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The Ever-Increasing Cap, Ridiculous Contracts, and Hitting


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#21 dirtydangles

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 03:19 PM

The purpose of the salary cap was to encourage parity. It succeeded in this for a few seasons. Now it is ruining the NHL. The cap is giant, and contracts have become absurdly inflated as a result. Teams almost always have the cap space to re-sign their UFAs, so few big-name players ever hit the open market; as a result, those who do go to the open market are given gigantic, ridiculous contracts. What's more, the low-budget teams--those teams to whom the cap was meant to give a legitimate shot at winning--must now dole out ridiculous contracts to remain above the salary floor. Hilarious.

This really needs to be dealt with.

THIS. Well put in one post.

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#22 Crymson

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 03:22 PM

Why is the cap inflated? If anything I would rather see more money go to the players rather than to the owners.


Salaries are rising in direct correlation with the cap, and they have become ridiculous as a result.

#23 Seraph

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:05 PM

I've always supported the longer contracts because it pins the big name players down to their respective markets. This helps build a team identity and rivalries come out of it with the same cast of players showing up each year. I remember in the 90s if you didn't pay attention during the off season, you'd get back to watching hockey and all the key players would be swapped up across the map. Sure it might make for a more exciting off season when your team simultaneously signs Robitaille, Hasek and Hull, but I think the game loses something if players are always that mobile.

The current system is good because it forces the GM to find the right players in whom to make a big time investment, and then surround them with a strong yet affordable supporting cast. I think a good GM will also leave adequate cap room for the next generation of prospects to develop in case one or two are worthy of a mega contract. It also creates a situation where players will stay with a team through the RFA years, but then make the critical choice to swap or stay once they are UFA eligible. That gives the players the option to move if they are unhappy, but generally preserves the team identity if they end up signing long term contracts.

If GMs are inappropriately overpaying for players that don't deserve it, then that's their problem. They're going to have to live that mistake out for the duration of the contract and the team suffers for it. But overall I think the CBA is bringing parity to the league because each team can only support so many of these mega contracts. Just look at Minnesota. Two big time players joined that team because it was one of the few that could support both of their salaries. Minnesota undoubtedly became a better team and the league just got more competitive.

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#24 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:31 PM

They should start by just limiting the term. If you can't sign guys for over 10 years, for younger players you're not going to be able to knock down the cap hit with the reduced salary at the end of their career. So hopefully the yearly salary would come down a bit as well.

Otherwise I'm not terribly concerned with how much bank the players make as long as the league is healthy overall (which the owners are about to argue it is not, I'm sure). The significant parts to me are the proportion of the cap each player is taking up no matter the dollar amount, and that the cap is essentially being circumvented by GM's using the long term.

#25 Pskov Wings Fan

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:42 PM

Salaries are rising in direct correlation with the cap, and they have become ridiculous as a result.


Well, as long as rising cap/salaries is the result of league making more money I do not see a problem here. But the fact that number of teams claim to be losing money while cap keeps rising suggests that something is not quite right.

#26 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:46 PM

Well, as long as rising cap/salaries is the result of league making more money I do not see a problem here. But the fact that number of teams claim to be losing money while cap keeps rising suggests that something is not quite right.


The trick will be to make sure the league is healthy without punishing smart owners like Illitch because of the owners and GM's out there who can't run a successful franchise. It should be an attempt to get a more level playing field, but the CBA will be too restrictive if it tries to save some of these idiots from themselves. Some franchises and markets should be allowed to fail rather than be propped up by the league.

#27 Bring Back The Bruise Bros

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:40 PM

If the owners of NHL franchises push to eliminate hitting from the game - that's when they lose me as a fan.

If anything - the owners should push to get rid of the instigator rule; let the tough guys handle the rats.

Same here.

There wouldn't be nearly as many guys throwing elbows high and going knee on knee if they had to worry about getting their asses kicked on the next shift. Don't wanna turn this into an enforcer/instigator debate, though.

Edited by Bring Back The Bruise Bros, 05 July 2012 - 09:41 PM.

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#28 Nightfall

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:03 PM

If the owners of NHL franchises push to eliminate hitting from the game - that's when they lose me as a fan.

If anything - the owners should push to get rid of the instigator rule; let the tough guys handle the rats.

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#29 Wing Across The Pond

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:25 AM

I do believe the cap is a large problem and it will have to be fixed during the next CBA negotiations. The NHL has a really inflated Cap IMO. They need to do something about it.

Regarding the contracts the NHL needs to look at having a limit of them like 7-8 Years. I know the NBA has a 7 Year limit with the salary being around $120 Million IIRC.


I think another problem is that the NHL is no where near being the 'biggest' sport in the US, and people may be thinking that a way to combat that is to show everyone that there is a lot of money involved. Encourage more young people to play if they have the potential to earn 'football-type numbers'. Just a thought

According to the current CBA players salary cannot account for more than a fixed percentage (54%?) of league revenues. So at least theoretically GMs cannot overspend. Bettman claims that league revenues are rising so the cap raises with it. So as long as their accounting is sound teams should not be able to get into too much trouble.

As for the small market teams does not NHL have some kind of revenue sharing scheme?

Why is the cap inflated? If anything I would rather see more money go to the players rather than to the owners.


The shame is that a few organisations out there don't have sound accounting. Yes I'd like to see money go to the players, but if more and more money goes to the players over the owners then we fast get to a situation whereby the owners can't afford to pay the players, then we get teams having to relocate every few years, or file for bankruptcy and require a league bail-out which isn't good for the sport.

