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09-30-2003, 10:22 PM
  #1
speeds
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some CBA thoughts

here's an idea I've had for a CBA "solution", just looking for some feedback. Personally I'm not sure the whole thing has to be rewritten, just a few parts here and there.

Keep the current CBA, with the following changes:

(1) Initial contract performance bonuses capped at 1.5 mil total per season, or the level of performance bonuses would be raised (from 20 goals to 25, 60 points to 70, etc) with no limits on rookie bonuses. Rookie cap tied to draft position, but will start at a significantly higher amount than the current 1.2 (thereabouts) per season. Maybe #1 overall is worth 1.9 mil cap, 2-3 1.85 mil, 4-8 1.8 mil, and so on (in some form, not necessarily following that pattern exactly.

(2) Draft age raised to 19, via an agreement in the CBA. No more opting in, everyone is eligible at age 19, and every player HAS to be drafted to play before age 22, after which time everyone (Europeans included) are strictly UFA's. All rookie contracts to be 3 years long for drafted players.

(3) Arbitration starts for everyone at age 22

(4) Qualifying offer is 75% of the previous contract

(5) UFA age drops to 29



Luxury Tax:

any dollar spent above $52 mil (just an initial guess at a number) has to be matched on a dollar for dollar basis and will go into a pot to be split equally amongst all 30 NHL teams.
- calculated based on the cost of a team's roster per game, summed for all 82 games.
since teams will be receiving 1/30 of their own money back, plus a share of whatever other teams spend above the threshold, it would have the effect of lowering the dollar per dollar contribution to effectively something lower, maybe 80-90 cents on the dollar.


Owners perspective:

- higher draft age means more certainty in the player quality you are receiving, important when you are shelling out the big bucks
- can cut salary of overpaid players via 75% qualifying offer, which IMO is one of the main problems with the current CBA

Players perspective:

- no hard cap, teams with big money can still go ahead and spend it if they have it
- lower UFA age, more freedom for players
- guaranteed contracts still exist
- earlier arbitration

Any thoughts? I'm sure I've missed some things, but here's hopefully a decent start anyways.

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09-30-2003, 10:35 PM
  #2
Allan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
(4) Qualifying offer is 75% of the previous contract

- can cut salary of overpaid players via 75% qualifying offer, which IMO is one of the main problems with the current CBA
I love this idea, but I think the players would have a huge problem with this one. I can't see the union agreeing to a CBA which effectively ensures the owners leverage in cutting player salaries every year. They might give on the 10%, but I can't see them letting it be less than 0.

I really love the idea of raising the draft age - I've been talking about that one myself for years - but I don't see how they could do that without making for one unbelievably shallow draft, since they would effectively be using the same draft pool two years in a row. The only other way I see is to cut out a few rounds for a year or two.

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10-01-2003, 03:06 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
here's an idea I've had for a CBA "solution", just looking for some feedback. Personally I'm not sure the whole thing has to be rewritten, just a few parts here and there.

Keep the current CBA, with the following changes:

(1) Initial contract performance bonuses capped at 1.5 mil total per season, or the level of performance bonuses would be raised (from 20 goals to 25, 60 points to 70, etc) with no limits on rookie bonuses. Rookie cap tied to draft position, but will start at a significantly higher amount than the current 1.2 (thereabouts) per season. Maybe #1 overall is worth 1.9 mil cap, 2-3 1.85 mil, 4-8 1.8 mil, and so on (in some form, not necessarily following that pattern exactly.

(2) Draft age raised to 19, via an agreement in the CBA. No more opting in, everyone is eligible at age 19, and every player HAS to be drafted to play before age 22, after which time everyone (Europeans included) are strictly UFA's. All rookie contracts to be 3 years long for drafted players.

(3) Arbitration starts for everyone at age 22

(4) Qualifying offer is 75% of the previous contract

(5) UFA age drops to 29



Luxury Tax:

any dollar spent above $52 mil (just an initial guess at a number) has to be matched on a dollar for dollar basis and will go into a pot to be split equally amongst all 30 NHL teams.
- calculated based on the cost of a team's roster per game, summed for all 82 games.
since teams will be receiving 1/30 of their own money back, plus a share of whatever other teams spend above the threshold, it would have the effect of lowering the dollar per dollar contribution to effectively something lower, maybe 80-90 cents on the dollar.


