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Pittsburgh, the logical choice for Parise and Suter?

If Pittsburgh wasn’t already doing a hard sell on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s agents, Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika just penned one for ‘em, imagining what Cotsonika called a dynasty-in-the-making team truly evolving into just that with this summer’s marquee free agents choosing what he seems to believe is the only logical place for either to play:

If you’re Zach Parise or Ryan Suter, is there anywhere you’d rather play than Pittsburgh? The Penguins can take a run at the top two UFAs on the market, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. (Getty)Let’s see. You could be paid well. If you’re Parise, you could be the long-awaited winger for Sidney Crosby, who just so happens to be your buddy. If you’re Suter, you could bolster the defense of a talented team that includes Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury. In either case, you could work for good-guy coach Dan Bylsma. You could have a great chance to win the Stanley Cup year in and year out.

Oh, and you could do it all in a U.S. market where hockey matters but doesn’t matter too much – important for low-key American stars like Parise, from Minnesota, and Suter, from Wisconsin.

Parise and Suter didn’t seem like realistic options for Pittsburgh a couple of days ago. But now that general manager Ray Shero has cleared salary-cap space by swinging deals at the NHL draft at Consol Energy Center, the Penguins can make a push for at least one of the top unrestricted free agents July 1. Especially if Shero can clear some more space – by, say, moving defenseman Paul Martin and his $5 million hit – they might even be able to make a push for both.

But what about other teams, like Detroit or Minnesota?

Both could go to Detroit or Minnesota. The Red Wings have the cap space to make a splash, and their savvy management has been able to reload for years without high draft picks. They especially need Suter after the departures of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart. The Wild has cap space and Midwestern allure. Minneapolis is Parise’s hometown team and close to Suter’s home state. But some of the Wings’ key pieces are older. How long can they defy gravity? And is the Wild close enough to winning? Does anyone know if the Wild can win long-term?

Both should have other options. Parise could go to, say, Los Angeles. The Kings have cap space and a hole at left wing. They just beat the Devils to win the Cup, and they have a young core. The beach ain’t bad, either. But is he a West Coast guy? Suter could go to, say, Chicago, if the Blackhawks can clear cap space by trading Niklas Hjalmarsson and his $3.5 million hit.

No doubt others will be in the mix, or will want to be, and Pittsburgh isn’t necessarily perfect. Some teams might be willing to pay more money or do a front-loaded deal – perhaps especially Detroit, with owner Mike Ilitch aggressively trying to keep the Wings among the elite. Parise or Suter – or both – might have to take less to fit into the Penguins’ salary structure, and the Pens won’t do front-loaded deals, even with a potential lockout looming.

He goes on at some length, and it’s written like a love letter.

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awould's avatar

they will be costing against the cap.

point is, the cap will go up so it’s all relative. their cash hit will be just fine for their contribution at that point.

Posted by awould on 06/23/12 at 11:46 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

But if the red wings plan for.success is.free agents your organization is in trouble

Good call, buddy.  We really should have been bagging it for the last few years to grab top-five picks instead.  That would have been much better than 20 years of playoff appearances.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/23/12 at 10:40 PM ET

The risks are well-managed.  If they retire, then it’s no problem. Whether you like it or not, the league is not going to reverse-grandfather a screw job to treat those contracts differently, so it’s moot.

You’re also apparently making the assumption that a $6M cap hit will still be the same thing in 2020 as it is right now.  In the last 7 years, the cap has gone from $39M to now $70M. We’ve got 8 more years to go before the bigger of those two contracts reaches the point where Zetterberg will likely be no better than a 3rd-liner (who is already good as a defensive grinding forward and is not likely to lose that part of his game). 

A $4M and $6M cap hit against a salary cap that will potentially be $100M or more are very close to what 3rd-liners get nowadays by percentage.

And that’s all assuming that they haven’t retired.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/23/12 at 11:51 PM ET

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Lucky the NHL failed in vetoing those kind of deals.

Ok, it’s settled then.  You’re simply wrong.

Even when the NHL was looking into “those kinds of deals”, they weren’t actively looking into Zetterberg’s or Franzen’s. 