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#30 ogreslayer

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:55 AM

I had to share this. An absolutely hilarious find given what happened on Wednesday. An excerpt from an interview with Craig Leipold done in April of this year:

Are you making money? “We’re not making money, and that’s one reason we need to fix our system. We need to fix how much we’re spending right now. [The Wild's] revenues are fine. We’re down a little bit in attendance, but we’re up in sponsorships, we’re up in TV revenue. And so the revenue that we’re generating is not the issue as much as our expenses. And [the Wild's] biggest expense by far is player salaries.”


Well it's a good thing that Leipold isn't contributing to the problem personally by overpaying players right? Right?

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#31 JPT

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:05 AM

Are people here really complaining about player salaries and contract lengths? This is too funny. No Wings fans had issues when the Wings were able to outspend small markets and pick up a Hull and Robitaille in the offseason but when another team is able to sign players the Wings covet the system is broken?

Players are worth what owners will pay them. Period. Grow up.

If the Wings don't want to overpay for a Parise and Suter then they will have cap flexibility moving forward to make a play at a Weber next year or to make a trade for a guy and have the cap room to make it work.

#32 Wing Across The Pond

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:58 AM

Are people here really complaining about player salaries and contract lengths? This is too funny. No Wings fans had issues when the Wings were able to outspend small markets and pick up a Hull and Robitaille in the offseason but when another team is able to sign players the Wings covet the system is broken?

Players are worth what owners will pay them. Period. Grow up.

If the Wings don't want to overpay for a Parise and Suter then they will have cap flexibility moving forward to make a play at a Weber next year or to make a trade for a guy and have the cap room to make it work.


People aren't really complaining about us not securing players like we did pre-cap. Your example isn't applicable since there were no restrictions back when they signed the players you mentioned. What we're discussing here is that increasing caps are forcing teams to overpay, and some don't have the money to do that. If anything, what you argued about the Wings pre-cap proves us right. We spent big because we could, other teams may not have because they couldn't. With an increasing cap teams are feeling like they can spend money that they don't have. Then you wonder why teams like Phoenix are struggling and needing league help financially. Nothing to do with people complaining that we didn't land a certain player.

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#33 zenway9

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:35 AM

Salaries are rising in direct correlation with the cap, and they have become ridiculous as a result.


Exactly. If you have it to spend, you'll spend it.

Are people here really complaining about player salaries and contract lengths? This is too funny. No Wings fans had issues when the Wings were able to outspend small markets and pick up a Hull and Robitaille in the offseason but when another team is able to sign players the Wings covet the system is broken?

Players are worth what owners will pay them. Period. Grow up.

If the Wings don't want to overpay for a Parise and Suter then they will have cap flexibility moving forward to make a play at a Weber next year or to make a trade for a guy and have the cap room to make it work.


So what was to stop the other organizations from blowing a S-ton of money to get the top players in the pre-cap era??? I'm not sure I am understanding your statement.

#34 zenway9

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:43 AM

One more thing...I have no problems with Minny signing both players for the amount of money they did. However, hockey is a TEAM sport. You cannot win the Cup with two players and you cannot win the Cup when you are so severely cash strapped. What if a couple players go down with injuries mid-season and Minny is fighting for their playoff lives? There is no way they are going to be able to go out and pick up any talent at the deadline...but, "Hey, we got Parise and Suter!"

The one thing I have to say about Kenny is that as much as we ALL love to bust his stones, he is a smart yet cautious (maybe sometimes too cautious) GM who thinks many moves ahead and isn't one to go after the big name for the sake of having the name on his team. Oh, and did NOONE get my joke on the original post?? Sheesh, tough crowd!

#35 Z Winged Dangler

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:29 PM

They should start by just limiting the term. If you can't sign guys for over 10 years, for younger players you're not going to be able to knock down the cap hit with the reduced salary at the end of their career. So hopefully the yearly salary would come down a bit as well.

Otherwise I'm not terribly concerned with how much bank the players make as long as the league is healthy overall (which the owners are about to argue it is not, I'm sure). The significant parts to me are the proportion of the cap each player is taking up no matter the dollar amount, and that the cap is essentially being circumvented by GM's using the long term.

go even further, you can sign a guy max 5 or 6 years. then you don't have ridiculous front loaded contracts for lifetime. make it so the annual cap hit = the amount they make and you can't change yearly amounts. you sign 5 years, 25 mil, you get 5 mil per year period.

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#36 Wing Across The Pond

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:12 PM

go even further, you can sign a guy max 5 or 6 years. then you don't have ridiculous front loaded contracts for lifetime. make it so the annual cap hit = the amount they make and you can't change yearly amounts. you sign 5 years, 25 mil, you get 5 mil per year period.


This could work, don't average out the cap hits just make them representative of salary. So front loaded contracts will be $12m year 1.... down to $0.5-1m year 12. That way a lot of teams wouldn't do it because first they'd actually be paying $7.5 when a player is 40/41, or second they'd be blowing $12m of cap space on one player in one season.

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#37 Barrie

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:22 PM

They don't need to get rid of hitting, they just need to ban head shots. It's that simple!
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#38 Barrie

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:33 PM

The purpose of the salary cap was to encourage parity. It succeeded in this for a few seasons. Now it is ruining the NHL. The cap is giant, and contracts have become absurdly inflated as a result. Teams almost always have the cap space to re-sign their UFAs, so few big-name players ever hit the open market; as a result, those who do go to the open market are given gigantic, ridiculous contracts. What's more, the low-budget teams--those teams to whom the cap was meant to give a legitimate shot at winning--must now dole out ridiculous contracts to remain above the salary floor. Hilarious.

This all needs to be dealt with in the CBA. The cap needs to be fixed or reduced, and contract length needs to be limited. I think that eight years is a decent number, or perhaps less.


Agree 100%!
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