu is commenting on. Those are exactly the type of players we're seeing rushed now, and that isn't necessarily the best thing.

Skill aside, there are things that are always going to be factors when it comes to a player's age: experience(of the professional variety), physical and mental development, etc... There are always exceptions, but typically a player would be better off developing, growing into their bodies a bit more, and just getting more experience. If you start rushing some of these players into the NHL, you risk stunting their growth and possibly seeing them get injured. That seems like it would lead to a weaker NHL, not a stronger one.
Being rushed in hockey, academically etc is a function of environment. Proper environment produces desired results.

The key is eliminating the negative elements from the elite and other hockey environments. For the 19 or 20 year old junior fighter or reckless energy player, whose only hope of making the NHL or playing beyond junior and earning a non-menial paycheck the elite 15-18 year olds were basic prey. Likewise the such 19-20 year olds came from somewhere. They were similar type players in Jr A or Midget AAA doing the same thing or marginals in major junior preying on their own age group.

Same in the NHL do you think it matters to a fringer who he takes out to survive a bit longer? No. Old buffalo hunters figured this out. Don't think I have to continue the analogy.

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09-06-2013, 09:36 PM
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Is this a good thing for the owners? Once they figure out these youngsters are the bread and butter of the league, they'll be wanting the salary of such

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09-07-2013, 06:36 AM
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True, up to a point. I think you're see more of the elite guys pass them up. Detroit is a stickler for not "overpaying". That's already been in progress for the last 3 yrs.

However these aren't the guys competing with the prospect trying to break into the league. It's the Dallas Drake at 40, or even Alfredsson at 40 yrs of age, and much lest notable names, who get the 1 yr contract as fillers. They're the ones getting those potential prospect spots.
I understand that, but the reason they can give Afredsson $5.5M is because of how they managed to structure their salaries in the past. Under today's rules Zetterberg is at $7.6M rather than $6.1M and Fransen is at $4.95M. If those were the cap hits in place right now m guess is that there would be a spot open in the top six for a guy like Nyquist.

But more to the point, some GM's are able to consistently get guys signed for what appears to be bargains, but is this because they are smarter than others or is it because they have a market advantage. Probably a lot of both. But don't underestimate the impact of market advantage.

You are already seeing the impact of the change in Detroit. Take a look at the defense from 2010-2011:

Lidstrom (40), Rafalski (36), Kronwall (29), Stuart (30), Salei(35) ---Ericsson was the pup at 26.

This year your defense looks like:

Kronwall (32), Ericsson (29), Quincey (28), Kindl (26), Dekeyser (23), Smith (24) and Lashoff (23)

Take away Kronwall and that group has an average of 134 games of NHL experience. Suppose though that Suter had chosen Detroit as many speculated he was going to do. Now you have $7.5M more on the cap putting you under my scenario above $10.5M over on 26 contracts. Who goes?

Pretty much has to be the old guys up front. Ignoring the 35+ rule Alfredsson, Bertuzzi and Samuelsson just about get the job done. Still no room for Cleary.

You can get away with a 40 year old Dallas Drake when you have so much depth that the demands on him are simple. But what about when your top end skill starts to erode and you need guys who can do more. My guess is that you will start seeing the youth movement happen a lot more with the forwards as well. In the short term these will be more seasoned kids like Nyquist. BUt it would not surprise me at all that the reality faced by other franchises will come into play and Babcock will be forced to play guys on their ELC because they are the best option he can afford.


Last edited by Fourier: 09-07-2013 at 06:43 AM.
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09-07-2013, 02:51 PM
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I'm not exactly sure why this is a concern. In the very near future, the Cap probably goes back up to pre-2013 CBA levels and Cap space once again abounds. The only reason there are problems now is because the cap shrunk close to $10 million from the previous year.

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09-07-2013, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by JmanWingsFan View Post
I'm not exactly sure why this is a concern. In the very near future, the Cap probably goes back up to pre-2013 CBA levels and Cap space once again abounds. The only reason there are problems now is because the cap shrunk close to $10 million from the previous year.
It will be a different dynamic for sure. The last CBA had two fundamental flaws in implentation: the cap was increasing very rapidly, and driven by the big teams; and teams found ways to stretch their dollars even further.

So with term limits and a lower share of HRR, we have a system re-set. What I think will happen is that fewer elite players will take hometown discounts. Younger players will have to be compensated fairly more quickly due to the UFA age being lower (the much lauded second contract disappearing). Elite youngsters will cash in sooner.

What's left? The younger prospects trying to beat out the grizzled vets who may be willing to take very low salaries just to have a salary. The number of spots available is fixed. That's why I'm fixated on identifying where the pressure points are in the development (and retirement) process.