Penguins Defense is stronger than Detroit’s at this point

I guess it was their great defense that gave up 30 goals in six games against Philly, huh?

40 is not a realistic age for Zetts and Franzen to be still worth the money they will be costing against the cap.

They don’t have to be.  Nobody knows what the cap will be then.  They could be well worth keeping around for their leadership, or they could be retired before 40 with their contracts no longer counting against the cap.

Posted by Garth on 06/23/12 at 11:56 PM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

You are assuming the cap will keep going up, aren’t the owners trying to lower the cap in the next CBA isn’t that what the fights about now? And all we are at is around what the teams were spending before the lockout, 70-80 was what Dallas, Wings and Rangers, Toronto were shelling out when there was no cap. To assume it will indefinitely keep going up is kinda naive at this point. Hockey as a sport isn’t growing nationally to sustain the growth in the cap. If it was we wouldn’t be on the verge of another CBA war.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/23/12 at 11:56 PM ET

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But if the red wings plan for.success is.free agents your organization is in trouble

Said a commenter posting under an article about how Pittsburgh is hoping to land the top two free agents this year.

Posted by Garth on 06/23/12 at 11:58 PM ET

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You are assuming the cap will keep going up, aren’t the owners trying to lower the cap in the next CBA isn’t that what the fights about now?

In which case there will likely be a salary role back.

To assume it will indefinitely keep going up is kinda naive at this point.

Where did I assume that?  Please don’t infer.

Posted by Garth on 06/23/12 at 11:59 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You are assuming the cap will keep going up, aren’t the owners trying to lower the cap in the next CBA isn’t that what the fights about now?

If they lower the cap, they’re very likely to also lower each player’s salary in a rollback.

To assume it will indefinitely keep going up is kinda naive at this point. Hockey as a sport isn’t growing nationally to sustain the growth in the cap. If it was we wouldn’t be on the verge of another CBA war.

In the first year after the lockout, the league took in about $1.7B. It’s gone up every year. This year, it’s said to be about $3.3B.  To say hockey as a sport isn’t growing nationally is foolish. 

I can’t begin to explain how oversimplified and goofy it is to say that the rise of the cap is a PROBLEM in the CBA negotiations.  That isn’t something that’s worth educating you on if you believe this.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 12:03 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

Garth I was talking to JJ about the cap going up ect.

Anyway, both teams have an equal shot at getting them. Pens have potentially the better chance of being a long term contender because of the age of their stars. But I would say that pulling on a Wings jersey is seen as more prestigious, because of their history with players like Howe, Lidstrom, being an original six team and the class organization they have been (fans aside raspberry). The pens just have Mario to lean on history wise and the 3 cups. The wings potentially could also offer them more cash. So it depends what they are looking for. Heck we could all be wrong and they could decide to make the Wild into a legit franchise like the boys down in Miami did for the Heat. Look at the wild team and they have some good players and aren’t that far away from being a contender, suter and parise would make them legit for me.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 12:11 AM ET

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Heck we could all be wrong and they could decide to make the Wild into a legit franchise like the boys down in Miami did for the Heat.

I think we can all agree we don’t want that to happen.

Posted by Garth on 06/24/12 at 12:14 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

The cap is a big issue, you have team still losing money and others raking it in. We have teams that can’t even reach the cap floor without going into debt. The league is not healthy as they would like us all to believe. The Yotes situation is a joke and they are putting a bandaid over a mortal wound just so they can save face and say all is well in the league, holding up teams like the Pens and Wings as examples, well boys they are the exception not the rule.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 12:14 AM ET

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It’s as likely as anything that the big change will be the floor lowering than anything else.

The goal is to make the bigger-spending teams AND the smaller-spending teams happy, and lowering the floor is a pretty simple way to do that.

Posted by Garth on 06/24/12 at 12:23 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The cap is a big issue, you have team still losing money and others raking it in. We have teams that can’t even reach the cap floor without going into debt.

Yep.  Obviously the cap floor is the problem, not the cap ceiling.

The league is not in bad shape. There are about six teams in bad shape. Teams like Toronto, Boston, Detroit, Montreal, New York, Vancouver, and Pittsburgh make bigger profits now than they ever have.

