Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
So with the U.S. economy swooning and a number of NHL team owners facing uncertain and potentially tumultuous futures – some investment bankers say they figure at least a dozen NHL franchises are on the market, either officially or otherwise – what are the chances BlackBerry co-creator Jim Balsillie might land a franchise in the near future?
Not good, current owners say.
While Balsillie’s battle is sometimes viewed as a one-on-one against NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the reality, according to at least four NHL owners interviewed, is that Balsillie has annoyed many of the 30 team owners and probably wouldn’t be approved as an owner even if he was willing to overpay for a team.
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
Many of those deals will be for terms that were once unfathomable - with seven to 10 years the going rate for a star player in the prime of his career. One thing that obviously hasn’t changed under the new system is the mentality of GMs to get the player now and damn the cost to the franchise later.
Which brings us to the question, what exactly is going to happen to all these long-term deals once the current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2011-12 season?
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Don’t look now, but the rules on signing some unrestricted free agents and the accounting principles associated with the salary cap have changed significantly for the coming season and it could make life a lot more difficult for some teams, as in not having as much salary cap room as they perhaps first thought….
...there is a clause in the CBA that says in the final year of the contract - this one coming up - there is no provision permitted for the Performance Bonus Cushion.
And what exactly does that mean and why should we care?
Basically, the performance bonus “cushion” allows teams to exceed the salary cap number if it’s on earned performance bonuses and defer it against the next year’s salary cap. Now, this season, that cannot happen.
From Puck Daddy at Yahoo! Sports,
The last two weeks have seen rumors surface just about every day about every single free agent, just like they have at every trade deadline and summer free-agent frenzy in recent memory. Here are some of the best of the worst rumors we, as hockey fans, have had to digest and regurgitate over the last several years:
read the list for some entertainingly-bogus rumors
Incidentally, that list reminded me of that “Ryan Smyth signs with Edmonton” deal erroneously reported on Sportsnet in 2007. Quite the screw-up that was, so here’s a flashback of the day from Chris Zelkovich in the Toronto Star:
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If the cap increases approximately 7 to 10 percent annually, it will hit nearly $74M in 2011-12, which will be the final year of the CBA once the PA exercises its option to extend through that season.
In other words, no need to worry about signing players to long-term deals when there’s going to be a lockout and amnesty buyout period after four more seasons, anyway.
read on plus some UFA talk…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that they’ve “never seen it so quiet” before the NHL free-agency period begins because teams are worried they’ll be charged with tampering if they engage in anything that can be construed as contract discussions before Tuesday at noon.
While agents have always tried to get a handle on the unrestricted market before July 1, sources say Bettman told the GMs during a meeting at the Stanley Cup final in Detroit that if he caught somebody tampering, the team involved “would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
also from Garrioch,
Some executives aren’t happy. Sources say during a meeting last month at the Stanley Cup final in Detroit, NHL GMs unloaded on commissioner Gary Bettman because the cap has forced some of them to spend to the floor, irritating their stingy owners.
“We’re going to spend like crazy because we have to do that to compete,” said a league executive. “We’re still going to have empty seats and we’re going to have to battle to make the playoffs. (Bettman) sits there and everything rolls off him. He’s got Teflon skin, this guy.”
more on the UFA period…
from the Regina Leader-Post,
Mick McGeough is hanging up his striped shirt, but he’s keeping his skates on ice.
The veteran referee, who’s retiring after 20 NHL seasons, has accepted a newly created mentoring position with the league’s officials association. As a result, McGeough will be back in the fold—and back on the ice—in September when NHL referees and linesmen convene for their annual training camp.
From Scott Cullen at TSN,
While the unrestricted free agent market garners most of the attention, this summer could finally present the time for NHL general managers to actually put the collective bargaining agreement to work, using offer sheets to acquire restricted free agent talent.
Yes, the Edmonton Oilers took a lot of heat for making such offers last year—falling prey to that all-too-common hockey mishap of not knowing “The Code”—it’s about time NHL general managers played with some competitive fire when assembling their teams; the kind of fire that fans expect from the team on the ice.
Includes a chart clarifying RFA compensation dollar amounts, and a look at potential targets for offer sheets around the league.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Things sure changed in a hurry – and you wonder if the hard salary cap of $42.5 million offered by the players association just before commissioner Gary Bettman pulled the plug on the 2004-05 season wouldn’t look good to half-a-dozen teams, who now see the gap between haves and have-nots rising again every day.
In four years, the ceiling has grown from $39 million to $44 million to $50.3 million to $56.7 million, the figure jointly announced by the NHL and the players association Thursday. Not many teams want to disclose their bottom lines, but you can be sure based on all those empty seats in Phoenix and Nashville and elsewhere in the southern United States, a lot of teams in non-traditional markets are still operating in the red, even though they achieved their much-vaunted “cost certainty” in the bitter negotiations that characterized this current labor agreement.
Sources tell TSN that for the 2008-09 season, the salary cap will rise to a maximum of $56.7-million. That is a $6.4-million increase from this past season when the cap was set at $50.3-million.
The lower limit also rose to $40.7 million, the minimum each of the 30 teams must spend on player salaries.
The most an NHL player can earn in a new contract next season is $11.34 million a year.
added 2:43pm, NEW YORK/TORONTO (June 26, 2008) – The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2008-09 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $40.7 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $48.7 million and an Upper Limit of $56.7 million.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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