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The $10 Million Player


radoran

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I've kicked this around in the shoutbox and also on a few other threads here but I think the whole phenomenon of the $10M player deserves its own thread. I'm looking to start a conversation and so here we go...

 IMO, teams are paying right now for PAST performance, which is a fool's errand.

Have the Pens had unbridled success since locking up Crosby/Malkin? How many Cups has Ovechkin brought the Caps? Of the seven players making $10M+ this season three have won Cups and none of them were paid $10M at the time they won. Next season ten players will be paid $10M or more. Five have won Cups and, again, none were paid $10M at the time they won. The other five have never been to the Conference Final. Two of them (Voracek, O'Reilly) have one playoff round apiece over the past three years. (This is "salary" and not "cap hit").

There are precious few - if any - players that are actually worth 14% of their team's salary cap.

Patrick Kane - on track for 50 goals and 118 points at this point - is probably that guy. Now, he just needs to produce at that level for seven more years. Yes, the % of cap will likely drop over that time frame. But he's being paid to produce like that for seven more years.

Jonathan Toews is on track for 32 goals and 65 points this season. That's a nice total and he brings the "intangibles" that are much ballyhooed. But it's not a $10.5M player for me. It's great that he's won three Cups for Chicago and, yes, the Hawks are leading the West as we speak. But, then again, so are the Caps in the East with five more points in three fewer games.

It's great that they locked up their two stars, but with two players making thirty percent of the cap how sustainable is that in a post-Lockout II league where you can't get a Marian Hossa for $7.9M for seven years and then pay him $8M (total) over the next five seasons so he's got a $5.25M cap number. Or a Duncan Keith for $7.5M-$8M for six years at a $5.5M cap hit. Is it any wonder the Hawks were as successful over the past five years when they've been one of the most egregious cap circumventers over that period?*

Anze Kopitar - on pace for 25 goals and 70 points - is not a $10M player. Using that metric nineteen players last season "deserve" $10M+. Oddly enough, none of those players last season were Anze Kopitar (16 goals, 64points). If the league has gotten to a point where a 60-70 point player is getting $10M - even with actual additions like strong faceoff performance (53% over the past five years) - then we've learned absolutely nothing from two lockouts and may as well just get along with the third.

I think the Kings are going to be regretting this deal in three years, to say nothing of five and certainly not EIGHT when the centerpiece of the Kings will be a 36-year-old Anze Kopitar making $10M. No, really.

I know the first question is "well, what should they do? Player X is the key to the team!". Well, to that I say addressing a short term need with a long term problem isn't a recipe for success.** If the player is that good then you should be able to get a very solid return on him from another team. High draft picks and good young prospects. Then build a new winner the same way you built the old one.

If another team isn't willing to offer that then I question how "essential" the player is in the first place.

What would you have given up from your favorite team to get Anze Kopitar??

And, lastly, just because some damn fool is willing to offer a player that amount of money isn't, to me, an indication that that player is worth that money for that term.***

Runaway salaries and ridiculous contracts are what has cost us a season and a half of hockey in the past decade. And it appears that the "fiscally responsible" owners who forced that upon us have learned nothing from the experience.

</soapbox>

 

* that said, if circumvention by itself was a guaranteed pathway to a Cup, there would have been a parade down Broad Street (or two) by now...

** again, ask any Flyer fan about the "must have" goalie

*** see, Lecavalier, Vincent (Flyers) or MacDonald, Andrew (Flyers)

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This is interesting and you make great unassailable points.

I don't know why Anze is worth 10 million a year, he is a very good almost great hockey player.  He has played in all situations, though i don't know if he still kills penalties i remember him doing so at one point.  

I don't know why any athlete is worth 10 million a year regardless of sport ,  i understand the civic pride blabitty blah blah and all that, but really having a 11th man on an NBA team making 1.75 million a year for playing 4 minutes a night is just as outrageous as Anze making 10 a year for leading his team.

billionaires are the worst.

 

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@mojo1917

To be clear, I like Kopitar. I think as you say he is a good, borderline great player.

If he had signed Voracek's deal, I think that's  about in line with what he is worth to a team.

But, like Voracek, I just think the amount for the term is absurd and that he is being paid for HAVING gotten two Cups in LA not because he WILL win more.

And I think his $10M will make it harder to put the team around him that would make it possible. 

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Does a Kane add 10 million dollars to the bottom line of a team?  Or at least,  close to 10 million, without blowing the cap all to hell.

If so, then OK.  

If not, then the owners have let their ego get in the way of sound decisions.  Wouldn't be the first time.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, radoran said:

And I think his $10M will make it harder to put the team around him that would make it possible. 

well it certainly puts a lot of pressure on your scouting department.

a lot of pressure...combined with picking late in the first round year after year where you're lucky to find top six/four talent let alone "franchise guys" to keep on an entry level deal.

 

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12 minutes ago, radoran said:

@mojo1917

To be clear, I like Kopitar. I think as you say he is a good, borderline great player.

If he had signed Voracek's deal, I think that's  about in line with what he is worth to a team.

But, like Voracek, I just think the amount for the term is absurd and that he is being paid for HAVING gotten two Cups in LA not because he WILL win more.

And I think his $10M will make it harder to put the team around him that would make it possible. 

Kopitar and Toews are close in value. Does all this apply to Toews as well?

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1 hour ago, J0e Th0rnton said:

Kopitar and Toews are close in value. Does all this apply to Toews as well?

Well, I do think Toews brings more in the "intangibles" and "leadership" departments  but I clearly state in the first post I don't think he's worth $10M.

Chicago is payjng him for HAVING wonk not because he's more likely to win going forward.

IMO

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14 hours ago, J0e Th0rnton said:

Kopitar and Toews are close in value. Does all this apply to Toews as well?

They are? This is where, IMHO the mistake is made. There is no comparison in terms of value to the team between Toews and Kopitar. Toews is a leader. He is more valuable for his heart and his character than for goals or assists. If there is a $10M man in the NHL, he's it. It's not about numbers to me, it's about heart.

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