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Talk. My comments are below...

Payroll Caps

New York Rangers have only 6 players signed for the 05-06 season (assuming expiry of deals). The total for those, after the 24% rollback, is 21.7 million$.

Redwings on the other hand have 16 players for 38.2 million$. Essentially, they are at the cap. They could buy out a couple of players (at 66% of salary, if that's still in the CBA) and not count against the cap. That includes 6 million$ for CuJo, but that one is an option (and I forget for who).

Team,players,payroll due
Bos,4,3 !!!
Flo,7,6 !!!
La, 12,16
Phi,13,34 (they have two great players drafted, 
who played in their minor league, and who have 
said they would sign with the Flyers right away, 
so make that 15,36)
Pit,7,5 !!!
Was,4,7 !!! (includes 5 for Kolzig) 


By my count, that's 500 million$ to 289 players already accounted for.

That leaves about 400 players to fight over the remaining 450 million$ or so.

You probably will have about the top 30 players eating up 100 million$, and another 100 bottom players eating 40 million$. So, 130 top-and-bottom players get 140 million$, and 270 middle players get 310 million$.


24% Rollback

Some players are wondering why they had to also agree to the 24% rollback. My guess is because of the numbers above. If there was no rollback, then the 289 signed players would have 650 million$, leaving 300 million$ for the other 400 players. Certainly makes no sense. It's almost as if Goodenow already figured this one out. That is, he knew that there would be less money for players, and there would be tons of players on the market. In order to keep their salaries as inflationary as possible, he had to reset the salaries downward, so that the next wave can push it upward.


Hitting the limit

My guess is that all teams will spend close to their caps. This is what happens in the NFL and NBA. Bettman calls this a magnet that forces every team to spend UP. I see it as a heavy weight that keeps every teams to spend DOWN. Furthermore, if all teams spend to their payroll limits, it'll probably come in at 1.1 or 1.2 billion$. League revenues will probably mean the 54% threshhold limit would be at around 900 to 950 million$. So, their actuall payroll limit will be 20% LESS. You may think the players rolled back 24%, but they will probably lose the 15 or 20% that they'll put in escrow, making that total rollback a whopping 35%.



The buyout thing is interesting. You can have a guy signed for 6 million, and bought out for 4 million, and then resign him for 2 million. The player still get his 6 either way, but only 2 million counts against the cap. So, it was this exact situation that the teams had in mind when they said they don't want to be able to resign their players. This was not a team v player fight, but a team v team fight.


On a more important level, when does it make sense to do so? Let's say you have a guy who is due 18 million for 3 years, but he's really a 1 million$ a year player. You are, in essence, paying a 15 million$ premium on this asset.

You want to pay this guy 12 million$ to get him out of your hair, and as a bonus, free up the cap room.

But, what if the guy is really a 3 million$ a year player. You are overpaying him by 9 million$, but the buyout is 12 million$. It may be worth it to you to buy him out and free up that cap room.

Those players, while it seems like a big deal (getting 12 million$ for not playing) will sign a new deal with a new team for 3 million a year. He ends up with 21 million$ total.

I agree, it's guys like Bobby Holik who will be the happiest, guys who are good, but paid like they were great.



As for the person who claims that Spezza plays 13 minutes a game.... he actually average 14.64 minutes per game, which is roughly the average time for a forward.

Does he benefit more from the extra playing time? Breaking up his 78 games into 3 slices of 26 games, based on playing time, this is what we get:

In the 26 games where he played the most (which ranges from 15.42 minutes to 22.05 minutes), he had 6 goals, 10 assists, plus 3, for an average of 17.2 minutes per game.

In the 26 games where he played the least (13.55 minutes to 4.17 minutes), he totaled 7 goals, 10 assists, plus 2, for an average of 12.1 minutes per game.

Kinda strange, isn't it? You get 40% extra playing time, and you produce EXACTLY the same. Almost like those 5 extra minutes he spent coasting.

In the middle 26 games, when he average 14.5 minutes per game, he had 9 goals and 13 assists, and an astounding plus 17.

Seems to me that Spezza should be getting the playing time he's getting.

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Pistol - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#122622) #
It'll be interesting to see which teams figure out the best way to attack all of the free agents that are going to be out there. On average each team will have about a dozen players that they'll have to add to their teams.
Named For Hank - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#122624) #
I think the biggest upcoming story is Crosby potentially going to Europe. I think if he does, the rookie salary cap will prove to have been a massive miscalculation.

