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Drake_Marcus

NHL Investigating Hossa & Pronger's contracts

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Again, its not a matter of just 40 vs 42. Take the average healthy nhl player retirement age and put a standard deviation on it. 40 almost certainly fits that deviation (although I haven't crunched the data because I don't have the data). 42 is a different story.

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Again, its not a matter of just 40 vs 42. Take the average healthy nhl player retirement age and put a standard deviation on it. 40 almost certainly fits that deviation (although I haven't crunched the data because I don't have the data). 42 is a different story.

I doubt 40 would fit either................is my point.

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Over 4 times as many players have played at 40 or greater than 42 or greater.

Yeah, but originally you stated well over 5 times. So at least you admit you were skewing the numbers and mine were closer. :thumbup:

Did you want to eliminate defenseman as well? That should further help your case!

Well, since I stated "skaters" like 2 pages ago, I think "common sense" as you like to call it would have made it an easy call. So no, we don't need to eliminate dmen as they would be considered skaters/non goalies. I hope that isn't to obtuse for you.

I guess i assumed it would not take a rocket scientist to determine a star player at 50% of his prime at the age of 40 is much better than a standard player at 50% of his prime at 40 -- the star player has a greater chance of still being good enough to play in the league. Nothing scientific about it, and just common sense.

Nobody is debating that are they? The issue is a matter of using solid statistical data. You want to cherry pick, ARBITRARILY, which players to use in the pool. If we do it your way, who represents the data pool? Who are the "STAR" players that only get counted in this analysis?

f***, by your illogical way of doing things you could say Nick Lidstrom is truly the only star and therefore, since he will be 40, that 100% of players will play to age 40 as he is the only one in the data pool. Seriously, how the f*** would you decide who to count and who not to count? That my friend, is seriously flawed

Think of it this way. If somebody asked you what percentage of NHL players play until age 40 or 42, do you think you could answer it rather easily provided the data was readily available? I think COMMON SENSE would dictate yes, no problem.

Now let's look at it your way: If somebody asked you what percentage of NHL "STAR" players play until age 40 or 42, how exactly are you going to answer that?

I guarandamntee you that your analysis is flawed, completely arbitrary and far more difficult to ascertain.

So therefore, I don't care how many Yzermans, Hulls etcc... there are. Because you haven't even established what constitutes a star player. And therefore, you have no statistical foundation to even begin to determine the likelihood that a "star" player will play to any given age.

For every "Ledyard" there are 5 Yzermans, Hulls, Howes, Messiers, Oates, etc.

The point, I think, was that a long-term contract out to 40 for someone like Hossa is a lot more realistic than a long term contract out to 40 for someone like Kyle Calder (both 30). I agree with that.

This comment actually makes sense. Although irrelevant.

Either way, plenty more players play to 40 than 42.

This is a true statement and one I have never argued.

Looks like '4 times' is about right. 400% - seems significant to me.

So I guess 4 dollars is alot more to you than 1 dollar. Like I said, if these numbers are your idea of a "significant difference", then I suggest you avoid anything with big numbers, like calculators, it'll ******* blow your mind.

You're not going to buy that significantly more players play at 40 than 42?

Nope. I'll buy that MORE players play to 40 than 42. But not "significantly" more. Significantly to me means more than a percentage. What's the raw number? Last year it was 7 to 4. WOW! That's ******* mind-blowing!!!! NOT

The cap difference is also significant. Detroit saves $1m in cap space on Zetterberg and Franzen by tacking on two cheap years while Chicago saves $2m in cap space by tacking on 4 extra cheap years to Hossa's contract -- I think this is the biggest beef from most GMs pointing fingers at Chicago.

So where would you draw the line?

973 players played in the NHL last year.

108 were 34 or greater: 11%

54 were 36 or greater: 3.5%

26 were 38 or greater: 2.7%

7 were 40 or greater: .7%

3 were 42 or greater: .3% (The most ever in the history of the NHL)

1 was 44 or greater: .1%

35 seems the most realistic.

I agree with this. Far more realistic and worthwhile to begin this discussion with a rationale age like 35. My entire argument is that 40 isn't a rational age to determine any of this based on the sheer insignificant amount of players who have attained that age as an active NHL player.

