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A quick CBA thought....

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Old
11-07-2003, 02:39 PM
  #26
thinkwild
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Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
And, it is all a zero sum game. No matter what there can't be more than 5 or 6 elite teams.
Persuasive points Tom. At least to me, the converted. This point in particular seems to ne to be improperly considered by those advocating radical change.

I was just noticing the NHL network replaying a classic battle when the upstart Oilers went against the 4 time Isles champs. What a bunch of terrible teams there were in those days. But these 2 elite teams brought a memorable battle of titans in a historic changing of the guard. In the "Glory days". Sure wasnt a lot of parity in those glory days.

Random results are required for proper gambling. Developing athletic champions should not be a random result at all. Its all hard work and dedication. The olympics would certainly balk at the thought. Canada's olympic team had well over a $100mil payroll. Was the competition flawed due to lack of parity?

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11-07-2003, 03:27 PM
  #27
Dr Love
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Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
I don't think I am arguing with you. I am saying that I do not want an NFL salary cap, near unrestricted free agency and lots of player movement. I am saying that any system that increases player movement will hurt competetive balance and hurt the game. I am saying that payroll disparity is meaningless. If the NHL is changed to assure payroll parity the result must be more free agency and more player movement. I'm saying that will mean less competitive balance, not more.
Ah. I would agree with that, I would like to see the player movement not increase from what is the norm.

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That is the whole point of the exercise. To get more player movement. To prevent anyone from getting too good. To eliminate elite teams. To give the Rangers a chance at good players before they are too old to win. To make sure the word "rebuilding" is never heard in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto or any other big market. To make sure the players get free young enough that the next Todd Bertuzzi is a New York Ranger where he can really make money for the league. To get the biggest superstars in the biggest markets. To make sure teams that fork out zillions for free agents get players worth the money. To make sure big US and Canadian media markets go deep into the playoffs.
The whole point of what excercise? The new CBA? You're taking things to lightly if you're calling it an "excercise." I highly doubt that the owners, at least enough owners to constitute a majority, would want to "prevent anyone from getting too good." Actually, I doubt any would. They'd be preventing themselves from getting good and winning, and thus making more money. The big markets have gone through "rebuilding" in every sport, and the sport doesn't suffer.

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All those things will sell more tickets and drive up TV ratings. Isn't that the way you would restructure the league if you were an owner? How can the league tolerate a system that allows Ottawa to produce an elite team? Toronto invests way more and that team is looking for a cliff to fall off. Detroit and Dallas are in the same shape. The Rangers? The Hawks? Do these guys want to make money or not? We can't have the next decade dominated by elite teams from small markets can we? Wouldn't that suck for the NHL?
Sell tickets and drive up ratings? Based on what? Players leave, people lose interest. And I find it ridiculous that you ask "how can the league tolerate a system that allows Ottawa to produce an elite team." They do a damn good job of development, they have earned the right to be an elite team. "Toronto invests way more and that team is looking for a cliff to fall off" and the Rangers, etc. Weeeeelllll.... if they managed their money better, they wouldn't be in the situation they are. It seems to me that you want to reward the free spenders regardless of how wisely they spend and penalize the smaller market teams that go about things the right way, and that's just stupid.

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The real "problem" in the NHL today is that it is really hard to build a winner. It is a team game and one or two good players - no matter how good - can't make a huge difference. A team must be assembled starting with a clump of prospects more or less the same age. It has to end up with three or four more good players than the average team. That is very hard to do.
If it's so hard to do, then why do we have Detroit, Colorado, Dallas, and NJ as contenders year in and year out? They seem to know how to build a winner. Ottawa, Vancouver, they are on the right track as well and could be there as soon as this year. You point is a weak one.

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Once a really good team is put together it will stay really good for a long time, over the careers of those core players so painstakingly acquired.

And, it is all a zero sum game. No matter what there can't be more than 5 or 6 elite teams.
When was the last time there have there been that many elite teams in any sport?

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It is not the way the league is structured that creates this problem. It is the nature of the game. It is hard to find 10 good players. There is a way the league can structure itself to solve only the problem. The one way to solve it is to make it impossible to have 10 good players on a team.
Finding enough good players to have at once is an issue in every sport.

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At best, the NHL wants a near random result with all 30 teams having a more or less equal chance before every season starts. At worst, the NHL wants an NBA system, one that puts the dynasties in the proper markets.

Tom
Dynasties in the proper markets? I wasn't aware the Knicks were dynasty. Or that San Antonio is a proper market.

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Old
11-07-2003, 06:20 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Dr Love

The whole point of what excercise? The new CBA? You're taking things to lightly if you're calling it an "excercise." I highly doubt that the owners, at least enough owners to constitute a majority, would want to "prevent anyone from getting too good." Actually, I doubt any would. They'd be preventing themselves from getting good and winning, and thus making more money.
Yes, the new CBA. What do the owners want? The owners want a hard cap and earlier free agency. They want to change the economic fundamentals of the game. Why? I can understand them wanting larger profit margins, but there are lots of ways that can be accomplished.