But I sympathize with the kid: why play in a league that jerked everyone around for a year and soured its own fans on the game for, at most, a quarter of what you've already been offered elsewhere?

And the reports of "they're locked in a room, not coming out until it's settled" did nothing but piss me off. Guys, you're nearly a whole year too late. Why couldn't they do this a year ago? Fans were at the bottom of the importance ladder with every decision made by the NHL and NHLPA in this stupid, petty little squabble.

Could be because we just had a baby, but Vanessa and I found that we really didn't miss hockey while it was gone. If we ever had the itch, we could watch Linkoping vs. Frolunda anyways.
huckamaniac - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#122631) #
I really can't see Crosby going to europe now that there's a deal done. He might be able to make a greater rookie salary in Europe, but the extra endorsements on top of Reebok and Gatorade he'll get playing in the NHL will balance that out.
TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#122632) #
Crosby will play in the NHL. He said so. He specifically said that he talked with Lugano/Europe only as a backup measure so that if it's August, he'd have somewhere to play. But, he will be in the NHL.

And, the CBA does have extra provisions for a guy like that, bonus money for an extra 850,000$ for "reasonable target" numbers, and an additional bonus level for exceptional numbers.

Crosby is in. No doubt about it.
Wildrose - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#122634) #
Anybody find any links to the nuts and bolts of this deal? (i.e. can you resign your own bought out players?)

You'd have to think MLB owners will be embolded to play hardball with the players after the current CBA expires after 2006 (?)given the latest NBA/NHL settlements.

Named For Hank - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#122636) #
Tango, he was on Sportsnet just a few days ago saying that he "wanted" to play in the NHL, but that it was not a sure thing.

But it's good to hear that the CBA has room for him -- perhaps it has room for him because he said he'd go to Europe.

TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#122637) #
No, they can't resign their own bought out players.


One thing that bothers me is journalists who don't do their research. I'm just a schmoe at work, and googling NHL news. As my above chart shows, except for the Redwings, there are no other teams over the cap. Teams do have players arbitration-eligible, but since they have walkaway rights, they are pretty much safe (though I think they are limited in the number of walkaways). Many reporters talk about the Rangers being over the cap. It just isn't so.

Now, I just read on, about this deal being shorter than the last one. this is what he wrote: Plus, at six years, this is a shorter CBA than the 10-year deal signed to end the labor mess in 1994. Wrong! The last CBA was not for 10 years, but for something like 4 or 6 years. It was twice extended, so that the total was 10 years. But, it was not signed for 10 years. This just p-sses me off.


Oh. Expect the franchise values of all teams to go up. Wealth was just transferred here, from the pockets of the players to the enterprise value of the teams. With the players giving up 200 million$ in salaries, expect the franchise value of each team to rise substantially, and by alot more than 200 million$.

Sheldon - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#122638) #
I have a feeling there will be a ton of buyouts, and the free agent market is going to be nuts. A team like Boston pretty much needs to build from the ground up. If they want to spend they could create a pretty competitive team.
TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#122639) #
Sidney Crosby said the following: "No," Crosby said yesterday when he was asked if playing for a third of the money in the NHL that he could make with Lugano in Switzerland was a problem. "I will be in the NHL (next season)."

"I wanted to make sure I had somewhere to play," Crosby said. "I had to cover myself. I don't want to be (in a situation) where it's the middle of August if there is no NHL and I am panicking."

Jordan - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#122640) #
Today, Gene Upshaw is a happy man. He presided over what is now only the second-worst thrashing of a professional sports association in history.

Why do hockey players always do it? Why do they consistently cave in to fear, pressure tactics and public scorn? You can't tell me that your average defenceman from Manitoba (or Minnesota or Estonia) is any dumber than your average right fielder from Arkansas -- and yet the entire history of the NHL is one long de-pantsing of the players and their Stoogelike unions by the owners. It boggles the mind.

Two things: first, Sidney Crosby may not be going to Europe, but a lot of NHLers did go there last year, and I think more than a few enjoyed it. I think this lockout might someday be remembered as the turning point at which Europe started to become hockey's version of the AFL -- an actual alternative league that will someday demand and receive a true world championship. Not today, of course -- but 10, 15 years down the road? You can bank on it. Globalization is happening everywhere, and the NHL will not be immune.