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Yeah, but originally you stated well over 5 times. So at least you admit you were skewing the numbers and mine were closer. :thumbup:

And how many on a message board ever admit to being wrong?

Well, since I stated "skaters" like 2 pages ago, I think "common sense" as you like to call it would have made it an easy call. So no, we don't need to eliminate dmen as they would be considered skaters/non goalies. I hope that isn't to obtuse for you.

You blow a gasket over throwing out "non-star" players (which i never suggested) but want to throw out goalies?

Nobody is debating that are they? The issue is a matter of using solid statistical data. You want to cherry pick, ARBITRARILY, which players to use in the pool. If we do it your way, who represents the data pool? Who are the "STAR" players that only get counted in this analysis?

Who threw them out? Certainly not me... I just agreed with a post stating "star" players tended to have longer careers. Comparing Hossa to the rest of the league is not exactly comparing apples to apples.

f***, by your illogical way of doing things you could say Nick Lidstrom is truly the only star and therefore, since he will be 40, that 100% of players will play to age 40 as he is the only one in the data pool. Seriously, how the f*** would you decide who to count and who not to count? That my friend, is seriously flawed

Where is this coming from? I never excluded any players (not even goalies) - my numbers were from the entirety of the NHL.

Now let's look at it your way: If somebody asked you what percentage of NHL "STAR" players play until age 40 or 42, how exactly are you going to answer that?

Players elected to a First or Second All Star Team, record breakers and winners of individual trophies would be my starting point - take some time, but definitely possible.

I guarandamntee you that your analysis is flawed, completely arbitrary and far more difficult to ascertain.

Would take longer - but would be more accurate towards answering: "What is Hossa's life expectancy (in the NHL)"

You also need to look at the age and history of injuries of the "star" at the time of signing. I would argue Hossa has a much greater chance of playing until 40 than DiPietro or even Lecavalier.

Actuaries love this crap, and it would not cost the NHL much to actually develop a model and ideal cut-off point, just like insurance companies have been doing for decades. They could do it that way if they wanted to be as exact as possible, on an individual basis - or they could just pick an arbitrary line like they have appeared to with 40. I have a feeling they will just pick an arbitrary line.

So therefore, I don't care how many Yzermans, Hulls etcc... there are. Because you haven't even established what constitutes a star player. And therefore, you have no statistical foundation to even begin to determine the likelihood that a "star" player will play to any given age.

I could also simply look at that list and quickly determine "star" players make up the vast majority of it - and assume star players (league leaders) are more likely to have a longer career than standard players. Would you agree Yzerman, the Hulls, Howes, Chelios, Oates, Messier, Recchi, Bourque, Francis, M. Lemieux (heck, even C. Lemieux), Niewendyk, Larionov, MacInnis, Shanahan are "stars"? ... that's well over half of them already.

This comment actually makes sense. Although irrelevant.

It's relevant, just not the whole slice of the pie.

So I guess 4 dollars is alot more to you than 1 dollar. Like I said, if these numbers are your idea of a "significant difference", then I suggest you avoid anything with big numbers, like calculators, it'll ******* blow your mind.

I'll take the $4, thank you. We are talking exponential differences, not linear. 40 vs. 10 instead of 13 vs. 10.

Nope. I'll buy that MORE players play to 40 than 42. But not "significantly" more. Significantly to me means more than a percentage. What's the raw number? Last year it was 7 to 4. WOW! That's ******* mind-blowing!!!! NOT

Then I'll assume 26 to 7 does not blow you away either. 54 to 26? 108 to 54?

19, 28 and 54 are not large numbers either, out of a body of close to 1,000.

So now we are talking not allowing long-term contracts past the age of 34 because the number does not impress you?

I agree with this. Far more realistic and worthwhile to begin this discussion with a rationale age like 35. My entire argument is that 40 isn't a rational age to determine any of this based on the sheer insignificant amount of players who have attained that age as an active NHL player.

If we assume all players are created equal, 35 is a great starting point.