The purpose of a cap is to ensure that no one team can have too many good players. Cap or no cap the best players will still get paid huge dollars. It is the lunchbucket guys who will get less. The whole point of a cap is to make sure the Avalanche, for example, can't have Forsberg, Sakic, Selanne, Kariya, Blake, Tanquay, Foote and Morris.

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Sell tickets and drive up ratings? Based on what? Players leave, people lose interest. And I find it ridiculous that you ask "how can the league tolerate a system that allows Ottawa to produce an elite team." They do a damn good job of development, they have earned the right to be an elite team.
I agree with the sentiment, but I would not want this if I was, say, the Carolina Hurricane. If anybody is going to be that good, I want it to be the Rangers. If the Rangers are making runs in the playoffs against the Black Hawks, TV ratings will go up substantially. I make more money.

I sure don't want to be chasing Ottawa for the next ten years. The answer? A salary cap of $45 million and Ottawa is over next year. They have to let Alfredsson go. Vancouver won't be able to keep both Cloutier and Morrison if the salary cap is set at $45 million.

That Vancouver has the revenue to run a $60 million payroll if they want to doesn't matter. A salary cap is necessary so Chicago can compete.

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Weeeeelllll.... if they managed their money better, they wouldn't be in the situation they are. It seems to me that you want to reward the free spenders regardless of how wisely they spend and penalize the smaller market teams that go about things the right way, and that's just stupid.
You misunderstand me then. I don't think spenders are rewarded at all under this CBA. I think they are punting away their money in Toronto. Fine, I say, let them. Or they can slash payroll and rebuild if they want to do it right.

I think this CBA rewards the small market teams that go about it the right way and punishes the big market teams that do it the wrong way. I think this is good.

I don't think the NHL or the big market teams like it very much. It is hard to blame them. Will the fans and the media in Toronto let the Leafs ignore the free agent market? They have to spend. They have the money so they don't mind, but they do mind getting **** for the millions.

A salary cap and earlier free agency solves both problems. First the Leafs won't be able to spend beyond the cap. Second, when they do spend, they will scoop up Brenden Morrison in his prime instead of Joe Nieuwendyk way past his prime.

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If it's so hard to do, then why do we have Detroit, Colorado, Dallas, and NJ as contenders year in and year out? They seem to know how to build a winner. Ottawa, Vancouver, they are on the right track as well and could be there as soon as this year. You point is a weak one.
Because these teams succeeded. It was very hard, but once done, the team will stay good for a decade. In the early 90's we had an entirely different set of elite teams. Over the past several years it has been Detroit, Dallas, Colorado, Philly, New Jersey and St. Louis.

But year in, year out? I think both Detroit and Dallas are in serious decline. I think the Flyers need a rebuild. Don't you? I think we will see a new batch of dominant teams over the next several years.

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Dynasties in the proper markets? I wasn't aware the Knicks were dynasty. Or that San Antonio is a proper market.
I don't follow basketball very closely. I didn't realize San Antonio was a dynasty. I see the Lakers beating the 76'ers most years. Or Chicago. Houston.

Tom

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Old
11-07-2003, 10:11 PM
  #29
Tom_Benjamin
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Originally Posted by thinkwild
Persuasive points Tom. At least to me, the converted.
Ah, it doesn't matter anyway. What we might want won't matter a hill of beans. Even if everyone who visited these boards was converted, nothing would change. The vast majority of fans believe there is something fundamentally wrong. How could they possibly believe otherwise? They've read a zillion stories that says it is so.

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This point in particular seems to ne to be improperly considered by those advocating radical change.
I agree and I think it is worth discussing in some depth.

This problem is rooted in the facts that everyone wants to win, that only one team can win, and that there are 30 teams. When I first started watching there were six teams. When Vancouver entered the league, there was 14 teams. Then 21, now 30. There is still only one Stanley Cup. It has become harder and harder to win.

No matter what the size, the league could always be divided into three groups. Only a very few can be elite. Most teams are average. There are only a few bottom feeders just like there are only a few elites.

If Vancouver becomes elite, somebody else has to drop. If Tampa is going to stay way up there somebody else has to drop. If Buffalo isn't going to be a bottom feeder any more, somebody else must have a very disappointing year. Things can't come up roses everywhere.

An expansion team starts out with no chance to win because they don't have any good players. They need to find six good players. (What do I mean by good? Imagine a list of the top 180 skaters in the NHL. Is he on it? He's good.) That can take three or four years of good decision making to find a half dozen good players. Then you are average.

You have to find three or four more to jump to elite and you have to do it quickly because your first half dozen players have started to age. It is really hard to become elite.

This is why we've had the same contenders for several years. Before that we had a different set of the same contenders for several years. It has always been that way. In the 80's the Flames, Isles, Oilers and Penguins. In the 70's it was the Bruins and the Flyers and the Habs. In the 60's it was the Leafs and the Habs. In the 50's the Wings and the Habs.