Second, even though this deal amounts to a greater victory than the owners could ever have hoped for, the NHL is still screwed. They have too many franchises in cities where the gate receipts and local corporate base simply won't support a pro team. They have no major TV contract and little hope of getting a new one from networks burned by their bush-league tactics. And most importantly, the quality of play will continue to decline, because it never had much to do with the red line or the size of the net; it had almost everything to do with too many lousy players who from their first days in competitive hockey have never learned to skate, pass, puckhandle, or do much of anything on the ice beyond clutching, grabbing, high-sticking and gooning.

Hockey, as an entertainment industry, has invested almost nothing in quality control, talent recruitment and R & D. They'll spend the next several years paying for that.
CaramonLS - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#122641) #
As far as details go, you will not be able to resign players after you buy them out. But the most of the details are being kept under wraps for now until the deal is ratified.

21.5 Floor - 39 Million dollar Ceiling.
Player individual cap: 7.8 (20% of cap max)
24% roll back (exsisting contracts and RFAs who can be qualified with the roll back included).
Revenue sharing: top 10 spenders share with the bottom 10 (don't know details beyond that).
UFA Age: 31 years old this season, then drops until it is 27 in 2008 I think (not 100% on this), then the 7 year playing time rule comes into effect, where the player can be a free agent after 7 years of playing time (again not sure if this is contract time or NHL playing time).
Wildrose - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#122644) #
Your right Tango the quality of reporting is abysmal.

A few comments/questions;

-I agree with Jordan some players may make as much money in Europe and coupled with the life style ,may not be back( the Red Wings are worried about Pavel Datsyuk).

-Can you walk away from your restricted free agents?( I suppose you could 2/3 buy them out?)

- NBA Players had to "pay back" their escrow money, if the NHL does not get to certain revenue targets, NHL players will also have to effect a 39% salary reduction.

-Here in Calgary were happy with the maximum individual player cap. The Flames in essence can match any offer for Inginla after 2007,( although tying up 20% of your budget on one player might not be smart).

-The old adage "you can't leave home" comes into effect. Look for many players, if money is essentially even, to choose playing close to family and friends, also warm weather and low taxation environs will benefit.
Magpie - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#122646) #
I basically agree with everything Jordan says, above.

The NHL has always been run by greedy, short-sighted idiots, longer than I've been alive, and has almost never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The frantic "growth" of the last fifteen years, adding teams far faster than fans can possibly assimilate them into their consciousness; the depressing and awful deterioration of the game on the ice, which is not going to be solved by eliminating the red line... oh, it makes you weep. The game is so great, that it takes a real perverse genius to screw it up so badly.

I was once a below-average goalie from Manitoba. I certainly would have gone to Europe, and it would have taken a lot of money to get me to come back to this dog's breakfast.

As for the game on the ice, I think the one thing it desperately needs are larger ice surfaces. A contact sport, played at high speed - but the players are way, way bigger and are moving way, way faster than they were 40 years ago (partially because shifts now last 40 seconds instead of 120.) Wouldn't it be interesting if one team decided to install a European sized sheet of ice?

Ah. It's almost certainly against the rules.

Paul D - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#122647) #
If you're the NHLPA, and it's summer 2004, and you've seen the future and know how this is going to end... waht do you do?

You're pretty sure the owners a lying about their revenues, but you know they won't back down... do you cave right away?
Prepare your membership for a 2 year lockout?
TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#122648) #
Owners not only have walkaway rights, but can force a player into arbitration. At the very least, a restricted free agent, and possibly (though I'm not sure) a guy under contract (though I suspect that can only be true if he has at most 1 year left).


Hotchkiss, 10 years ago, negotiated the Canadian-currency relief fund. Something like: if the CDN dollar was 70 cents, then they get 15 cents of relief for every dollar they spent. That, I believe is gone.

TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#122650) #
Paul, Bettman wanted to ABOLISH arbitration, and have the salaries set by.... Bettman! Talk about tyranny. No way they could ever have accepted the proposal on the table pre-Dec 9.

If the players were offered this signed deal in the beginning, they would have accepted it, I think. However, as Sean Burke said, if they were offered something in 2004, and they accepted, they would have asked "why didn't we hold out for more?".

The sad truth is that both sides had to hurt, alot, before they could accept the new deal.

If the *players* offered this deal, the owners STILL would not have signed in 2004. Don't forget, Bettman started with a 31 million$ cap. If the players offered this deal, Bettman would have negotiated until Jan 1, at which point he would have accepted this deal.
TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#122653) #
As for the "principle" of non-cap systems: that was a very poor strategy, unless it was truly a principle. Perhaps this was Goodenow's principle, but was it the principle of the 700 players? Half of them playing in Europe, where they had some form of cap, and for 20 cents on the dollar.