Owners perspective:

- higher draft age means more certainty in the player quality you are receiving, important when you are shelling out the big bucks
- can cut salary of overpaid players via 75% qualifying offer, which IMO is one of the main problems with the current CBA

Players perspective:

- no hard cap, teams with big money can still go ahead and spend it if they have it
- lower UFA age, more freedom for players
- guaranteed contracts still exist
- earlier arbitration

Any thoughts? I'm sure I've missed some things, but here's hopefully a decent start anyways.
Very good post speeds...Things make sense and I think the players would be wise to sign somehtng like this...I think this plan goes easy on then...

My only concern would be the luxury tax...As was the case with baseball, I believe the players' union (correct me if I'm wrong) was against this since in a way, it would indirectly prevent the escalating salary...I do like the fact that larger payroll teams get relief by way of 1/30 coming back to them...

Also, I would think the better trade off for no salary cap would be to not guarantee contracts...I never understood guaranteed contract and no one will ever convince that they are good...If I get paid $50,000 a year to do a job and I don't do it, then I get fired or let go...Plus, when something is guaranteed to you, where is the incentive to perform....

Just my 2 cents

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10-01-2003, 04:18 AM
  #4
Lowetide
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Great post speeds. I don't think the NHL will move the draft age up, I remember many year ago Linseman (I think it was) sued the NHL over just this issue. I very much doubt they'll open up that can of worms.

Also, I'd like to see a drop dead date where the contracts are dumpable, ala the NFL. For instance, Cory Cross wasjust signed, but if he really has lost another step, there's no buyout, the Oilers just burn the paper.

Never happen, but God I love that NFL rule.

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10-01-2003, 04:24 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Great post speeds. I don't think the NHL will move the draft age up, I remember many year ago Linseman (I think it was) sued the NHL over just this issue. I very much doubt they'll open up that can of worms.

Also, I'd like to see a drop dead date where the contracts are dumpable, ala the NFL. For instance, Cory Cross wasjust signed, but if he really has lost another step, there's no buyout, the Oilers just burn the paper.

Never happen, but God I love that NFL rule.
How does it work? Is there a period of time just after signing when they can bail out, or is it after a certain time that they can?

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10-01-2003, 04:31 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan
How does it work? Is there a period of time just after signing when they can bail out, or is it after a certain time that they can?
I think both parties will try to re-nogotiate the contract first...That's what happended with a Washington Redskin I think...The player in question didn't want to take a pay cut so the team let him go...I really don't think there is a time limit.,..Teams are careful tho because it may hinder their chances at luring star players to join their team....

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10-01-2003, 05:04 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. van Nostrin
I think both parties will try to re-nogotiate the contract first...That's what happended with a Washington Redskin I think...The player in question didn't want to take a pay cut so the team let him go...I really don't think there is a time limit.,..Teams are careful tho because it may hinder their chances at luring star players to join their team....
Not only that, but if I recall correctly, a portion of the players contract (i.e. signing bonus), still stays on effecting the cap.

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10-01-2003, 05:21 AM
  #8
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Quote:
here's an idea I've had for a CBA "solution", just looking for some feedback. Personally I'm not sure the whole thing has to be rewritten, just a few parts here and there.

Keep the current CBA, with the following changes:

(1) Initial contract performance bonuses capped at 1.5 mil total per season, or the level of performance bonuses would be raised (from 20 goals to 25, 60 points to 70, etc) with no limits on rookie bonuses. Rookie cap tied to draft position, but will start at a significantly higher amount than the current 1.2 (thereabouts) per season. Maybe #1 overall is worth 1.9 mil cap, 2-3 1.85 mil, 4-8 1.8 mil, and so on (in some form, not necessarily following that pattern exactly.
The point about the bonus levels is not set by the owners, the CBA, or the nhlpa... that is on a case by case basis determined by the GM and the player agent. Nothing made Lowe set Comrie's levels to what they were, but he needed to set them at a somewhat attainable level in order for the Comrie camp to agree to them. I like the idea about the picks... but I would set it at 1.5 mil for a 1st overall pick. The only problem I see is this teams swapping picks (like last year), and the player who everyone knew was going #1 overall goes say 3rd, that could possibly lead to a grievance by the NHLPA... just a possiblity.