The problem is that winning can be decades away for two thirds of the league. The problem is that most fans will never cheer for a winner. A fan's fair share nowadays is one Cup every 30 years. Hope is tough to sell in that environment. That is the single point I think Jim Bob nails. I do think that is the problem the owners face.

The owners didn't think about this problem when they were pocketing the expansion fees, but it really wasn't free money. The original owners have to pay with a smaller opportunity for playoff and Stanley Cup revenue. A tougher marketing job is another inevitable byproduct. Expansion created zero new winners and nine new losers to sell.

If that is the issue, how do you fix it? One way is to do nothing and if teams can't find a way to sell a loser, they fail. The number of teams will drop to the point winning becomes a more realistic dream, a dream that can be sold.

Otherwise the only option is to deny teams elite status. How do you do that? With a hard cap that holds a team to say, two good players above average. Any group of 9 or 10 good players gets too expensive, too fast to hold together under a cap. The best teams are forced to divest themselves of players and as a result they get dragged back to the pack. Good players are available and go to teams with cap room, hopefully the bottom feeders.

Voila! The entire league ranges from average bad to average good. Everybody sells a team that can make the playoffs and be Cinderella. Playoff revenues are spread around instead of going to the same elite teams year after year. Nobody can be bad enough to miss the playoffs six straight years and nobody can be good enough to win three Cups in five years. A different team gets to be Anaheim every year. A snazzy draft pick can take you from worst to first.

In that context, the owner's position makes a lot of sense. I disagree with the whole concept - I think the game will suffer for it - but at least I understand it. Everything else - skyrocketing salaries, huge losses, small market competitiveness, payroll disparity - is smoke to me. I don't buy any of it. It does not add up for me.

This - too many losers, too few winners - does add up.

Tom

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Old
11-08-2003, 08:56 AM
  #30
Dr Love
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
Yes, the new CBA. What do the owners want? The owners want a hard cap and earlier free agency. They want to change the economic fundamentals of the game. Why? I can understand them wanting larger profit margins, but there are lots of ways that can be accomplished.

The purpose of a cap is to ensure that no one team can have too many good players. Cap or no cap the best players will still get paid huge dollars. It is the lunchbucket guys who will get less. The whole point of a cap is to make sure the Avalanche, for example, can't have Forsberg, Sakic, Selanne, Kariya, Blake, Tanquay, Foote and Morris.
But they can. All it takes is some stones. Kariya and Selanne took massive paycuts to play there. In the NBA, Karl Malone and Gary Payton did the same in LA.


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I agree with the sentiment, but I would not want this if I was, say, the Carolina Hurricane. If anybody is going to be that good, I want it to be the Rangers. If the Rangers are making runs in the playoffs against the Black Hawks, TV ratings will go up substantially. I make more money.
They will? The NY/NY World Series was the lowest rated WS ever. Having a sucessful NY team does not guarantee ratings.

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I sure don't want to be chasing Ottawa for the next ten years. The answer? A salary cap of $45 million and Ottawa is over next year. They have to let Alfredsson go. Vancouver won't be able to keep both Cloutier and Morrison if the salary cap is set at $45 million.

That Vancouver has the revenue to run a $60 million payroll if they want to doesn't matter. A salary cap is necessary so Chicago can compete.
You want to penalize teams for spending and developing wisely, so that Bill Wirtz can make money. Assinine.

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You misunderstand me then. I don't think spenders are rewarded at all under this CBA. I think they are punting away their money in Toronto. Fine, I say, let them. Or they can slash payroll and rebuild if they want to do it right.
They aren't, nor should they be.

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I think this CBA rewards the small market teams that go about it the right way and punishes the big market teams that do it the wrong way. I think this is good.
Yet you want to strip away Ottawa and Vancouver. You can't have it both ways.

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I don't think the NHL or the big market teams like it very much. It is hard to blame them. Will the fans and the media in Toronto let the Leafs ignore the free agent market? They have to spend. They have the money so they don't mind, but they do mind getting **** for the millions.
Too bad for them. It's their fault they have whatever problems they have, they should be the ones to resolve it, not the league.

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A salary cap and earlier free agency solves both problems. First the Leafs won't be able to spend beyond the cap. Second, when they do spend, they will scoop up Brenden Morrison in his prime instead of Joe Nieuwendyk way past his prime.
There's no guarantee that a team will make the 'smart' move.

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I don't follow basketball very closely. I didn't realize San Antonio was a dynasty. I see the Lakers beating the 76'ers most years. Or Chicago. Houston.

Tom
Obviously you don't even pay attention to the NBA at all because Chicago has been pathetic since Jordan retired for a second time, Houston hasn't been to the Finals since the first Jordan retirement, the Sixers went to the finals once, and San Antonio are the defending champions.

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Old
11-08-2003, 09:07 AM
  #31
Tom_Benjamin
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Originally Posted by Dr Love
You want to penalize teams for spending and developing wisely, so that Bill Wirtz can make money. Assinine.
Either I don't write very well or you don't read very well. My CBA position is that the owners are full of it from start to finish. I would be very happy if they rolled over the existing CBA forever.

Try reading my comments again with that as a context.

Tom

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