Any belief that a league which has nearly doubled revenues since the lockout is in financial trouble is exactly what the owners of those big teams want people to believe in order to sell a lockout.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 12:23 AM ET

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Wow, this thread went to hell and back.  A couple things to point out.  First, the Pens can’t just bury Paul Martin in the minors due to his NMC, so if they sign Suter, they will have to get rid of him or someone else.  Second, I’m not a fan personally of the long term deals, but as long as the team structures them correctly, there’s no rule against them.  Lastly, if anyone can prove to me that the lottery was rigged in 2005, I’m all ears.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 06/24/12 at 12:29 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

Lower the cap floor, great so basically we will be back to the old NHL with the haves and have nots. As a Pens fan it won’t effect me, but as a hockey fan I want to have as many competitive teams in the league as possible and as much parity as possible, otherwise we will go out and be the MLB and only the rich teams will win. You’ll never see a Canes or Tampa winning the cup again, because they won’t be able to compete with the money boys. For me to only lower the floor is just accepting all that I have said. Thus you are selfish and only care about your team.

So back onto Suter and Parise, I want them but if they go to the Wild I’m ok with that, nice to see another team that can truly contend, it only makes for more exciting hockey and more competitive hockey.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 12:33 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Lower the cap floor, great so basically we will be back to the old NHL with the haves and have nots. As a Pens fan it won’t effect me, but as a hockey fan I want to have as many competitive teams in the league as possible and as much parity as possible, otherwise we will go out and be the MLB and only the rich teams will win.

As long as the cap ceiling is sane then you simply have a lot more Haves and you get to maintain your precious parity.

It’s not like the plucky Islanders are within a few dollars of becoming a contender.  In fact, the cap floor makes it harder for them because they have to find ways to overpay free agents to come their way, whcih makes it harder to unload if they actually do get competitive.

For me to only lower the floor is just accepting all that I have said. Thus you are selfish and only care about your team.

You should probably jump off your high horse for a second… or at least take your head out of its ass.

Not ELIMINATE the floor, lower it. The unnecessarily high floor creates secondary player salary structures that don’t mesh well with a means for a team to be successful. You don’t get the pre-lockout problem because the cap ceiling prevents the super-rich teams from outspending the middling and simply rich teams.

Learn about how the cap is set and how it works.  Take some time to read up on the reasons the current cap structure is set to ensure that middle-to-small market teams CANNOT compete for decent stretches of time because there’s a secondary cap structure in place which disincentivizes them from spending within $8M of the cap.

Then jump back on your fuching soapbox and preach to me about how you’re so goddamn pure of heart and we’re all a bunch of selfish heathens.

Idiot.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 12:41 AM ET

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Would Pittsburgh sign Semin? I think Detroit will if they don’t land Parise.

Posted by awould on 06/23/12 at 10:29 PM ET

I don’t think they would take a flier on him, no. On the rare occasion the Penguins have had fancypants wingers who don’t really dig in the corners, Bylsma eventually gets sick of the act and healthy scratches them.

Plus, Semin would be the only guy on an nhl deal who doesn’t have a reputation for work, which might become a problem with his peers. Sort of a common thread among the Penguins core; the only one of them who wasn’t a fitness/conditioning fanatic was Malkin, and that changed last summer.

Larry where did you hear that? I didn’t know he went to games with Zach’s parents.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/23/12 at 10:30 PM ET

Some Jersey writer tweeted it yesterday after Pierre lost his mind about Pittsburgh probably making a play for Parise.

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/24/12 at 12:41 AM ET

awould's avatar

Larry where did you hear that? I didn’t know he went to games with Zach’s parents.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/23/12 at 10:30 PM ET

Parise’s father coached them all when they were at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. I wouldn’t get too excited about them going to a game together.

Posted by awould on 06/24/12 at 12:49 AM ET

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Lower the cap floor, great so basically we will be back to the old NHL with the haves and have nots.

There are always going to be haves and have nots.  The only way to change that would be to have every team pool all of their revenue together and spread it out evenly.

That’s not going to happen.

And as it is there are already teams like the Islanders who are giving backloaded contracts out so that they can hit the cap floor, and when the price starts going up they’ll have to trade these players to teams that can afford them.