No. This was a theoretical principle. Because of that, having a cap system was a foregone conclusion.

The fair bet would have been one offered late in the day, where they rollback salaries 24%, and if in 2 years, the economics didn't get better, then cap. This would have been a fair transition. However, Bettman wanted closure, and the inevitable.

From that standpoint, it would have been the right thing for Goodenow to preempt Bettman and offered a cap.

Bettman however was out of his mind. Presenting an offer where Bettman sets the salaries? Who can negotiate with a tyrant.

I can't wait for Saskin, Daly, Bettman and/or Goodenow to write a book.
alsiem - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#122654) #
Why do hockey players always do it? Why do they consistently cave in to fear, pressure tactics and public scorn? You can't tell me that your average defenceman from Manitoba (or Minnesota or Estonia) is any dumber than your average right fielder from Arkansas -- and yet the entire history of the NHL is one long de-pantsing of the players and their Stoogelike unions by the owners. It boggles the mind.

The difference between the economic situations of hockey and baseball is vast. The players didn't have much to argue here as outside of places like Toronto, Detroit etc. no one cares. If I was dumb defenceman from Manitoba I'd be smart enough to sign on for $150,000 when the $400,000 deals were going dry. Sure beats making $40,000 at Dad's feed store. Now if the NHL had a massive TV contract that I could point to and say 'I want half Eddie'. Then I don't cave so fast.
CaramonLS - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#122655) #
Actually Tango if the players had decided to negoitate before the CBA had expired, the owners were prepared to go with only a reasonable luxury tax.

TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#122660) #
Carm, can you cite a reference, please? That's the first I heard of it.

I agree with the sentiment though. Players agreeing to the framework would have made it harder for the league to shutdown. After all, they shutdown because they wanted "cost certainty". Kinda hard to do if they are just down to negotiating dollars and cents.
GrrBear - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#122663) #
What I found personally disappointing about the last three hundred days was how the general public seemed to buy the owners' spin on the situation: players are greedy, we're losing money because they're greedy, and did we mention the players are greedy? The media accounts I've read today seem to lean towards the players being stupid for not taking what the owners' original offer. Gotta love that hindsight, except what Bettman started with was, as Tangotiger pointed out, fairly ludicrous and I suspect it was intentionally designed to push the union away from the negotiating table.

I don't know how many times I had to correct people over the last ten months - the players didn't go on strike, the owners locked them out. The players don't trust the owners' ability or desire to accurately report revenues, and so I can understand their skepticism when Bettman tells the world that 24 of 30 teams are losing money. I can further understand their frustration when they're asked to accept salary caps and salary reductions because some GMs don't know how to manage money.

Was Goodenow a fool for underestimating Bettman's resolve? Probably. But Bettman and the owners are bigger fools for allowing an entire season to disappear for the sake of 'cost certainty', a euphemism for 'hosing the players while the rich teams pocket more dough'. They got their precious salary cap, but at what cost?
CaramonLS - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#122664) #
Actually Tango I cannot (off to work right now then immediately flying to Thunder Bay right after that).

But I'll try when I get back.

Pistol - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#122672) #
Today, Gene Upshaw is a happy man. He presided over what is now only the second-worst thrashing of a professional sports association in history.

But you know what? I don't think I've ever heard a football player say anything other than they have the best deal among the 4 team sports. If you play well and continue to play well you'll get paid.

Guaranteed contracts are great....for the player with the guaranteed contract. But if that player isn't performing up to his contract he's taking away money from someone that is.

I think the real issue is who do you want to fight for, the individual or the group?

Ducey - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#122676) #
"They got their precious salary cap, but at what cost?"

1)To the owners about $10 million each in the short term. Here in Edmonton, they ran their AHL team all winter and likely came close to breaking even.

In the long term there was no cost to the owners. Their franchise values will skyrocket, they will make a profit in most cities every year.

2) Cost to the game. A lost season. Big deal. Are baseball fans still sour about the labour stoppage? The attendance and TV ratings say no. Fans are a little more savy now about labour issues and they are not going to be all bent out of shape about it. The benefit totally outweighs the lost season. People in Toronto may not appreciate it but it has sucked to be an NHL fan of an Edmonton or Calagry or Vancouver or about 10 other teams. Most years it was major achievement to make the playoffs. There was little thought your team could play in the finals. (And before someone says "but Calgary made the finals" - forget it. Check the number of times they made the playoffs before that. Remember that the Oilers used to go into the Saddledome and play before more Oiler fans than Flames fans - there was no hope. That was what made 2003- 2004 such a miracle). Now fans eveywhere can believe that their team has a shot. Their performance will be determined by the heart and skill of their players, a little luck, and the intelligence of the GM. Last time I checked that was what professional sport was all about.