Quote:
(2) Draft age raised to 19, via an agreement in the CBA. No more opting in, everyone is eligible at age 19, and every player HAS to be drafted to play before age 22, after which time everyone (Europeans included) are strictly UFA's. All rookie contracts to be 3 years long for drafted players.
The NHL is required by law to have 18 year olds in their draft... the CBA cannot prevent this.

Quote:
(3) Arbitration starts for everyone at age 22
I don't think this benefits either side. Most players don't play their rookie season until they are about 21 or so, leaving these guys no bargaining power anyways. It hurts the owners because of the player say wins the ROY, they have a free lotto ticket (based on how we have seen past arbitration rulings). The way it is now has more of a mutual benefit.

Quote:
(4) Qualifying offer is 75% of the previous contract
The players still don't have to accept this offer... and really, this only applies to players who have been in the league for a certain number of years, and who make less than the league minimum.

Quote:
(5) UFA age drops to 29
I'm sure the players would be all over this, but like you are mentioning next, it is only viable if there is either a hard cap, or a luxury cap.

Quote:
Luxury Tax:

any dollar spent above $52 mil (just an initial guess at a number) has to be matched on a dollar for dollar basis and will go into a pot to be split equally amongst all 30 NHL teams.
- calculated based on the cost of a team's roster per game, summed for all 82 games.
since teams will be receiving 1/30 of their own money back, plus a share of whatever other teams spend above the threshold, it would have the effect of lowering the dollar per dollar contribution to effectively something lower, maybe 80-90 cents on the dollar.
I personally think that the luxury tax should be divided by the teams who aren't over, and it should be calculated as a rate of the lower under the cap you are, the more you receive.
Owners perspective:

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10-01-2003, 05:30 AM
  #9
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my take on things looks like this....

They create a ladder type performance based salary w/ salary cap.

salaries base start at say
1m
1.5m
2m
2.5m
3m
3.5m
4m
CAP AT 4 MIL

then incentive bonuses are the same rate for every player. and have 2 seperate levels.
eg. 25 goals=200,000 and 50 goals=500,000

team base salary cap is 40 mil excluding incentives. anything over 40 mil, and the money must be doubled and given back to the league (like speed suggested) and used mainly to balance the canadian/ american market. but my twist on the rule is that the absolute cap lies at 45 mil.

eg. if a team wants to make a deal that may exceed this amount, they'd have to put another guy on waivers, or make a deal to keep themselves under 45.

i think with this type of more socialistic marxist type NHL, all 30 teams can contend, and this would almost completely eliminate financial trades and salary dumps. (ie. oilers can sign their doug weights and anson carters) because if an elite player was to be moved he would make the same thing in edmonton as he would in new york.

thats about it, i know theres still some holes to be filled but i don't get paid for this so i will leave it to b. goodenow and g. bettman, if i miss any NHL action next yr, i will be very angry guys.

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10-01-2003, 05:39 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowzie
my take on things looks like this....

They create a ladder type performance based salary w/ salary cap.

salaries base start at say
1m
1.5m
2m
2.5m
3m
3.5m
4m
CAP AT 4 MIL

then incentive bonuses are the same rate for every player. and have 2 seperate levels.
eg. 25 goals=200,000 and 50 goals=500,000

team base salary cap is 40 mil excluding incentives. anything over 40 mil, and the money must be doubled and given back to the league (like speed suggested) and used mainly to balance the canadian/ american market. but my twist on the rule is that the absolute cap lies at 45 mil.

eg. if a team wants to make a deal that may exceed this amount, they'd have to put another guy on waivers, or make a deal to keep themselves under 45.