Who do you think the NHL wants to keep happiest, the teams that scrape and scrounge and lose money in order to hit the cap floor or the teams that are making money hand over fist, spending to the cap no matter what it is?

Do you want a league with a couple haves and dozens of have nots who are losing money or do you want a league with plenty of haves and a system in place so that the have nots don’t have to spend money they don’t have in order to meet the league’s lowest salary level?

Posted by Garth on 06/24/12 at 12:53 AM ET

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Posted by awould on 06/23/12 at 11:49 PM ET

I find it amusing that Pittsburgh wasn’t brought up in the Suter/Parise sweepstakes until a couple days ago but now it’s a done deal because Parise and Crosby are suddenly besties since forever.

I’m anxious for the 1st to come because I really don’t think anyone has any clear idea where either of these guys is going to land.

Posted by Garth on 06/24/12 at 12:55 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I can’t help but see these comments pile up in my inbox (whoever posts the blog entry gets email alerts for comments) and think that, despite Cotsonika’s protestations to the contrary, it’s exactly this kind of disagreement and arguing, if not perhaps a flame war (not here), that he hoped to provoke.

Thus the difference between professional journalists and professional bloggers…Cotsonika very happily yanks your chain and plays with your emotions because it’s a “good story.” Those of us who do this for a mediocrely-paid living don’t dig that kind of thing (for the most part).

And that pisses me off. I don’t like to be jerked around with for the sake of a “good story.”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/24/12 at 01:04 AM ET

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Parise’s father coached them all when they were at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. I wouldn’t get too excited about them going to a game together.

Posted by awould on 06/23/12 at 11:49 PM ET

Point being, I just don’t see how someone looks at 2 options where the financials are likely similar, the on-ice fit sort of similar (in both Pitt and Det, he’ll be lining up next to a top 4 center on a perennial contender) and doesn’t pick the choice that includes not only a buddy, but a buddy who’s a friend of the family as well.

Some Philadelphia reporter’s located in Jersey’s saying Crosby has already played the part of Dwayne Wade to Parise’s Lebron and the whole thing’s a done deal, for whatever that’s worth.

What Suter does, though, is anybody’s guess. To my knowledge, he doesn’t have his mom inviting, idk, Brooks Orpik to the family luxury box at Brewer’s games.

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/24/12 at 01:06 AM ET

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I find it amusing that Pittsburgh wasn’t brought up in the Suter/Parise sweepstakes until a couple days ago but now it’s a done deal because Parise and Crosby are suddenly besties since forever.

I’m anxious for the 1st to come because I really don’t think anyone has any clear idea where either of these guys is going to land.

Posted by Garth on 06/23/12 at 11:55 PM ET

Macguire has been saying Pittsburgh’s the primary suitor for Parise for months. Friedman also said something to that effect a while ago.

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/24/12 at 01:08 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Some Philadelphia reporter’s located in Jersey’s saying Crosby has already played the part of Dwayne Wade to Parise’s Lebron and the whole thing’s a done deal, for whatever that’s worth.

While apparently this is not considered to be by the CBA (at least according to Twitter), this should absolutely be considered tampering if true.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 01:09 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

For what it’s worth, the last few paragraphs of Cotsonika’s article mention the whole Miami Heat super-team thing.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/24/12 at 01:18 AM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/24/12 at 12:06 AM ET

The same angle has been hammered on for months that Suter and Parise are such superbuds that they’ll sign with the same team. Parise’s father also coached Toews and Jack Johnson. So that puts Chicago and Columbus in the mix now too!

Posted by awould on 06/24/12 at 01:20 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

I need to read the CBA and understand it before I comment? hmmm Well as I have a masters in Business Management and Administration and have also worked on collective bargaining outside of hockey world, I’ll take that under advisement and get back to you on that one wink