You want to know how long the lockout hangover will last in Edmonton ? - until the first real free agent signing comes down. Fans in Edmonton have been "locked out" for more than 10 years. A big move was signing a Steve Staios while we lost Weight, Arnott, Cujo, Geurin, etc. Now it will go the other way - we can't wait.

3) The ones that lose are the players - who take a pay cut and lose a years salary. Goodnow is done and he should be. His strategy of brinksmanship underestimated the resolve of the other side and was a mistake - it has cost his client's dearly and he should be fired.

I have to disagree with Jordan. I don't see that the players had a choice in agreeing now. The potential loss of another season, the further damage to revenue streams would only serve to reduce the revenue and they would lose more salary. If MLB owners knuckle under everytime that means that they have a problem (greed, Selig). It does not mean NHL players were wrong to agree when faced with a much better prepared adversary.
TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#122680) #
The market cap of the NFL teams, relative to their revenue stream is far higher than the NBA, NHL, or MLB.

According to my Forbes data, it's a ratio of 2.2 for NHL, 2.3 for MLB, 3.0 for NBA, and 4.4 for NFL.

The price to sales ratio should be quite stable among the 4 sports, since we expect the margins to be about the same, and by extension the price to earnings ratio. However, the NFL's margins are much higher. Since the NFL ratio is twice what it should be, this tells me the teams are earning twice as much as they should. How is that? The money that should go to the players is actually going to the teams.

Using the Forbes data, the market cap for the avg NFL team is 733, while the revenue is 167 million. MLB is 295 and 129. Let's assume that MLB teams are earning 10 million$ a year (8% a year). That makes the P/E ratio for MLB at 295:10 or 29.5. To maintain the same P/E ratio, NFL teams are earning 25 million$ each. If they were earning 8%, they should actually only earn 13 million$ each.

So, the NFL teams are earning an extra 12 million$ each a year that they probably are taking from the players' pockets. The net result is a market cap that is far higher than their peers.

I fully expect that the NHL market caps to shoot up to the 3.0 level ratio. The Forbes data is giving me 163 million in market cap and 75 million in revenue. I expect the revenue to drop to 65 million$, but a price/sales ratio of 3 makes the market cap of the avg team to be 195 million$.

That's right. The teams will have increased the value of each franchise by 32 million$ each, even though their revenue will decrease by 10 million$. Such is the power of improving your margins. Heck, the NHL's revenue can drop all the way down to 55 million$, and the franchise values will still be the same. (Assuming the 3:1 ratio turns out to be the truth)
TangoTiger - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#122687) #
It's also worth nothing that the spread in franchise values is much narrower in the NFL and NBA than MLB and NHL. Here's how I think the franchise values will change:
Rank 	Team 	     Current Value new Value	Diff	% diff
1	New York Rangers 	282	 322 	 40 	14%
2	Toronto Maple Leafs 	280	 319 	 39 	14%
3	Philadelphia Flyers 	264	 295 	 31 	12%
4	Dallas Stars    	259	 288 	 29 	11%
5	Detroit Red Wings 	248	 274 	 26 	10%
6	Colorado Avalanche 	246	 275 	 29 	12%
7	Boston Bruins    	236	 264 	 28 	12%
8	Montreal Canadiens 	195	 234 	 39 	20%
9	Los Angeles Kings 	193	 219 	 26 	14%
10	Chicago Blackhawks 	178	 198 	 20 	11%
11	Minnesota Wild   	163	 190 	 27 	16%
12	New York Islanders 	160	 179 	 19 	12%
13	Tampa Bay Lightning 	150	 205 	 55 	37%
14	San Jose Sharks 	149	 186 	 37 	25%
15	Vancouver Canucks 	148	 185 	 37 	25%
16	St Louis Blues  	140	 170 	 30 	21%
17	Columbus Blue Jackets 	139	 169 	 30 	22%
18	Phoenix Coyotes 	136	 155 	 19 	14%
19	Ottawa Senators 	125	 166 	 41 	33%
20	New Jersey Devils 	124	 154 	 30 	24%
21	Florida Panthers 	121	 151 	 30 	24%
22	Calgary Flames  	116	 161 	 45 	39%
23	Washington Capitals 	115	 148 	 33 	29%
24	Nashville Predators 	111	 141 	 30 	27%
25	Ducks of Anaheim 	108	 135 	 27 	25%
26	Atlanta Thrashers 	106	 141 	 35 	33%
27	Edmonton Oilers 	104	 134 	 30 	29%
28	Buffalo Sabres  	103	 128 	 25 	24%
29	Pittsburgh Penguins 	101	 128 	 27 	27%
30	Carolina Hurricanes 	100	 128 	 28 	28%
Total wealth created? 940 million$. Funny, that's how much salaries the players lost last year.
Jordan - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#122690) #
Ducey, as a fellow Oilers fan, I feel the pain.

