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NHL's proposal would hurt big-market teams


Irishjim
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Well, the NHL owners have countered.

Their latest proposal eases up on the machete-like pay cuts the league had initially asked the players to take. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be an across-the-board rollback of players’ salaries, and nor should there be.

However, if I’m an NHL general manager of a large-market, free-spending team, then I’d better start pinching a few pennies along the way. The revised proposal calls for a reduction in salary cap from $70.2 million to $58 million, or an estimated 17.5 percent cutback. If that number holds when a new CBA is eventually reached, according to capgeek.com, 16 teams (more than half the league) would currently be spending over the limit including the Flyers. For those less-than-thrifty GMs who have taken an “I’ll cross the bridge approach” when it’s time, be prepared to pay a hefty toll before even crossing that bridge.

For the Flyers and GM Paul Holmgren, only one hand would be tied. Holmgren wouldn’t have to absorb Chris Pronger’s nearly $5 million cap hit with the help of the long-term injury reserve exception, and if Andrej Meszaros was unfit to play when the season started, that’s another $4 million to shave off. From that, the Flyers could start the season under the $58 million threshold.

However, once Meszaros was deemed healthy, Holmgren would be forced to make a minor move or two. If amnesty is forced into play, then someone like Jody Shelley would become a likely candidate. Shelley saw action in only 30 games last season, and his impact as an enforcer was limited. Shelley could provide the Flyers with additional cap savings of $1.1 million.

For those fans of the Boston Bruins or the Minnesota Wild, you may be experiencing a shortness of breath. The B’s, for example, would be forced to take a hacksaw to their roster if they can’t unload goalie Tim Thomas. They would have to scale back by more than $10 million, a move made even more difficult because 10 of their 13 highest-paid players have some form of a no-trade clause.

While the Wild hit the Independence Day jackpot by landing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, they’re now in that unenviable position of having to trim significant salary as well. Even the Nashville Predators may have to re-think their strategy. While they’re currently spending just over $57 million, half of their roster will qualify for free agency next summer (six restricted, five unrestricted).

We’re nearly two rounds into the slugfest of negotiations, and one thing remains nearly certain: Gary Bettman appears determined to solidify the financial positions of the less fortunate, whether that’s in the form of revenue sharing or a significant reduction in the salary cap.

As a result, someone somehow will get punched in the gut in the process.

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Wow, just wow. Thus further illustrating the divide among owners. Shaving $12.2M off of the cap would definitely have a lot of GMs scrambling. I can't see the NHLPA accepting that. Maybe somewhere in between? And why have they continuously raised the cap year after year if it was becoming such a big issue. It's not like they were forced to do it. Ugh!

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@DinahMoeHumm Colour me skeptical. I still contend Betteman works for the top 8 money making teams. There is some sort of loophole, or some other negeioating agenda they have not shown yet. Mind you, the NHL proposal is the correct thing to do for the game, but the guys at the top are not gonna like this. If this is true, Bettman better get his resume updated!!

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@DinahMoeHumm Who knows, maybe the big money making owners got together and made a decison that is actually good for the league as a whole and not based on thier bottom line. I doubt it, but maybe they figured a stronger league will inevitably lead to more profit down the road....but that's not how big huge money corporations work, they step on the little guy (in the case the lesser lites of the NHL) and have not a second thought about it, and certainly no regrets....something does not add up here.

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The average spending of

@DinahMoeHumm Who knows, maybe the big money making owners got together and made a decison that is actually good for the league as a whole and not based on thier bottom line. I doubt it, but maybe they figured a stronger league will inevitably lead to more profit down the road....but that's not how big huge money corporations work, they step on the little guy (in the case the lesser lites of the NHL) and have not a second thought about it, and certainly no regrets....something does not add up here.

These aren't competing CORPORATIONS - they are TEAMS within the SAME LEAGUE. It's like saying it's beneficial for Comcast to have Comcast-Spectacor run a deal that screws over Comcast-NBC.*

Like it or not, expanding the game into new markets has given the league record revenues for the past (at least) three seasons.

You need to INVEST in new markets in order to make them profitable for your Corporation - that means adding TEAMS.

I'd be for contraction or, my preference in a perfect I-run-the-world, relegation system.

* in fact, there *might* be situations in which this specific thing occurs - but they are rare circumstances

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@radoran: I can totally see your point. And I absolutely agree with your statements about investing in new markets. Just like anything else, you're investing for the long term. It's just that it seems like the owners' side is going in so many different directions. Maybe just a product of disagreement? Could be. But it seems to me that a lot of them certainly don't have the same interests in mind. Your statement about them being teams within the same league is spot on. But at the end of the day you still have individual owners of individual teams who are looking out for their own best interests.I'm not saying I know the right answer. Heck I don't really have any answer at all that makes much sense to me. :mellow:

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@radoran: I can totally see your point. And I absolutely agree with your statements about investing in new markets. Just like anything else, you're investing for the long term. It's just that it seems like the owners' side is going in so many different directions. Maybe just a product of disagreement? Could be. But it seems to me that a lot of them certainly don't have the same interests in mind. Your statement about them being teams within the same league is spot on. But at the end of the day you still have individual owners of individual teams who are looking out for their own best interests.I'm not saying I know the right answer. Heck I don't really have any answer at all that makes much sense to me. :mellow:

Sure, individual owners will look out for their teams. I would expect directors of divisions to do the same thing.

But sometimes there are situations that you have to "take one for the team" - you have to lay off staff; you have to postpone that expansion; whatever.

Simply boiling it down to "whoever can spend the most money can and should" is not running a competitive sports league.

The most important thing in sport is the level playing field upon which it is played.

In a cap ceiling/floor environment, you have the ability to spend as much as other teams - or not. It's not a perfect system (nothing realy is) but for me it's better than watching teams paper over their incompetence because they have gobs of money or watching half the league simply not be able to compete.

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