Thursday, 26 February 2009

Simple Things and the Cap

Interesting. The Maple Leafs are increasing their ticket prices.

No question about it. I do get a little snarky every now and then, and I should apologize for it when it happens, but after a re-read I don't actually think my last post was all that bad. Not a great read mind-you but that's par for the course with me so, from where I sit, no harm and no foul.

Now, in a less snarky way, I present to you a simple change to the CBA that, I believe, should have made it into the document from the very start.


Small market (read: small budget) teams are getting hammered because of Cap inflation. As noted before in this blog, once the Cap gets past the $52 million mark the spread between what big budget and small budget teams have to spend reaches, sans significant revenue sharing or an amazing new TV deal, an untenable level.

Right now the Floor ratchets upward in lock-step with the Cap; the maximum spread always being at $16 million:

$b ........ Player %/$b ..... Cap$m .... Flr$m .... %

2.200 ..... 54.0 / 1.19 ..... 39.6 ..... 23.6 ..... 32.2
2.300 ..... 55.5 / 1.28 ..... 42.6 ..... 26.5 ..... 34.6
2.400 ..... 56.0 / 1.34 ..... 44.8 ..... 28.8 ..... 36.0
2.500 ..... 56.3 / 1.41 ..... 46.9 ..... 30.9 ..... 37.1
2.550 ..... 56.5 / 1.44 ..... 48.0 ..... 32.0 ..... 37.6
2.600 ..... 56.7 / 1.47 ..... 49.1 ..... 33.1 ..... 38.2
2.700 ..... 57.0 / 1.54 ..... 51.3 ..... 35.3 ..... 39.2
2.800 ..... 57.0 / 1.60 ..... 53.2 ..... 37.2 ..... 40.0
2.900 ..... 57.0 / 1.65 ..... 55.1 ..... 39.1 ..... 40.4
3.000 ..... 57.0 / 1.71 ..... 57.0 ..... 41.0 ..... 41.0

Notice the inflation effect? (hint: look at the last column) The hard spread of $16 million slightly disconnects Floor from HRR and thus causes Floor Requirement to slowly increase (as a % of the HRR).

By the time we get to $3.0 billion in HRR the % spread between max Players Share and Floor Requirement has shrunk by some 6 percentage points.

i.e. (54.0 - 32.2 = 21.8) - (57.0 - 41.0 = 16.0) = 5.8

That is sizable.


The easily workable solution is to loosen the strap a tad and tie the Floor Requirement number to Players Share % (not to Cap).

To make it easy on ourselves we will fix the spread at 20 %pts and re-start the CBA at a Floor Requirement of 34% of HRR. If we then increase Floor Requirement in lockstep with Players Share % our chart now changes to look like so:

$b ........ Player %/$b ..... Cap$m .... Flr$m .... %

2.200 ..... 54.0 / 1.19 ..... 39.6 ..... 24.9 ..... 34.0
2.300 ..... 55.5 / 1.28 ..... 42.6 ..... 27.2 ..... 35.5
2.400 ..... 56.0 / 1.34 ..... 44.8 ..... 28.8 ..... 36.0
2.500 ..... 56.3 / 1.41 ..... 46.9 ..... 30.3 ..... 36.3
2.550 ..... 56.5 / 1.44 ..... 48.0 ..... 31.0 ..... 36.5
2.600 ..... 56.7 / 1.47 ..... 49.1 ..... 31.8 ..... 36.7
2.700 ..... 57.0 / 1.54 ..... 51.3 ..... 33.3 ..... 37.0
2.800 ..... 57.0 / 1.60 ..... 53.2 ..... 34.5 ..... 37.0
2.900 ..... 57.0 / 1.65 ..... 55.1 ..... 35.8 ..... 37.0
3.000 ..... 57.0 / 1.71 ..... 57.0 ..... 37.0 ..... 37.0

So now we have a %pt spread that stays constant (at the 20%) and a Salary Budget gap that increases (from $14.7 million at $2.2 billion HRR to $20 million at $3.0 billion HRR).

Who's a Happy Baby?