i think with this type of more socialistic marxist type NHL, all 30 teams can contend, and this would almost completely eliminate financial trades and salary dumps. (ie. oilers can sign their doug weights and anson carters) because if an elite player was to be moved he would make the same thing in edmonton as he would in new york.

thats about it, i know theres still some holes to be filled but i don't get paid for this so i will leave it to b. goodenow and g. bettman, if i miss any NHL action next yr, i will be very angry guys.
I hate to say it, but you would miss a lot of NHL action if they went in with this proposal. There is no way the players would accept an absolute cap of 4 mil. There are a lot of players who make more than that already, and I don't think they will accept multi-million dollar pay cuts. Having a cap for the team could work, because then in theory the stars could keep making more, but individual caps won't fly. I have heard quite a few players say this already. If there was no opportunity for advancement past a certain wage, there is a loss of incentive to put in the kind of work they have to do to play their best.

This also seems to assume that scoring is the only measure of a player, even though some of the most valuable players don't do much of it. Players would forget to play team hockey in order to score more, since it would appear to be the only way to make a higher wage.

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10-01-2003, 06:20 AM
  #11
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They won't drop the draft age

Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
here's an idea I've had for a CBA "solution", just looking for some feedback. Personally I'm not sure the whole thing has to be rewritten, just a few parts here and there.

Keep the current CBA, with the following changes:

(1) Initial contract performance bonuses capped at 1.5 mil total per season, or the level of performance bonuses would be raised (from 20 goals to 25, 60 points to 70, etc) with no limits on rookie bonuses. Rookie cap tied to draft position, but will start at a significantly higher amount than the current 1.2 (thereabouts) per season. Maybe #1 overall is worth 1.9 mil cap, 2-3 1.85 mil, 4-8 1.8 mil, and so on (in some form, not necessarily following that pattern exactly.

(2) Draft age raised to 19, via an agreement in the CBA. No more opting in, everyone is eligible at age 19, and every player HAS to be drafted to play before age 22, after which time everyone (Europeans included) are strictly UFA's. All rookie contracts to be 3 years long for drafted players.

(3) Arbitration starts for everyone at age 22

(4) Qualifying offer is 75% of the previous contract

(5) UFA age drops to 29



Luxury Tax:

any dollar spent above $52 mil (just an initial guess at a number) has to be matched on a dollar for dollar basis and will go into a pot to be split equally amongst all 30 NHL teams.
- calculated based on the cost of a team's roster per game, summed for all 82 games.
since teams will be receiving 1/30 of their own money back, plus a share of whatever other teams spend above the threshold, it would have the effect of lowering the dollar per dollar contribution to effectively something lower, maybe 80-90 cents on the dollar.


Owners perspective:

- higher draft age means more certainty in the player quality you are receiving, important when you are shelling out the big bucks
- can cut salary of overpaid players via 75% qualifying offer, which IMO is one of the main problems with the current CBA

Players perspective:

- no hard cap, teams with big money can still go ahead and spend it if they have it
- lower UFA age, more freedom for players
- guaranteed contracts still exist
- earlier arbitration

Any thoughts? I'm sure I've missed some things, but here's hopefully a decent start anyways.
Not that it isn't a great idea, but Ken Linseman sued to have the draft age lowered and won. Thus meaning that this battle has been already lost in a court of law.

Love your ideas!

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10-01-2003, 06:21 AM
  #12
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I really like Speeds proposal. I'm glad some fans realize the impossibility of getting a hard cap. If that's the hill the owners want to die on then we better all hone up on basketball for the next couple of years. Couple of points;

1. Really love two things in your proposal; getting rid of the 10% qualifying offer and raising the draft age. In my opinion the qualifying offer is the most ridulous aspect of the CBA. Owners should fight hard to get rid of this rule that inflates the salries of the NHL a minimum of 10% each year. The NHLPA beleives in market driven salaries than so be it, lets make them market driven.

2. Another clause I would like to see is that all contracts are two/way. Make the minor league value of any contract 10% of it major league value. Allow owners to dump underachieving high contracts in the minors. I know the players wouldn't like this one but its easier to swallow than a hard cap. Get rid of the 11 game waiver rule.