Yes there will always be haves and have nots, but does that mean we should allow the gap to get wider between them? Also, the whole having to over pay to get free agents to come to the lesser teams, last time I looked there are only so many jobs and a lot more players, than jobs, supply and demand. It’s the fault of the GMs for overpaying and inflating the market, lowering the floor won’t solve that. If players don’t want to go to Edmonton they won’t go if you pay them 2 cents or 50 million ala Pronger. The wider the gap gets between the floor and ceiling the more the lesser teams will have to overpay the mediocre talent because all the good players will be on the rich teams, because they are the only ones who can afford them and can fit them all under cap with the theorized ever increasing cap. If anything. If you lower the floor you have to lower the ceiling otherwise the NHL will become a joke, top heavy league like the MLB. You guys are basically saying the NHL should go back to how it was. Lower the floor and let the ceiling keep on increasing. That idea will set the league back to pre-lockout with no parity and we wasted a season. This is why there are fears about another lockout, if it was as simple as lowing the floor it would be a no brainer. The league has never been better because of the parity, but as that parity is slipping away from us, so will the growth. Only through parity will more fans be attracted. If every team has a shot more fans will come. Or we can follow MLB’s example and become a dying league where their fan base is getting older and older and losing out to soccer in the youth market. Remember MLB has an ever increasing ceiling and a low floor, look at how much more the mediocre players are getting paid than they used to be. We have a perfect example in front of everyone to prove why the floor shouldn’t be lowered without doing something about controlling the ceiling or being more aggressive with revenue sharing between the teams.

Again, thanks on tell me to read the CBA I must have really needed that lol

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 01:27 AM ET

awould's avatar

For what it’s worth, the last few paragraphs of Cotsonika’s article mention the whole Miami Heat super-team thing.

I reject any notion that Parise/Suter in Pittsburgh makes them a super-team. Hockey isn’t basketball, there are way more moving parts. And one of them is a choke-a-saurus goalie named something-hyphen fleury. All talk of his past glory fails to recognize that living in the past is generally not a good way forward and neglects to account for recent reality.

But Fleury isn’t the only reason I don’t see a dynasty in the making just by signing Parise. The net total added just isn’t big enough for me to forget their sad sack showing in the playoffs this year.

I also reject the notion that Pittsburgh has enough $$ to sign both. I don’t believe either will take a ‘new team’ discount to play anywhere. If Parise were going to take a discount, it would be to stay in NJ. Typically a discount is taken to help your team afford to be competitive out of a sense of loyalty or whatever… Suter/Parise may as well just write Crosby a check since that’s where their discount will go anyways.

Posted by awould on 06/24/12 at 01:27 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

There have been examples of guy taking new team discounts or do us Wings and Pens fans have to be reminded of a guy named Hossa? Hossa took less to go to the wings for a year, then he took less to sign long term with the Hawks so he could win a cup and boy if my memory serves me right it worked second time around. Many players have taken less to try and win. Selanne, Karyia, Hossa, more often than not it doesn’t work out but guys have done it numerous times since the lockout.

Hossa had a past history of winning nothing of under achieving in the playoffs, so that past should have haunted him in the present even though he won the cup, was he still considered a choker that year? Come on seriously, it’s about your body of work over a career, goalies are the most unusual breed, they can suck the rule then suck then rule. Tim Thomas is a perfect example of a guy who’s career has seen good and bad years.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 01:37 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I need to read the CBA and understand it before I comment? hmmm Well as I have a masters in Business Management and Administration and have also worked on collective bargaining outside of hockey world, I’ll take that under advisement and get back to you on that one

You need to understand the CBA before calling people who want the floor lowered selfish, for starters. Congrats on being a pharmacist. We’re all really impressed down here.

Yes there will always be haves and have nots, but does that mean we should allow the gap to get wider between them?

Lowering the floor will not widen the gap between haves and have-nots. Lowering the floor will allow the have-nots to actually survive while attempting to build into haves without creating differential salary structures for players.

Also, the whole having to over pay to get free agents to come to the lesser teams, last time I looked there are only so many jobs and a lot more players, than jobs, supply and demand. It’s the fault of the GMs for overpaying and inflating the market, lowering the floor won’t solve that. If players don’t want to go to Edmonton they won’t go if you pay them 2 cents or 50 million ala Pronger.

