Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Does A Hard Salary Cap Really Matter?

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

For despite the perception that adoption of the hard cap has created a league-wide utopia of parity, the reality is there have been as many, if not more, chronic ne’er-do-wells in seven years under this system as existed in the NHL’s uncapped world.

Ten of the league’s 30 teams have not so much as won a playoff round in six years of cap tournaments, an increase of three teams when compared to the six seasons immediately leading into the lockout.

What’s more, over the last four playoffs, seven teams have accounted for 78 percent of the playoff series victories as opposed to the final four tournaments preceding the cancelled season during which 11 teams accounted for 76 percent of series victories.

The cap lowered the bar, there is no doubt about that, though organizations such as the Bruins, Red Wings, Canucks, Penguins and Flyers — all of which have gone about it slightly differently — have managed to attain a consistent level of excellence even allowing for the obstacles presented by the collective bargaining agreement.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Evilpens's avatar

Shorter version from the Senile one “Oh if the Rags could just spend like govt. & still barely Make the playoffs”

Posted by Evilpens on 01/29/12 at 11:38 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Never been a Brooks follower, but the statistical backup for his argument against the cap is intriguing.

I hate the damn thing, for obvious reasons.

In the pre-cap days, poorly performing teams that didn’t spend much could claim they didn’t have the means to be competitive.

Now, what is their excuse?

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 01/29/12 at 11:46 AM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Amateurish, clown franchises will continue to be clown franchises, no matter what salary structure is imposed upon them or what city they play in.  Imposing the cap didn’t make the guys running the joke franchises any smarter, or make the guys running the good franchises any dumber.  If anything, it raised the stakes . . . teams that tend to make dumb decisions free agent wise now have a harder time getting over them, giving teams that spend wisely another advantage.

Posted by Savage Henry on 01/29/12 at 11:48 AM ET


The hard cap is the best thing to happen to the league. Instead of having only 5 teams with star players we now have 20 teams. I fully expect fans of those five to whine about it, but the rest of us love It!!!

Posted by timbits on 01/29/12 at 08:51 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Posted by Savage Henry on 01/29/12 at 09:48 AM ET


Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 01/29/12 at 09:16 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

The cap makes it important for good teams to not only have good players but good management.  Teams like Columbus who spend a lot of money are still crappy because their management sucks.  The Wings spend but management knows what its doing so they have good teams.  You can’t just spend your way to a good team anymore like the Yankees do in baseball.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/29/12 at 10:22 PM ET



In a sport where the revenue and growth are so lopsided toward two teams, the hard cap is a necessary safeguard against the runaway inflation the Leafs and Rags would cause in an uncapped world.

A couple people seem to think the Red Wings would be ‘haves’ in an uncapped system, probably because they used to be haves before. Well, the Maple Leafs weren’t 6 times their size before. Their relationship to Toronto would be a Royals/Yankees one, not a sox/Yankees one.

To illustrate how great the disparity between Toronto and everyone else is, I’ll just point out that Toronto could finance a second cap-max team that generated $0 revenue and still finish first among NHL clubs in overall profit. MLSE is worth more Money and has more cash on hand than the bottom 29 teams COMBINED.

If the new competitive spending threshold became $120 million (the Leafs could actually get close to $200 mil before they saw a drop of red), the Red Wings would have to lose a whopping $30 million dollars per year trying to win.

Posted by larry from pitt on 01/29/12 at 10:41 PM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Considering the relevant ownership, I think it’s appropriate to expect a Wings/Leafs relationship to be like a Tigers/Yankees one more than a Royals/Yankees one.  Still not on par, but not as skewed as it could be.

Posted by Savage Henry on 01/29/12 at 11:15 PM ET


There is no “hard” cap. If you have money to waste and you are in the Redden, you can just Finger a player to the AHL for relief.  Teams on the lower end of the cap now have to pay at a higher level that keeps them spending good money after bad instead of becoming fiscally sound.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 01/31/12 at 01:08 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


Recommended Sportsbook