Small budget teams are happy. As long as most other factors remained unchanged (like revenue sharing) the budget pressure drops by several million dollers.

Large budget teams are happy because no new money is expected of them and they get to increase average player salaries even more (yippee!).

Players are unhappy because they, potentially, leave million of dollars on the table as the small budget teams contract their payrolls.

Except... well... would that actually happen?

No. I don't think it would.

Remember, players get their share regardless so all that would actually happen is that the dollars would be apportioned differently.

Now, given that not all players, and their contracts, are created equally we know some player somewhere would be unhappy - BUT - the veterans have thrown the rooks under the bus before and with early UFA we know there are fewer disadvantaged to complain so it is hard to see where this is a loser.


Do I think this suggestion is the solution for the NHL. Of course not. Any hard Cap concept that doesn't have significant revenue sharing involved is one that won't work under anything but the slowest inflation effect.

FTR, back in the day, I supported a soft Cap with a luxury tax component that would increase in effect on a plateau basis. I still think that is the best overall way to do it.


By the way, in regards to the Malkin for Sedins comment. I meant it. Yes, Malkin is a phenomenal talent, but if Pittsburgh could get the Sedins to sign long-term deals (5 yrs+) in the $6.00 - 6.25 million range then the math is simple:

2 Sedins at a $12.00 million Cap hit > 1 Malkin at a $8.70 million Cap hit

The odds of finding the right winger for Malkin at $3.30 million are pretty long and, to be blunt, Pittsburgh needs the depth that the two bodies would provide.


Have a great evening everyone.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Miscellanea - February

Garth Snow

Lowetide sends some love Snow's way. I know some may point to the Dipietro contract and say 'what?' but those people would be wrong.

The Rick Dipietro contract remains one of the best contracts in hockey. Topped only by the Zetterberg and Hunter contracts imo.

Dipietro Contract - Part 1

Dipietro Contract - Part 2

Dipietro Contract - Part 3

I cannot blame Snow for Dipietro's Mr. Glass act and if you actually read through those links you will find where I say:

"The real danger is a chronic malady (a la Dunham's groin issues when with Nashville) that leaves DiPietro on the active roster drawing full salary and affecting the Cap."

That said, not sure what I think about in regards to the Campoli trade. The 1st is more than I would have paid to get him and so I have to think Snow did well there.

Funny thing though - if he pairs well with a stay-at-home on the Ottawa roster then Snow will end up looking bad for something over which he had less control than Ottawa did.

Right. I did just talk about the Dipietro contract didn't I?


Oh. About that Zetterberg contract. Absolute genius wasn't it?.

Funny thing though - I recall lots of posts about those sorts of contracts on the message boards back in day. Hell. I posted a few. Most people said that people who were making posts like that were idiots. Contracts just wouldn't work that way.

Two signatures later and Holland is a genius.

Cool. So I wasn't an idiot. For the record, that aspect of this topic, the aspect about being right all along, doesn't upset me at all. Here is what does upset me however - if I can figure it out then how hard can it be to figure it out?

I'm not that smart. Just look at my sentence structure.

Vancouver is in negotiations with the Sedins. Given their historic ability to perform at a high level, and the fact that they never seem to get injured, I am surprised they aren't getting the Zetterberg treatment.

I really am. I am also surprised Pittsburgh never traded Malkin for them.

Finally, on this topic, never underestimate the effect that timing can have on intelligence.

Shero has to sign Crosby and Malkin during a day and age when money was everywhere and money was cheap while Gillis gets to sign the Sedins during a day when everyone is afraid they won't be able to make the mortgage payment.

My guess is everyone will be commenting on just how smart Gillis is **.


Still working on my 'Rebuilds on Steroids' post. Gold Star for the first among you who sees how Snow is working the cba to his advantage. Davidson is St. Louis is doing the same.

It isn't much of an advantage mind. More along the lines of: "this is how you have to do things anyways so what you do with what you have is up to you".

That is your hint right there folks.

You too can be a genius!

F^*k me.



** ftr - I do think Gillis has done very well in lalaland, I have a post titled "Tale of Two Gamblers" in production that shows how smart he has been.


Have a great evening everyone.