Then why does the league work like it does currently?  You’re arguing backwards. It’s not about the number of players, it’s about the requirement to spend a minimum amount on those players.  That’s why teams are looking to trade for Tim Thomas’ rights, despite the incredibly high likelihood he won’t play. The market for Tomas Fleischmann isn’t overinflated, it’s that the Panthers need to spend a minimum amount, so they pay middling players more than they’d be worth to a contender because THEY HAVE TO MEET A MINIMUM.  If there are a lot more players than jobs THEN PLAYERS WOULD BE CHEAPER, not more expensive.

the more the lesser teams will have to overpay the mediocre talent because all the good players will be on the rich teams, because they are the only ones who can afford them and can fit them all under cap with the theorized ever increasing cap. If anything. If you lower the floor you have to lower the ceiling otherwise the NHL will become a joke, top heavy league like the MLB.

Except that the Haves eventually run out of room to buy all of those very good players and they trickle back down because the salary cap hasn’t gone insane.  You keep mentioning the MLB model, but it falls apart when you put out the idea that the MLB does NOT have a salary cap, they have a luxury tax.  The biggest teams can spend as much as they want as long as they’re willing to help pay the little teams directly for sucking.  With a sane salary cap, the big teams can’t do this.

This system allows teams that actually want to outgrow the floor to do so and gives them all the incentive in the world to do so (to make more money). 

Again, thanks on tell me to read the CBA I must have really needed that lol

My recommendation still stands because you still don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re worried about the NHL turning into the MLB without the thing that makes the MLB salary structure do what it does.  Without the luxury tax and with a well-set cap, parity remains, teams can work within the NHL’s established salary structure without splitting players into tiers, and you don’t have six teams talking about folding while teams like the Maple Leafs rake in record profits.

I’m going to say it a third time, because I’m terrified that you’re thick.  If you prevent the big teams from being able to spend indefinitely like they can in baseball, you can avoid the problems in baseball’s system.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 01:46 AM ET

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have also worked on collective bargaining outside of hockey world, I’ll take that under advisement and get back to you on that one

What does that have to do with the hockey CBA?

Yes there will always be haves and have nots, but does that mean we should allow the gap to get wider between them?

Yes.  When you have teams inquiring about trading for Tim Thomas JUST so that they can count his salary against their cap without having to pay him there is something wrong with the system.  Nevermind that the idea of having a the floor be a specific amount lower than the ceiling rather than a certain percentage of the ceiling doesn’t make sense (similar to the way they decided that the average yearly salary of the contract is the cap hit rather than the actual salary of any given year).

It’s the fault of the GMs for overpaying and inflating the market, lowering the floor won’t solve that.

It’s the fault of certain GMs who are artificially inflating the market because they have to get to the cap floor (I’m looking at you, Dale Tallon), overpaying for middling talent because they can’t attract players who are actually worth big money contracts.

Do you control teams, forcing them to fire GMs who are artificially inflating the prices or do you allow that some teams simply can’t afford to spend to the floor?

A little piece of trivia.  The cap in 2005-6 was $16M more than the floor.  This year the floor will be almost $16M more than the ceiling was in 2005-6.

It wasn’t fair to make Detroit and New York to cut their budgets by roughly half in 05-06 and it’s not fair to force Nashville or Phoenix to overpay just to hit the floor.

Also?  As of right now there are 21 teams who are below the cap floor for this year.

Posted by Garth on 06/24/12 at 01:49 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

Thomas had a bad year lost his place to Raask, does one or two bad years make a goalie useless? Or does going to back to back cups and winning one make him great? The jury is out, but to say he sucks because of two bad playoffs is ridiculous, especially when he carried the team last year during the regular season our d was horrendous and he kept us looking good with wins. Haters are going to hate, just like people say Osgood was a product of playing on elite teams and any goalie could have won on those teams, right place at the right time. So is that true too, or is that just stupidity?

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 01:50 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

supply and demand. It’s the fault of the GMs for overpaying and inflating the market

As a follow-up, this is a clear indication that you have no idea how the salary cap is set.