3. One last point, I personally am hoping and looking forward to a really long strike. I've been a hockey fanatic all my life but recently hockey has been annoying me for one simple reason. The freaking season is waaayyyy to long. The playoffs end, you have a draft, free agent season starts and than bam its training camp. There is no breathing space and these seasons just continually run into each other. I find than when the NFL season starts I'm really looking forward to it because its been 6 months in between. I think they need to shorten Pre-Season, compress the regular season/ playoffs as much as humanly possible. Anyone else feel this way?

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10-01-2003, 06:24 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Great post speeds. I don't think the NHL will move the draft age up, I remember many year ago Linseman (I think it was) sued the NHL over just this issue. I very much doubt they'll open up that can of worms.

.
From what I've read of the Clarett case, as long as it is in the CBA it seems like that sort of restriction is allowable. If I'm mistaken, no big deal, but I do think owners would like that extra year to decide on players given how much they are shelling out for first round picks.

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10-01-2003, 06:38 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
The point about the bonus levels is not set by the owners, the CBA, or the nhlpa... that is on a case by case basis determined by the GM and the player agent. Nothing made Lowe set Comrie's levels to what they were, but he needed to set them at a somewhat attainable level in order for the Comrie camp to agree to them. I like the idea about the picks... but I would set it at 1.5 mil for a 1st overall pick. The only problem I see is this teams swapping picks (like last year), and the player who everyone knew was going #1 overall goes say 3rd, that could possibly lead to a grievance by the NHLPA... just a possiblity.
(1)I don't think any kind of grievance would be heard there. If a guy ranked 80th is drafted 20th the team won't say "give this guy less money"

(2) bonus levels are indeed set out in the CBA, not dollar amount, but minimum performance standards

http://letsgopens.com/nhl_cba.php?id=36



Quote:
The NHL is required by law to have 18 year olds in their draft... the CBA cannot prevent this.
the NFL ruling might tell us a bit here, but I've addressed this point above in a reply since you posted this.



Quote:
I don't think this benefits either side. Most players don't play their rookie season until they are about 21 or so, leaving these guys no bargaining power anyways. It hurts the owners because of the player say wins the ROY, they have a free lotto ticket (based on how we have seen past arbitration rulings). The way it is now has more of a mutual benefit.


In general, precedents usually are not set in arbitration. there are a few cases where it has been (Smith comes to my mind), but in general, the big pay jumps are negotiatied strictly between team and player precisely because the player at the elite level knows that arbitration usually won't work in their favor (Iginla, Kariya, Pronger, Theodore, all reasonable examples). Additionally, I think it helps everyone to get everyone under contract as soon as possible, perhaps reducing the number of holdouts we see by a couple per season. Plus, under the new qualifying system, if a player doesn't earn their 2.0 mil, then they get qualified at 1.5 and work from there afterwards.



Quote:
The players still don't have to accept this offer... and really, this only applies to players who have been in the league for a certain number of years, and who make less than the league minimum.
It would apply to everyone who is an RFA, whether they make 8 mil or 1.2 mil

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10-01-2003, 06:48 AM
  #15
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Three things would solve 99% of the problem
1. Devise a system of equalizing the American and Canadian dollar. with the 7 or 8 cent increase in the dollar it's expected that the Oilers will save/not lose/what ever a couple million bucks. So imagine if it was on par with the Amrican dollar!
2.Luxury cap set at 42ish. This allows anybody at or under the approx. average to not have to pay. THe upper eschelon teams in terms of salary should all pay (shouldn't be limited to Wings, Avs, Rangers, and the two or three others).
3.Make it harder for young kids to get these stupid raises and high contracts so early in life. Anybody 22 or younger shouldn't be able to to make more then 1.3 for a base salary, and maybe a million in bonuses.

What we'd offer to the PA in return?
1. lower UFA at 29 years. OBvious
2.Europeans aren't controlled as tightly. SO instead of drafting a Euro and not having to worry about signing him as you for ever have his rights, all that player to recieve offers from other teams at age 22 or 23 and if the player and a diferent team can come to an agreement then the team who drafted him has the right to match that offer and recieve compensation (so that a player can't be had for nothing - this is fairly similar to RFA's). This I'm sure would get alot of aproval from the steadily increasing European contingent of the NHL.