All I'll say about whether the players should have held out longer is that the end of the NHL would not have to mean the end of professional hockey. The players threw together a fairly shaky-looking proposal for an alternate league a few months ago, and while I think their proposal was hurried and had a lot of problems, the fundamental idea has merit.

If the NHL collapsed, municipalities with debt-heavy stadiums would be eager to cut deals to get teams in their arenas, and there'd be no shortage of investors willing to fork out a sum of money for a smaller but better-run league -- wasn't some investment group willing to buy the whole damn league and turn it into the hockey equivalent of Arena Football?

I don't want to underestimate the efforts or the risks involved in that kind of approach -- but if the players had had real vision and strategy going into this showdown, and had been willing to break some eggs, I think they might have done very well for themselves. Not that they're going to be panhandling anytime soon, mind you....
Paul D - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#122693) #
Ducey, the reason the Oilers consistently lose has nothing to do with their salaries, but with the fact that they're run by a bunch of incompetents who don't know what they're doing.
Who was the last draft pick they drafted that was any good.. Ryan Smith?

Look at the Senators. Very similar restrictions to the Flames and Oilers, but they are managed reasonably well. The Stanley Cup Finals have seen teams like Tampa Bay, Calgary, Carolina, Anaheim... these are not large hockey markets.

Salary cap or no cap, the Oilers will still be terrible, as long as they don't know how to manage a team.
StephenT - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#122694) #
Wouldn't it be interesting if one team decided to install a European sized sheet of ice?

Absolutely. Bill James had some great comments on standardization in an interview earlier this year:

"Major league baseball—and all sports—would be far better off if they would permit teams to do more to make one park distinctive from another—even so far as making the bases 85 feet apart in one park and 95 in another. Standardization is an evil idea. ...
... People forget that into the 1960s, NBA basketball courts were not all the same size--and the NBA would be a far better game today if they had never standardized the courts. ...
Standardization destroys the ability to adapt. Take the high mounds of the 1960s ... suppose that the rules allowed some reasonable variation in the height of the pitching mound? What would have happened then would have been that, in the mid-1990s, when the hitting numbers began to explode, teams would have begun to push their pitching mounds up higher in order to offset the hitting explosion. The game would have adapted naturally to prevent the home run hitters from entirely having their own way. Standardization leads to rigidity, and rigidity causes things to break."
I might even go further and allow teams to have different rules in their own stadium (subject to some approval process, e.g. a majority of other teams, and of player reps, has to have approved it).
Wildrose - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#122695) #
This ESPN link is pretty solid in terms of analyzing what the new landscape will look like.

Wildrose - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#122696) #
What a time to be an NHL G.M.

-Decide which guys to pick in the entry draft?

-Determine which contracts you buy out during the one time amnesty period?

-Which of your own restricted free agents do you sign?

-Who will be available as a free agent?

-Do you wait and see how the market reacts and try to pick up bargains at the end of the signing frenzy?

-Will the nature of the game change? Do you sign skill guys or defensive grinders? Will the rule changes mean a whole new style of Hockey?

-Is it better to sign players long term vs. short term? Which way will the market go?

-When do you sign young players and start their free agency clock ticking?

-Will young Euro stars stay home and should you pick them?

Wow, what a time to follow hockey hot stove conversations.
Andrew K - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#122707) #
I am singularly ill-equipped to comment on Hockey as I know absolutely nothing about the game, except that it is played on ice. In the UK it's below the radar.

But I do have one observation. Any league system where 20 out of 30 teams make the playoffs is... stupid. Just daft.
Mike D - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#122708) #
Andrew K, it used to be 16 out of 21.
Magpie - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#122711) #
Any league system where 20 out of 30 teams make the playoffs is... stupid.