They’re not inflating the market, they’re spending to fill it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 01:50 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

The simplest way to work the cap and this will never happen, but would be to use a median number for the top 15 revenues and for the 15 bottom and then set those as the cap ceiling and floor. Increase revenue sharing if the median for the floor gets too out of wack from the ceiling, say the ceiling can never be higher 40% higher than the floor. That way the floor will never be too high and the floor never be too low or high. Obviously, the teams would love this, but the players would never allow it because it would severely restrict their earning potential and would allow the big teams to make even more profit. But for us the fans it would create great parity and it would make sure small market teams can compete. The rich owners would love it because they would be able to pocket more profit and the poor ones could attract fans to make more profit on their end. Again, the only reason it would never happen is the NHLPA would never allow the owners to pocket more profit without sharing it with the players. Trouble is, they are spiting themselves because if teams go under then there are less jobs for them and thus less of their membership picking up a paycheck, that is the huge negative of collective bargaining and unions. Can be great for the workers but also deadly to them and same goes for the people that employ them. There’s a reason in most businesses unions have been removed and been replaced with federal regulations. So instead of self serving people on both sides looking out for #1 the rules are set by the outside source aka the government and we go to work knowing in most cases we aren’t getting screwed by our employer and are getting a fair shake of things.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 02:05 AM ET

awould's avatar

So is that true too, or is that just stupidity?

That’s stupidity, of course.

Fleury’s recent suckage is what we got to go on. And what it shows is a consistent trend of weaker performances in the playoffs as compared to the regular season. The one standout was the year they won the Cup. Osgood, for what it’s worth, showed the exact opposite trend. Thomas was eerily consistent from regular season to playoffs, since you bring him up. And even when Thomas lost the starting job, he didn’t really lose it, he more split it and it cost him about 15 starts over what he does as the “starter”. He never really sucked to begin with so his comeback wasn’t really a comeback. His worst season on a SA% was around the average season for Fleury.

So really, if past is prologue then the Pens can get used to not counting on Fleury in the playoffs, if they haven’t already. That was my point.

Posted by awould on 06/24/12 at 02:08 AM ET

Avatar

Hossa took less to go to the wings for a year, then he took less to sign long term with the Hawks

Ah, so in your world a $63M contract in which he earns $7.9M per year for the first is “taking less”?  Good to know.

If players don’t want to go to Edmonton they won’t go if you pay them 2 cents or 50 million ala Pronger.

Good one, using the time the Oilers DID overpay him and then he requested a trade because of personal reasons.  Well done.

What about all the other guys over the past few years that have gone to Edmonton only because of the money.

Top guys may never go to Edmonton, no matter the money, but Dustin Penner and Sheldon Souray sure jumped at the chance to go to Edmonton and be overpaid.  Is Shawn Horcoff worth $5.5M?

You guys are basically saying the NHL should go back to how it was.

Nobody is saying that.  AGAIN, please stop infering.

“How it was” before was NO floor and NO ceiling.  We are all saying that there should be both a floor and a ceiling.  The problem is that NOBODY foresaw the NHL being as profitable as they have been.  The ceiling has gone up EVERY year and it is now nearly double what it was only a handful of seasons ago.  Anyone who can’t see that this is an issue, and that the issue is that the poor teams, who were the ones that were going to be helped by the cap, are now being forced to spend as if they are “haves”, has real problems.

They already tried to to punish the haves and it has turned out punishing the have nots.  Lowering the floor allows both the haves and the have nots to do benefit.

Posted by Garth on 06/24/12 at 02:10 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

JJ sorry if you don’t understand economics, can’t help you there bub, but telling me I don’t know how a salary cap works or how a CBA works is like telling a fireman he doesn’t know how to a roll a hose. You are under the assumption that I think the current situation is working, if you had been following my comments you’d know I think the league is broken. What I have been saying is lowering the cap will not fix the overpaying of players. Yes GMs overpay to reach the floor now, but when the floor is lowered and the ceiling is raised as you guys suggest then all the top talent will play for the top teams because they can now afford more of them and the only guys left available to the lesser teams will be even more mediocre players. The mediocre players that the rich teams used to fill out their roster with, would then be released and their spots will be taken by the poor teams’s stars. So in essence all the mediocre players will be on the poor teams and all the stars would be on the rich teams, thus more mediocre players will be overpaid by the poor teams because for them a top mediocre player will be a star compared to what they have. I hope that makes sense as I’m rambling and tired, but I know what i’m trying to say lol

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 02:14 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The simplest way to work the cap and this will never happen, but would be to use a median number for the top 15 revenues and for the 15 bottom and then set those as the cap ceiling and floor. Increase revenue sharing if the median for the floor gets too out of wack from the ceiling, say the ceiling can never be higher 40% higher than the floor.