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09-07-2013, 07:05 PM
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I understand that, but the reason they can give Afredsson $5.5M is because of how they managed to structure their salaries in the past. Under today's rules Zetterberg is at $7.6M rather than $6.1M and Fransen is at $4.95M. If those were the cap hits in place right now m guess is that there would be a spot open in the top six for a guy like Nyquist.
All very good points, Fourier (and nice to see you drop by during a time when things must be picking up).

I think so too, or a veteran drops his asking price to super discount levels. The top guys always get paid.


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But more to the point, some GM's are able to consistently get guys signed for what appears to be bargains, but is this because they are smarter than others or is it because they have a market advantage. Probably a lot of both. But don't underestimate the impact of market advantage.

You are already seeing the impact of the change in Detroit. Take a look at the defense from 2010-2011:

Lidstrom (40), Rafalski (36), Kronwall (29), Stuart (30), Salei(35) ---Ericsson was the pup at 26.

This year your defense looks like:

Kronwall (32), Ericsson (29), Quincey (28), Kindl (26), Dekeyser (23), Smith (24) and Lashoff (23)

Take away Kronwall and that group has an average of 134 games of NHL experience. Suppose though that Suter had chosen Detroit as many speculated he was going to do. Now you have $7.5M more on the cap putting you under my scenario above $10.5M over on 26 contracts. Who goes?
Suter, Kronwall, Ericsson, Smith, Kindl (Quincey if Kindl hadn't found his groove), Dekeyser.

Quote:
Pretty much has to be the old guys up front. Ignoring the 35+ rule Alfredsson, Bertuzzi and Samuelsson just about get the job done. Still no room for Cleary.

You can get away with a 40 year old Dallas Drake when you have so much depth that the demands on him are simple. But what about when your top end skill starts to erode and you need guys who can do more. My guess is that you will start seeing the youth movement happen a lot more with the forwards as well. In the short term these will be more seasoned kids like Nyquist. BUt it would not surprise me at all that the reality faced by other franchises will come into play and Babcock will be forced to play guys on their ELC because they are the best option he can afford.
Ultimately, I agree with your point. You may have the token vet who's willing to play for peanuts, but the current CBA will mainly affect the middle class, and yes, put pressure on teams to not rush talent in too quickly because they can't afford anyone else.

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09-07-2013, 07:24 PM
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Adjustment

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Originally Posted by JmanWingsFan View Post
I'm not exactly sure why this is a concern. In the very near future, the Cap probably goes back up to pre-2013 CBA levels and Cap space once again abounds. The only reason there are problems now is because the cap shrunk close to $10 million from the previous year.
The key point is adjusting salary to performance. This takes 1 - 3 seasons.

Example from historic situations would be the 1979-80 season following the consolidation of the WHA into the NHL.

The viable elements from the WHA - underagers Gretzky, Messier, etc thru the viable old players, Dave Keon, Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe were retained. The players that were not viable were not kept regardless of age. Salaries were adjusted to performance levels as the eighties moved forward.

Same thing is happening presently. The buyouts, though costly, have the effect of linking performance to contract. Example Scott Gomez, Daniel Briere, Vincent Lecavalier amongst others that were bought out are back in the NHL but are paid relative to their recent performance levels. Likewise viable old players have been retained - Selanne, Jagr but at performance level numbers. Underagers entering the league are faced with structured contracts tied to performance.

Granted that the salary cap should go up in the coming seasons but the resulting contracts will be tied to performance with much less unproductive or dead money.

The resulting available dollars will allow the NHL teams to retain their own potential free agents at performance levels, go after potential international free agents, while further purging non-performing or under-performing contracts.

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09-07-2013, 07:43 PM
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Middle Class

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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
You may have the token vet who's willing to play for peanuts, but the current CBA will mainly affect the middle class, and yes, put pressure on teams to not rush talent in too quickly because they can't afford anyone else.
My impression is that the middle class if viewed as the average, tolerable but replaceable player who is costly, will be replaced by transition class players that will have one of three characteristics.

The veteran like Selanne or Jagr that if properly managed and supported will perform at the mid-performance level, reduced salary.

The viable promoted minor league or international free agent until their demands overreach - Damien Brunner types.

The second contract youngsters - 2 year deals. Underperforming during the second contract and the door is open for them to leave.

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09-07-2013, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
My impression is that the middle class if viewed as the average, tolerable but replaceable player who is costly, will be replaced by transition class players that will have one of three characteristics.

The veteran like Selanne or Jagr that if properly managed and supported will perform at the mid-performance level, reduced salary.

The viable promoted minor league or international free agent until their demands overreach - Damien Brunner types.

The second contract youngsters - 2 year deals. Underperforming during the second contract and the door is open for them to leave.

I think so as well. Nice summary.

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