If we recognize top players tend to have longer careers and that careers in general seem to be lengthening, maybe we can up that a bit. If we also recognize these long-term contracts appeal to GMs, owners, players and fans - maybe we can up it a bit more.

IE. Who is being hurt by an arbitrary line of 40, vs. 35?

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Who is being hurt by an arbitrary line of 40, vs. 35?

For starters, every single player who wouldn't fall into your "star" category Egroen.

If the end result is to find a way to curb GM's giving out what appear to be "dead" years on the end of contracts simply to circumvent the cap, all this talk about the relevance of only using star players in the data pool becomes discriminatory.

The players have a Union. You'd never be able to put in place any system that would allow player A to be signed to a contract taking him out to 40+ and not letting player B sign the same type of term contract no matter how marginal that player is. It's a Union, equal representation for all its players.

So its redundant to even think to analyze the data in that way. Nothing concrete could come of it in so far as establish a rule preventing the signing of players to these contracts. So why does it matter to only use star players?

A star player is likely to play longer, yes. But legally, you'd never be able to establish something like that on the books so it's ridiculous to not include the entire player pool.

And once you include the entire player pool, an annual number around 800 skaters, you're talking about less than 1% of all players ever attaining that age and still playing. Even if you include the goalies. So please get off of it already with the goalies. Like adding goalies makes your argument hold anymore water. That's why the number doesn't "impress me". You're throwing out random, nonsensical to the debate numbers like 110 vs 30 or 1000 vs 200. It's absurd. There's an established player pool. There is historical data on the age of every player and a hard, concrete percentage of the actual number of players who attain 40+ and keep playing. So no, when the annual numbers of these players can be counted on 2 hands, it's not significant. It's miniscule. It's a deviation. It's an exception. And it's so small that it doesn't provide much proof in my opinion.

And no, it's not a big number. And i'll send you 4 dollars if it will make a dramatic change in your lifestyle.

The numbers are relative. If the day comes that 3-5% of active players are over the age 40, then it will actually mean something. And then the debate about 40 vs 42 might actually change in my mind. But it doesn't.

So to say there are 8, 40 year olds and only 4, 42 year olds during any given season for example and claim it's double and therefore a "significant" difference is ludicrous in the grand scheme of things.

Selective choosing who to include in the data pool is absurd. It doesn't lead to anything that could be done by the league to prevent these contracts so its an exercise in futility. And unfair to any player who you personally deem not worthy of the list.

ps: I know you didn't suggest taking out star players, somebody else did. But you continue to use it as a talking point for your argument.

Edited by GordieSid&Ted

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Who is being hurt by an arbitrary line of 40, vs. 35?

For starters, every single player who wouldn't fall into your "star" category Egroen.

What non-star players are GMs trying to sign to long term deals like we have been seeing?

There are none.

You do not need to discriminate, because GMs are only going to offer long-term deals like this to stars anyways... they're the ones they need the lower cap hits for; they're the only ones this will ever really apply to.

In fact, the abilty to still financially compensate a star player but at a lower cap hit helps GMs compensate the non-star players more -- instead of cutting them off every year in favor of cheaper entry-level players. It allows the NHL to better retain its veteran players, instead of seeing them jump overseas.

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What non-star players are GMs trying to sign to long term deals like we have been seeing?

There are none.

You do not need to discriminate, because GMs are only going to offer long-term deals like this to stars anyways... they're the ones they need the lower cap hits for; they're the only ones this will ever really apply to.

In fact, the abilty to still financially compensate a star player but at a lower cap hit helps GMs compensate the non-star players more -- instead of cutting them off every year in favor of cheaper entry-level players. It allows the NHL to better retain its veteran players, instead of seeing them jump overseas.

Ughh.....whatever, I give up.

There's 100% zero doubt that any contract a Wings player signs that takes him to age 40, 42 or 75 is and will always be above reproach.

Any other team, especially a division rival, who signs a player to a contract beyond age 40 must be scrutinized whether there is any supporting evidence to show an attempt to circumvent the cap.

The Red Wings have used players past the age of 40 so there's no issue.

No other team in the history of the NHL has employed a player beyond age 40 and because there are just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many more 40 year olds vs 42 year olds that have played the game, we should attempt to have nullified any contract that is not Wings related as being unfair in regards to the Cap.