It's not quite that bad - I think it's actually 16 out of 30. Once upon a time, of course, it was 16 out of 21. I kid you not.

The rule changes: a lot of the usual weird tinkering. I always wanted to see two old rule changes reversed.

1) The Montreal Canadiens rule. The Habs power play was so overwhelming in the late 1950s, that they changed the rules on them - once a team scored on a power play, the penalized player was allowed to return. Let's go back - make him sit out the entire penalty, no matter what happens.

2) The coincidental majors. This started up in the early 60s, and paved the way for the Broad Street Bullies, in my opinion. It made fighting something that had nothing to do with the game - designated fighters would fight and go to the penalty box and the game would carry on as if nothing had happened. Well, let' see everybody play 4 on 4 for five minutes. It'll be better hockey, and it will almost certainly also have the happy bonus effect of reducing the meaningless fighting.

Ducey - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#122712) #
Paul D

I agree that Edmonton's drafting has not been good but, with respect, you miss the point. Under the old system how long would Calgary, Tampa Bay, Ottawa etc. be able to keep competing? Not long. Calgary had 1 year left before Iginla left. Then he would have played for the Leaf's or Avalanche or Red Wings. Ottawa was facing a similar problem.

How has Detroit's farm system done? Look at all the prospects surging through the Leaf's system (not). Dallas. St. Louis. Yet these teams don't have to worry about it because they could just load up on free agents drafted by other teams.

My point is that Edmonton, in the unlikely event they do draft someone good ought to be able to keep him rather than know that they only have him for a few years. Heck, maybe they can even sign a guy.

If there was a fair playing field the Oiler's would have been able to keep some of their great players who may not have been drafted, but were developed in Edmonton. Weight, Arnott (who was draft), Gerien, Cujo, Ninimaa, made a nice core of a team.

Good drafing can make up for a lack of money (for a while anyway) but it should not have to.
Andrew K - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#122714) #
16 out of 21, unbelievable.

I didn't think they had settled on the playoff format, but one of those articles linked was saying 20 out of 30. The thing is, to me and probably most Europeans, it's impossible to take the sport seriously when the league itself becomes so meaningless. It genuinely puts me right off ever trying to watch or understand the game.

The closest we get in the UK is either the playoffs in the lower football leagues (the top two teams, out of 24, are always promoted and teams 3-6 play off for the final promotion spot) or the rugby league finals, where about 5 out of 12 qualify for a knockout, but teams placed higher in the league have to receive byes in the knockout. And both systems come in for a lot of criticism here.
Cristian - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#122716) #
The thing is, to me and probably most Europeans, it's impossible to take the sport seriously when the league itself becomes so meaningless.

The one thing that drives me insane about soccer is that a team will often qualify for a championship to be held in the following year! So by the time the championship is held, the team that is competing is often vastly different from the team that qualified. Of course, there is even the chance that your team will compete against some of the very same players who helped you qualify for the tournament? Don't get me wrong, I love soccer. But its tournament rules are even battier than a league where twenty out of thirty teams advance to the playoffs.

Cristian - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#122717) #
I found some details on the NHL's new playoff system...

Anchor 1: [right side] Hi there. I'm Dan Patrick.

Anchor 2: [left side] And I'm Kenny Mayne.

Patrick: With the first seven months of the baseketball post-season out of the way, the playoff picture is now starting to emerge.

Mayne: So, with last night's victory over Boston, next week the Beers must beat Indianapolis in order to advance to Charlotte. That's in an effort to reduce their magic number down to three.

Patrick: Right, and then... the Beers can advance to the National Eastern Division North to play Tampa.

Mayne: So if the Beers beat Detroit and Denver beats Atlanta in the American Southwestern Division East Northern, then Milwaukee goes to the Denslow Cup. Unless Baltimore can upset Buffalo and Charlotte ties Toronto, then Oakland would play L.A. and Pittsburgh in a blind choice Round Robin. And if new clear winner emerges from all this, a two-man sack race will be held on consecutive Sundays until a champion is crowned.
Pistol - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#122719) #
The price to sales ratio should be quite stable among the 4 sports, since we expect the margins to be about the same, and by extension the price to earnings ratio.

Why would the ratios be similar across the sports? Isn't that like saying all beverage stocks should have the same ratios?

StephenT - Thursday, July 14 2005 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#122726) #
The 20-team playoff system is actually more favorable to the top teams than the 16-team system was.

The bottom 8 of the 20 (including 4 of the former 16) have to play a best-of-3 series to advance while the top 12 get a week off.