Or, you continue to set the cap at a fixed amount above the calculated median players’ share and also make sure that the floor is a percentage.  Basically, we agree that the floor should be a percentage… I guarantee you if they did that, the floor would be lower… JUST LIKE I’VE BEEN SAYING IT SHOULD BE.

Obviously, the teams would love this, but the players would never allow it because it would severely restrict their earning potential

No it wouldn’t because the cap is still figured based on a players’ share of revenues.  The players are entitled to the same amount of money as a whole regardless of whether team payrolls are $70M a piece or $10M apiece.  That’s why they have escrow.  If all the teams WAY overspend for all of the players and build up to $70M payrolls, then the system corrects when the players pay back their escrow.  If all the teams WAY underspend and the payrolls are $10M per team, then the NHL owes the players money which they split amongst themselves (like what happened in 2006 and 2007.

Donald Fehr’s job is to make sure the players are aware that their cut of NHL dollars is set regardless of how much their collective contracts cost.  If the players are too costly, they all pay to make it right. If the players are too cheap, then they all get paid bonuses.

The rich owners would love it because they would be able to pocket more profit and the poor ones could attract fans to make more profit on their end.

This is hilarious because your idea is actually my idea. Keep the big teams from spending too much and they’ll love it. Don’t force the small teams to spend too much and they’ll love it.  Such a great concept.  As long as there are systems in place to prevent extremely large or small spending, you maintain a decent level of parity without choking off the small teams. Win/win for teams and players.  It’s just that in the upcoming CBA negotiations, the big teams are simply going to ask the players to take a smaller cut because why the hell wouldn’t they?  If the players accept, then they get to keep even MORE of their own money while keeping the status quo as-is which prevents those small-market teams from climbing into competitiveness for any length of time.

The slight difference is that the big teams actually don’t want parity. They want to make sure that every team has an equal chance, but they are more equal than others.  This is why you get salary cap circumventions like the “retirement contracts”, because big teams would rather find ways to spend more of their money on their players than share it with the little teams.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 02:20 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

but telling me I don’t know how a salary cap works or how a CBA works is like telling a fireman he doesn’t know how to a roll a hose.

Hey Smokey,

You don’t know how to roll a hose.

I’m sure you know how collective bargaining works as a process.  I’m equally sure you have no idea how the NHL CBA works.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 02:23 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

when the floor is lowered and the ceiling is raised as you guys suggest

Perhaps you should have also gotten an advanced degree in English, because I did not suggest the floor should lower and the ceiling raise indefinitely.  The floor should be lowered now and then index with the cap.

You know, like how a sane person would do it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/24/12 at 02:25 AM ET

Oz_Santwyk's avatar

Wow I should just give up you guys will not get it! As bad as some of the staunch union guys I’ve dealt with

If the floor is so low that the poor teams can afford to make it and nothing is done about the ceiling then basically there is no cap it’s pointless. You might as well do away with it. If there is a 50-60 million gap between bottom and top then what’s the point? You are back to the days of no cap when the Stars were spending 80 million and the Panthers were spending 30. See what I’m saying? Lowering the floor and saying let the cap continue to raise with revenues then you are removing parity and we all wasted years of time effort and a lockout, because parity was the reason for the lockout in the first place. Of course revenues are up, more fans are coming, but do you think they will be the case if we go by your idea? Will they still come if their team is spending 30 and the wings and pens are 80? Not a chance! Come on, this is what caused the first CBA. Revenues are up because the big teams are making more but the little poor ones are staying the same, so yes the overall revenues are going up but the gap between the top and bottom is getting wider. Lowering the floor will only increase the gap. Truth be told only way it’s going to work outside of my ideas, is moving the weak franchises to more stable and hockey hotbeds where attendance and merchandise sales will make the teams successful. Until then we will have a fractured league.

Posted by Oz_Santwyk from Perth Australia on 06/24/12 at 02:29 AM ET

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