Worth Missing Half the Season?
My first reaction when reading details of the newly agreed upon Collective Bargaining Agreement? Why wasn’t this agreed to months ago?
Everybody may not agree with me, but from the beginning this all seemed so predictable. NHL offers to split hockey related revenue right down the middle after news leaks of them hiring a marketing firm to create a spin strategy to make the league look better.
NHL first wanted a six-year CBA ten which suddenly increased to 10.
NHL wanted a five-year maximum on player contracts but eventually decided they could live with seven and eight year deals.
NHL originally wanted a 5% on contract variance which somehow climbed all the way up to 35%!
The $60 million cap limit in the 2013-2014 transition year boosted up to $64.3 million, the same number we saw in the final season of the previous deal.
I’ll stop there but is it safe to say this new system does little, if nothing, to help a chunk of the league that needed help financially?
The word partnership has suddenly disappeared, if anyone is able to track it down let me know.
Everyone will read 50/50 split on HRR as well as increased revenue sharing and assume this is a great deal for a majority of owners. I have trouble seeing it that way.
By limiting contract term, the players are in essence protecting owners from themselves.
With a 50-game schedule the owners will save about 60% of the season while raking in about 70% of revenue. Most clubs earn the majority of their revenue after January 1st. Add the playoffs and a lot of these teams will have the ability to recover nearly all of the financial damage they’ve lost. All this while paying players only 50 games worth of their contract.
Not a bad deal if you can get it.
The agreed to contract length (7 yrs with new team, 8 yrs to re-sign with own club) will force a new team to overpay market value to overcome the difference in term. Don’t expect the new contract limits to chill the market. I don’t see how the new CBA will change how GM’s negotiate 99% of contracts.
This was designed to prevent back diving deals. Few of these max contracts in the new agreement will take a player beyond 40 years of age. If you’re an elite player at 25, chances are your still going to be a very good player at 32 or 33 which prevents a major disparity in salary from year to year.
If a team is offering a player $7 million over eight years to keep an asset, the new team must find a way to match or beat the dollars, with less term, to win the player.
While we do see an increase in revenue sharing dollars is it enough to make a difference? It’s questionable when you consider major markets such as Dallas, Anaheim, New York (Islanders), and New Jersey are now eligible.
Big markets struggle with the fact they can’t keep all the money they generate for themselves. Big teams pay a price for the ability to sign and keep the best players. They’re responsible for selling the game to fans and driving up revenues. The NHL can be a good business for these owners because it’s a long-term business. Sometimes they fail to realize they make their money because they have a league to play in. The goal shouldn’t be to run teams out of business but rather keep teams in business.
We live in reality and in this case the top revenue teams have to assist lower teams. Most clubs, rich and poor, have similar operating costs. Some may spend differently but the operating costs of operating an NHL club are very close.
Again can someone explain why half the season was wasted while severely damaging the image of the NHL?
And some still want to claim a winner or loser in the race. Hard to pick a winner when so many lives, in and out of hockey, have been affected. This shouldn’t be about trying to shove it up the other’s backside to get a better deal. Not when you have to work with these people the following week.
Look for the NHLPA to draft a 30 page “Memorandum of Understanding” to distribute to the players. This is designed to bring them up to speed on the new deal before they vote.
How will players who signed under the old system impact the contract value under the new CBA? It’s a new world with different economics isn’t it?
How about all player’s, excluding those on entry level contracts, now receive their own hotel room on the road. NHL players used to need 600 games to get their own room.
UFA’s cannot negotiate new contracts until both sides ratify deal.
The NHLPA met over the last six days from 9:00 am to at least 1:30 am to help secure a deal. Some meetings were internal, others face to face.
The quicker both sides ratify the deal the more likely we end up with a 50-game season. A five to seven day training camp is plenty of time to get your team prepared to play.
The St. Louis Blues have lots of returning players along with some younger players in Ian Cole and Jaden Schwartz vying for full-time roster spots.
It will be interesting to learn how deep the Blues training camp roster goes. How many AHL players in Peoria will GM Doug Armstrong look to invite to camp?
Head Coach Ken Hitchcock is quick to tell me don’t assume anything when entering this type of territory. Every player is at a different stage. Some have played 40 games, others have played zero. Camp will be used to get guys up to speed on conditioning, timing, and whatever systems you want to install.
Hitchcock wants “quality over quantity” with his players. If a player is used to playing 20 minutes but can only give you 15 at the start then you adjust your way into the schedule.
A shortened schedule means teams will have to move on, both from wins and losses, quickly. Little time to enjoy wins or agonize over defeats when you’re playing four games in a week. Similar to what we see in the playoffs, can’t over react to the god or the bad.
Training camp will be held at Scottrade Center with practices open to the public.
I would expect the Blues to quickly look to extend the contract of GM Doug Armstrong
Talks with Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk will likely pick up where they left off when the lockout began.
Ian Cole will likely get the first shot at playing with Pietrangelo but Kris Russell and Barret Jackman could get a look as well. The coaching staff likes Russell with Roman Polak and Jackman and Shattenkirk showed good chemistry last season so the preferable option is to leave the other pairings alone.
Jeff Woywitka has lots of NHL experience as well.
Chris Stewart is leaving Germany tonight to return to St. Louis.
The Blues appear to be injury free entering camp…It’s been a month since Polak (CZE) returned from an ankle injury, Alex Steen (SWE) returned about six weeks ago from a quad injury.
Vladimir Tarasenko has a NHL contract and will be in camp.
I’m hosting a one-hour NHL special tonight beginning at 7:00 on am 590 in St. Louis. Gm Doug Armstrong joins me.
More to come,
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