So in their first round the 1 and 2 seeds in each conference will get to play a weakened opponent which has already redeemed itself to its fans.

This is actually a little like the change a lot of us want to the baseball playoff system: make winning the division more important by diluting the wildcard (e.g. have 4 wildcard teams playoff against each other for the former wildcard spot while the division winners get a few days off to set up their pitching).
King Ryan - Friday, July 15 2005 @ 02:53 AM EDT (#122775) #
As for the game on the ice, I think the one thing it desperately needs are larger ice surfaces. A contact sport, played at high speed - but the players are way, way bigger and are moving way, way faster than they were 40 years ago (partially because shifts now last 40 seconds instead of 120.) Wouldn't it be interesting if one team decided to install a European sized sheet of ice?

Well, of course--changing the rink size is just completely unfeasable. Won't happen. Too much money. So what do you do? If you can't make the rinks bigger, what's the alternative? You make the players smaller. Oh, not the players themselves. Just the amount of them.

Four-on-four hockey, baby. All the time. It will free up more space on the ice, it will make the game faster, it will create more odd-man rushes, it will make the game more entertaining, and it will result in more goals. Last year, when teams played 4-on-4 overtime, those 5 minutes of extra hockey were almost always the best five minutes of the game. That's what you need to do.

All this shit about changing the net size and crap is just completely missing the point. The NHL seems to think that the problem with hockey is a lack of goals. This is crap. The problem with hockey isn't a lack of goals, it's a lack of scoring chances. Some of the most exciting hockey games end 1-0. It's the games where the shots on goal are 19-11 that put you to sleep. With all this shit about the red line and the net size and the goalie equipment size and blah blah, you might increase scoring, but it will still be dull.

In essence, you will turn a boring 2-1 game into a boring 4-3 game. Yippee.

Oh well, I'm still excited about hockey's return. If the Canucks lose Nazzy I will cry.

Lugnut Fan - Friday, July 15 2005 @ 05:04 AM EDT (#122777) #
I have really fallen away from being an NHL fan. I got to follow the OHL quite a bit with lockout and all. I attend a few Saginaw Spirit games a year and if they ever gain a playoff spot, I think it would be nothing short of a miracle.
Tom L - Friday, July 15 2005 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#122780) #
Lugnut Fan,
Don't worry about Saginaw because they just acquired a kid by the name of Ryan McDonough. Not the biggest kid, but he is going to be a superstar. Ke still put up decent rookie points this year despite the lack of ice team. Real nice trade for them.
Lugnut Fan - Friday, July 15 2005 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#122781) #
Is that the kid from Sudbury?
TangoTiger - Thursday, July 21 2005 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#123388) #
More interesting details from the CBA. For example, Pierre Lebrun of CP says:

Floating Cap

The upper limit on the salary cap for 2005-06 will be $39 million US while the minimum floor will be at $21.5 million, based on projected revenues of $1.7 billion.

That last part is key. Remember, this projection is based on revenues of 03-04 minus 20%. So, the salary cap of 39 million based on 1.7 billion means that it would be 48 million based on 2.1 billion.

This is a far cry from the 31 that Bettman opened negotiations with, but very close to the 49 or 52 that the NHLPA wanted.

Free Agency

Liberalized unrestricted free agency: Drops from 31 to 29 next summer or any player with eight years of NHL experience - with 2004-05 wiped-out season counting in service time; For summer of 2007, unrestricted free agency is age 28 or seven years' experience; summer of 2008 and onwards it's age 27 or seven years of experience.

This is a big deal. At first, we were led to believe that service years would only kick in at the end. Now, it kicks in next year. This means Joe Thornton and Lecavalier are UFA next year.


I believe that the whole deal is fair. The biggest problem with any kind of cap system is the hiding of the revenue. But, if the legal-beagles of the NHLPA are fine with it, then the players should be fine with it.

I can't wait for a Cubs-like ticket scam to start. Or, selling cable rights for 1 dollar to its parent company. We've already seen what Jacobs did in Boston (sold the luxury suites to a company owned by... Jacobs).

Otherwise, I like the deal.

smcs - Thursday, July 21 2005 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#123434) #
It also means that Jarome Iginla will be a UFA after next season and has yet to be signed for this upcoming season. The Flames are looking to sign him long-term (obviously) but I haven't heard how long he wants to sign for. Under the new system, Calgary might be the only place that is able to offer him the amount of money he wants/deserves.
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