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Blog Entry

The NHL salary cap

Posted on: July 11, 2009 8:02 pm
Well everyone i think has come to the same conclusion...

The salary cap sucks.

Well it mostly sucks. About 80% suck.

I suppose i will start off with why i think it is beneficial: It keeps alot of smaller teams in contention. Teams with huge salaries cannot monopolize star players like they used to (see my beloved Red Wings circa 02). It makes owners feel nice that they arent burdoned with the spend too much and you might get in financial trouble or spend to little and piss off your fanbase issues.

Ok now why it sucks:

The NHL runs a much higher risk of losing players to their competition (KHL, swedish elite, etc) due to teams being so tight against the cap noone can offer competitive contracts. The free angent players are also risking alot too going on the FA market. How long should they wait to sign? If you dont wait long enough you might lose out on the bargaining dollars. You wait too long and noone can afford to pay what you want. Its quite the dillema.

Now i like the idea and principles of a cap. But i wish it was a soft cap that teams could work slightly above for a price to be paid in revenue sharing or something. Kind of like a luxury tax.

I know noone cares i just felt like killing time at work. Thanks for reading if you make it this far.
Category: NHL
Tags: salary cap

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: July 23, 2009 1:29 am

The NHL salary cap

Great post. Thanks for stopping by to read my blog.

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: July 23, 2009 12:25 am

The NHL salary cap

Given that you are a Red Wings fan I can certainly feel your pain.  The Red Wings have shown time and time again though that no salary cap or lack thereof can keep them from there perennial chase for Lord Stanley's Cup. 

Although the Wings couldn't re-sign Marion Hossa because of the cap, the Pens last year are fortunate they didn't sign him and I kinda think the Blackhawks (because of cap issues) are going to be wishing they didn't sign him unless they manage to win the cup next season.

Charlie O. Finley believed that free agency in baseball would lead to GM's and owners spending their teams into bankruptcy. More than one hockey franchise got to experience that firsthand... including but not limited to my beloved Pens.

The tradeoff is always getting the right talent for the right price to make the team competitive enough and exciting enough to draw fans and make money.  A long playoff run can add 25 to 30 percent more revenue for a cash strapped team.   In the early 90's when the Pens won 12 playoff games in a row people lamented that they wouldn't make enough cash on the postseason to be able to afford to keep the team together.  As a GM you want them to be good and win but maybe not dominant.

The Red Wings are the shining example of how to do it right and succeed no matter what the rules of the game are.  The Penguins, thanks to Ray Shero and Mario Lemieux's involvement are striving to emulate that model.  How successful they are only time will tell.

It is clear to me everytime I think of what has happened to major league baseball over the years, that a salary cap is a necessary evil. 

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: July 16, 2009 5:08 pm

The NHL salary cap

I am really happy we have Ken Holland as our GM. He is great. But man i would be so pissed at other GM's if i were him. Other Gm's that are going around throwing huge numbers at mid level players make your teams GM's job that much harder. It is a good thing i am not at the GM meetings because there would be chairs thrown.

Like i said the cap is sucky and ok at the same time. It will take a while for the NHL to feel it out and for the GM's to learn how to work with it. Right now it just makes life nerve wracking.

Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: July 16, 2009 11:15 am

The NHL salary cap

I agree the cap is an evil necessity, but I do agree there are problems with it.

When discussing NHL salary matters, I often use the analogy that GMs are like recovering alcoholics that keep falling off the wagon. There have been two lockouts now because the owners needed a way to reel in their GMs on the spending front. The only problem is, they find a way around the contstraints. Can't give a guy a $15-million per year contract? Just give him a 15-year contract instead.

Whats worse, GMs are not leaving any room for the possibility of a cap decline for upcoming seasons. They have been lucky since the lockout ended, that the cap has risen each year. Now they are faced with the possibility that it may drop sharply because of the economy. There are going to be some pretty hefty buyouts if that happens, and yet the market value for players won't necessarily change. Why would a top-tier player drop his comparative value just because the economy?

I said it earlier in the year that the KHL wouldn't rob the NHL of its star power, but key third- and fourth-line guys. It diminishes the NHL's depth. Instead of having a guy who is an NHLer beyond a doubt -- a guy like Hudler in this case -- the team will be forced to fill that gap with a lesser-skilled player. Or, if say the Red Wings were to sign a free agent equal to Hudler's ability, the team losing the free agent is going to be stuck with a possible minor league journeyman or average prospect.

Great post!

Since: Jul 8, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2009 2:05 am

The NHL salary cap

It is a necessary evil.  I don't necessarily like what happens to my team at Salary Cap time, but you try to win with what the rules dictate.

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