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10-01-2003, 07:42 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
(1)I don't think any kind of grievance would be heard there. If a guy ranked 80th is drafted 20th the team won't say "give this guy less money"

(2) bonus levels are indeed set out in the CBA, not dollar amount, but minimum performance standards

http://letsgopens.com/nhl_cba.php?id=36
(1) I am saying it is a possiblity. For instance, last year Jay Boumeester was selected by the panthers. The Panthers had the #1 pick, and wanted Bouwmeester, but traded down, and still got him. Now, according to your proposal, Bouwmeester loses money, despite the fact that he would have been the #1 overall pick, he is dropped to 3rd. I am not saying this is likely to happen, but there is a chance it could, and might be a setback.

(2) I had a brain cramp and didn't realize you meant entry-level, you are right, my mistake.

Quote:
the NFL ruling might tell us a bit here, but I've addressed this point above in a reply since you posted this.
I read it... but Linsman took the NHL to court over this... now either the NHL did it on their own (to avoid a court case), or they were ruled to do so. In either case, the only difference will be if the NFL wins, in which case the NHL has a precedent to have the order over-turned, but I doubt that is likely.

Quote:
In general, precedents usually are not set in arbitration. there are a few cases where it has been (Smith comes to my mind), but in general, the big pay jumps are negotiatied strictly between team and player precisely because the player at the elite level knows that arbitration usually won't work in their favor (Iginla, Kariya, Pronger, Theodore, all reasonable examples). Additionally, I think it helps everyone to get everyone under contract as soon as possible, perhaps reducing the number of holdouts we see by a couple per season. Plus, under the new qualifying system, if a player doesn't earn their 2.0 mil, then they get qualified at 1.5 and work from there afterwards.
I still don't think that (in most cases) there will be enough for an arbitrator to go on, and will leave a lot of people very unhappy (even more so than now).

Quote:
It would apply to everyone who is an RFA, whether they make 8 mil or 1.2 mil
But qualifying is different from signing. All qualifying does is prevent the person from becoming a UFA... it doesn't force them to sign. If a player isn't going to accept a 10% raise, then they won't accept a 25% paycut either. The only scenario in which I think this applies is with Paul Kariya... but then I don't think he would have accepted that deal ($7.5 mil) anyways. All it does is allows the team to make a lower offer in order to retain the players rights... I don't think it will do anything in terms of ensuring guys sign faster.

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10-01-2003, 04:49 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Great post speeds. I don't think the NHL will move the draft age up, I remember many year ago Linseman (I think it was) sued the NHL over just this issue. I very much doubt they'll open up that can of worms.

Also, I'd like to see a drop dead date where the contracts are dumpable, ala the NFL. For instance, Cory Cross wasjust signed, but if he really has lost another step, there's no buyout, the Oilers just burn the paper.

Never happen, but God I love that NFL rule.
Lot of great thoughts in this thread. Sometimes when you come in late on a thread, you don't know where to start and who to reply to, so Lowetide I'm going to pick on you...

w.r.t. Linseman case, my quick and dirty google search tells me that the case you may be thinking about was actually Linseman v. the WHA. Unfortunately, being in 1977, it's quite a bit harder to get your hands on the text of the decision, but the WHA/NHL distinction is important because (I believe) the WHA just imposed a rule that limited Linseman's ability to participate in the league, while the NHL may have had a collective bargaining agreement in place that specified their higher draft age at the time. If this is the case, the fact that the NHL subsequently lowered the draft age to 18 would be explainable by the NHL's desire not to be at a competitive disadvantage for players moreso than an anti-trust fear they may have had. Bottom line is that I think it is pretty clear that if the NHLPA and NHL mutually agreed to raise the draft age and enshrining this rule in the CBA, I think it would be untouchable. So, if they wanted, the NHLPA and NHL could include a higher draft age in their discussions. The Maurice Clarett thread on the Business of Hockey Board discusses draft age restrictions. (It took a while, but the guys on that board finally clued me in that the one and only basis of Clarett's claim is that the NFL collective agreement is silent on draft age).

