Kukla's Korner

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Not Like The Old Days

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

Free agency ain’t what it used to be. There was a time when it was known for big teams and big dollars and big names – like that summer when the Detroit Red Wings traded for Dominik Hasek, signed Luc Robitaille and later signed Brett Hull, too, bloating their payroll to around $65 million.

That was 13 years ago.

Today there is a new system and another dynamic. Teams tend to lock up their best players, so stars rarely make it to the open market. No one can spend more than $69 million because of the salary cap, but everyone must spend at least $51 million because of the salary floor. A few teams are strapped because the cap figure came in a little lower than expected for 2014-15, but many have millions to throw at a few free agents when the market opens at noon Tuesday.

The NHL is more competitive than ever before. Free agency is more competitive than ever before. On a league-wide financial level, the owners are protected because they can’t spend more than 50 percent of revenues. If they overspend, they get back money held out of the players’ checks in escrow. But within the planned economy, more teams are involved in the bidding wars. The free agents have more options.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


d ca's avatar

The Wings payroll prior to the Lockout (the one to get the salary cap) in ‘03-‘04 was $77.856M then, but it is equivalent to around $90M in today’s money (using a CPI chart).

The next year their payroll dropped 49.16%.

But remember those declining ticket prices Gary Bettman promised, those more than made up the decline in talent to Wings fans.

Posted by d ca on 06/30/14 at 10:46 PM ET

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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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