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Is The Cap Good For The Nhl


29Dryden29

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Absolutely the cap is a good thing. MLB sucks with the Yankees and Red Sox constantly buying their way into the playoffs. Sure, teams like Tampa and Florida can squeeze into the picture now and then through great scouting and development, but then they have to blow the teams up as soon as they become contenders. And then there's European soccer, which is the same teams competing at the top each and every year. It makes being a fan of any other team quite boring.

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Absolutely the cap is a good thing. MLB sucks with the Yankees and Red Sox constantly buying their way into the playoffs. Sure, teams like Tampa and Florida can squeeze into the picture now and then through great scouting and development, but then they have to blow the teams up as soon as they become contenders. And then there's European soccer, which is the same teams competing at the top each and every year. It makes being a fan of any other team quite boring.

Agreed on all counts. However, I would like to see a couple of things happen - a higher cap so teams can keep some of their good players around and build a team instead of having to blow up everything every year. Another thing I suggest is having a contingency fund for each team (this can be part of the higher cap or negotiated as an extra in the next CBA), to allow teams to call up players in the event of injury or demotion of a player on the big team, without it having to count against the salary cap. That way, it would be easier to make injury replacements or replacements in general based on whether that player can actually play on the big team instead of what works under the cap. If they stay up with the big club for x-amount of games, they will then be part of the cap, and the player they replace would go into the contingency fund. I'd like to see something like the physically unable to perform list and 15-60 day lists you see in other sports. If a guy is physically unable to perform, he should not count against a team's cap hit, but should get at least a portion of his salary.

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I have a different point of view than most. I think the cap has failed to improve the economics of the NHL for anyone other than Bettman and the owners. The cap was supposed to be put in so that players' salaries stopped eating up team's entire budgets and so that teams would be able to match each other in spending. However, this hasn't been the case, of we look at a few of the outcomes:

1. Yes, there is greater parity in the league but there are still many "small-market" teams that are spending around the floor of the cap instead of the ceiling. These teams still have self-imposed budgets that are $10-12 million below what most teams are spending. the parity is also not as great as in, say, the NFL.

2. The top players are still making exorbitant salaries. That hasn't changed. And as we know, several teams exploited loopholes in the cap to pay players higher salaries and still squeeze them in by paying them ghost years at the end of their contracts. Meanwhile, the guys who have been hit hard are the journeymen who didn't make much as much to start with. Instead of paying a 32-year old vet 1.2 million to stay around, teams are being forced to fill out their rosters with younger unestablished players who are making the league minimum. In essence, I could argue that the rosters are not being filled with the best players available but by the best bargains available, and that lowers the overall quality of the product being offered. How many players have left for Europe/KHL or been forced to retire or sat out a year because they can't find a job, even though they're better than many players who are employed. Are you telling me Bill Guerin couldn't help a dozen teams in the league right now? Look at the Flames or Devils, who have each been unable to ice a full roster because they over-spent on their top-end players and didn't have anything left over to pay the rest of the team.

3. With the cap, trading has also gone down. Or more precisely, trading of quality players has gone down. All fans love to discuss rumors and the possibility of seeing this guy or that guy play on one's team. But the chances of making substantial deals has fallen through because of the need for teams to fit everyone under the cap. This takes away from the excitement of being an armchair GM, knowing that trades are virtually impossible to pull off now.

4. If owners were not being taxed by players' salaries, one would have hoped it would have curtailed the rise in ticket prices, but it hasn't. Ticket prices have continued to soar in the popular markets. So the cap has done nothing to save money for the everyday fan, who can't necessarily afford to go to many, if any, games in some cities now. So the owners are pocketing more money, the stars are still getting paid, but the ones who are suffering more are the fans and the veteran players making low-end money.

I think the cap is in theory a great idea, but is hasn't been enacted the way it should have been. I'd like to see a system similar to what's employed in the NFL, where a team can franchise one or two players outside of the cap and pay them to be the face of the franchise. After that, I'd like to see a stricter regulation of what percentage of a team's spending an individual player can make. And I'd like to see owners set ticket prices that are accessible to the common fan. Yes, set the glass seats and box seats as high as you like, but let's be realistic with how much nosebleeds are going for and let's show some respect to people who come out to watch the game for the love of the game and for the love of their team.

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