w.r.t to guaranteed contracts, I think that this is the sleeper foundation issue that the NHL should start the ball rolling with. The only reason that the NHLPA has guaranteed contracts is that they got the NHL to agreed to adopt a standard form contract in the 1994 CBA that had this guaranteed payment language. Evidently, the NHL thought that some other concession, perhaps something like a higher UFA age was worth agreeing to this. If I was the NHL, I would go the other way, lower the UFA age, and make players more "dumpable" without tying the noose around the team of having to pay the player's salary anyway.

If you've read my posts before, you may have noted my rants about the fact that the NHL should let the market work for them, not against them. This occurs if there is more liquidity in the player market, which in my view, becomes self-reinforcing and assists teams in "just saying no" to unreasonable salary demands. As an analogy, if you miss a bus, but there's another bus right around the corner, you're not too sad. If you miss a bus, but there are no buses in sight, that's when you start to start to worry more about making sure that you don't miss the first bus. This is where I think the NHL teams have been - too scared not to sign their RFAs, make sure they qualify, etc. In reality, the NHL teams hold the valuable card - the keys to a dream job that is 1000 of times more attractive than a typical player's next best choice of jobs.

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10-01-2003, 05:09 PM
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MY take

Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
here's an idea I've had for a CBA "solution", just looking for some feedback. Personally I'm not sure the whole thing has to be rewritten, just a few parts here and there.

Keep the current CBA, with the following changes:

(1) Initial contract performance bonuses capped at 1.5 mil total per season, or the level of performance bonuses would be raised (from 20 goals to 25, 60 points to 70, etc) with no limits on rookie bonuses. Rookie cap tied to draft position, but will start at a significantly higher amount than the current 1.2 (thereabouts) per season. Maybe #1 overall is worth 1.9 mil cap, 2-3 1.85 mil, 4-8 1.8 mil, and so on (in some form, not necessarily following that pattern exactly.

(2) Draft age raised to 19, via an agreement in the CBA. No more opting in, everyone is eligible at age 19, and every player HAS to be drafted to play before age 22, after which time everyone (Europeans included) are strictly UFA's. All rookie contracts to be 3 years long for drafted players.

(3) Arbitration starts for everyone at age 22

(4) Qualifying offer is 75% of the previous contract

(5) UFA age drops to 29



Luxury Tax:

any dollar spent above $52 mil (just an initial guess at a number) has to be matched on a dollar for dollar basis and will go into a pot to be split equally amongst all 30 NHL teams.
- calculated based on the cost of a team's roster per game, summed for all 82 games.
since teams will be receiving 1/30 of their own money back, plus a share of whatever other teams spend above the threshold, it would have the effect of lowering the dollar per dollar contribution to effectively something lower, maybe 80-90 cents on the dollar.


Owners perspective:

- higher draft age means more certainty in the player quality you are receiving, important when you are shelling out the big bucks
- can cut salary of overpaid players via 75% qualifying offer, which IMO is one of the main problems with the current CBA

Players perspective:

- no hard cap, teams with big money can still go ahead and spend it if they have it
- lower UFA age, more freedom for players
- guaranteed contracts still exist
- earlier arbitration

Any thoughts? I'm sure I've missed some things, but here's hopefully a decent start anyways.

Maybe Iím dreaming but I still have a problem with paying players Millions of dollars before they play one game. A few hundred thousand should be plenty for any player to start out playing. I would also remove the clauses that allow players to become free agents before they sign similar to what Comrie threatened the Oilers with. Starting players should have very little choice in which they break into the league with. This way a team could build by the draft again, so even if you are not the richest team, there is still a chance of winning it all through good management. I have no problem with players becoming free agents after a certain age, say the age it should be old enough that a last place team has a chance of hanging on to people long enough to challenge for the cup again. Effectively cycling from one end of the spectrum to the other. The other issue which has been addressed somewhat in the previous CBA's is the difference between the Canadian and US dollar. If the differential becomes to high a factor has to kick in to even things up.

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