The Wings are the greatest

Everyone else is cheating

There are 62, 40 year old players playing this season and only 1 guy over 42.

Player statistics will now be divided into 2 groups. Group A will consist of NHL stars (to be determined by the league upon final approval of Egroen). These players will get special treatment in all facets of the game EXCEPT for contracts, where they will be hamstringed by a rule preventing them from singing contracts that take them past a certain age. The age limit will too be decided by Egroen. These players will form their own super union, the SSNHLPA (Super Star NHLPA). All other players will be stuck with the regular old NHLPA. They will have no contraints with regards to age/contract term limitations as their contracts and likelihood of being signed at those ages are so miniscule.

There. It's over. You win. Congratulations. Now I will go bang my skull against a ******* concrete slab because in all honesty, it'd be less painful.

:D

Edited by GordieSid&Ted

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This argument is missing the point. The way the CBA calculates salary cap obilgations is wrong and the owners never should've agreed to it. For Hossa's most productive years of his deal, he will be making roughly $7.9 million and his cap obligation will be only $5.2 million. The only way that could NOT be considered a circumvention of the Salary Cap is if Hossa plays out his entire contract, and then has a cap hit of $5.2 million when he's only making (and worth) something less than $1 million.

Two problems: (1) It's my understanding that if Hossa simply retired from the NHL (or maybe if he went overseas to play somewhere else when he's older), his NHL deal is over and Chicago never has suffer through the back end of that Cap obligation. (2) Even if Hossa did play out his deal, do we really want NHL franchises mortgaging their future in that way? To put it another way, why is it desirable to have 41 year old players who make close to the league minimum, but COUNT against the cap as if they were $5.2 million/year superstars!?

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This argument is missing the point. The way the CBA calculates salary cap obilgations is wrong and the owners never should've agreed to it. For Hossa's most productive years of his deal, he will be making roughly $7.9 million and his cap obligation will be only $5.2 million. The only way that could NOT be considered a circumvention of the Salary Cap is if Hossa plays out his entire contract, and then has a cap hit of $5.2 million when he's only making (and worth) something less than $1 million.

Two problems: (1) It's my understanding that if Hossa simply retired from the NHL (or maybe if he went overseas to play somewhere else when he's older), his NHL deal is over and Chicago never has suffer through the back end of that Cap obligation. (2) Even if Hossa did play out his deal, do we really want NHL franchises mortgaging their future in that way? To put it another way, why is it desirable to have 41 year old players who make close to the league minimum, but COUNT against the cap as if they were $5.2 million/year superstars!?

To your first paragraph my understanding is Bettman wanted it that way so that teams couldn't look ahead an say we will more cap room in two years probably so lets make this players new contract worth less that year so we have more room. He wanted a flat number across the board and the average is the way to do that.

To your second part about why would teams do this? They figure it's worth it because of how much less he's counting against the cap early for one. Almost 3mil less. And second they can buy him out for only what is owed to him not what he's counting against the cap. If Hossa doesn't retire he will be bought out imo. He could be bought out at age 38 with only 3.5mil left on his contract. So he gets 2.3mil and the Hawks take a cap hit of under 300k for the 8 years following it. I don't think he will play past 39 whether he retires or the Hawks buy him out. That's what the league as a problem with. But I've said it a lot now it's their fault. There is nothing you can do about it now. You just have to wait until the next CBA.

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Buying out a declining salary is the last move you want to make -- you're basically extending only a slightly less cap hit for more years in that case. http://www.nhlscap.com/cap_faq.htm#buyouts

Best to trade him or send him down to the minors if he is not producing.

yes BUT I think they set it up this way so that if they buy them out the cap hit is so small it wouldn't matter even though you have to spread it out over twice the length of the remaining years.

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Zetterberg's cap hit is pretty much $6m for the next 12 years.

Let's say the wings decided to buy him out after 8 seasons and before his final 4 seasons:

His contract was originally valued at $73,000,000 with an annual cap hit of $6,083,333 beginning in 2009 and ending in 2021.

The total buyout cost at $8,233,333 spread over 8 years (this is nice).

But they figure the cap hit real wonky, and it turns out to be almost detrimental, and really not worth it.

The cap hit would work out like this:

2017-2018: $112,500

2018-2019: $3,762,500

2019-2020: $6,112,500

2020-2021: $6,112,500

2021-2022: $1,029,167

2022-2023: $1,029,167

2023-2024: $1,029,167

2024-2025: $1,029,167

So you would buy yourself two years of cap savings, before you start losing cap space in the final two years of his contract, and then have 4 more years beyond his contract where you are on the hook for over $1m in cap space.

Front-loaded contracts are not a good option to buy out - best to trade them or bury them in the minors.

Edited by egroen

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Thanks for the explaination; it's clear that you're getting over my head with your level of cap knowledge. In your Zetterberg example (if he was bought out after Year 8), they get a two year "reprieve" on the cap hit before it actually goes UP in years 11 & 12, and then also extends for an additional 4 years beyond the original contract? I'm not sure that defeats my point--if anything, taking a $1 million cap hit for 4 years of a retired player would be as bad or worse than simply having an overvalued cap figure for a player still on your roster.

If you send a one-way player to the minors, he has to clear waivers (and nobody would pick up his salary anyway). If you cut him, you're still on the hook for his salary, and if you buy him out, there's still a cap hit based on the value and duration of the buyout (though I don't understand the details). But Henrik Zetterberg is not going to play for Grand Rapids in 2018. If you did that to him, a la Curtis Joesph, I would think he'd either retire (and go play in Europe) or demand some be waived/released. I don't think "burying" an aging superstar in the minors (to avoid the cap implications) is a realistic option.

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Thanks for the explaination; it's clear that you're getting over my head with your level of cap knowledge. In your Zetterberg example (if he was bought out after Year 8), they get a two year "reprieve" on the cap hit before it actually goes UP in years 11 & 12, and then also extends for an additional 4 years beyond the original contract? I'm not sure that defeats my point--if anything, taking a $1 million cap hit for 4 years of a retired player would be as bad or worse than simply having an overvalued cap figure for a player still on your roster.

If you send a one-way player to the minors, he has to clear waivers (and nobody would pick up his salary anyway). If you cut him, you're still on the hook for his salary, and if you buy him out, there's still a cap hit based on the value and duration of the buyout (though I don't understand the details). But Henrik Zetterberg is not going to play for Grand Rapids in 2018. If you did that to him, a la Curtis Joesph, I would think he'd either retire (and go play in Europe) or demand some be waived/released. I don't think "burying" an aging superstar in the minors (to avoid the cap implications) is a realistic option.

Right -- if Zetterberg at that time is simply a shell of himself, no other team wants him, and he refuses to retire -- send him to the minors. it's a one-way contract, so Ilitch still has to fork over his full salary amount for those individual years (which is not that much in context), but his cap hit does come completely off the books, which is clearly a better option than buying him out.

This probably would not happen - as we are talking about our most likely future captain, and fortunately in 10 years his $6m cap hit is more likely the equivelent of a $3-4m cap hit in today's dollars, so not nearly as bad as it looks now.

These contracts have very little down points, except for the teams not doing them... IE. all their stars are in their early 20s (like Pittsburgh).

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Ughh.....whatever, I give up.

There's 100% zero doubt that any contract a Wings player signs that takes him to age 40, 42 or 75 is and will always be above reproach.

Sheesh - I'm just saying that if the NHL makes its arbitrary cut-off age for long-term contracts at 40, there really is very little downside to it and that 40 is better than 42. I agree that Zetterberg's and Franzen's contracts are obvious "cap circumventions" but that Hossa's was even more obvious... and if additional info came forward that a pre-arranged retirement date was talked about, even worse.

If you bring it down to 35 I think you are handcuffing not only GMs, but the players as well. It's not a bad thing to see players sign with a team long-term, or for the rest of their careers, and there needs to be some flexibility afforded. I don't think this is a terrible way of going about it. Sure, 40 is pushing it - 42 is getting ridiculous and I certainly think any years beyond that is a complete joke.

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