When trying to find a logical explanation it is always comes down to what one believes and how much the situation really matters to them. For die hard NHL fans, as well as Blackhawk faithful here are some things which should matter.
As the habitual NHL apologists continue to defend the poorly written CBA….
What if the CBA actually was written as if it took a year to put together rather than a long a weekend?
Certainly the latest Ilya Kovalchuk saga would never have happened. Also the contracts for other long term, front end loaded signings would not be in jeopardy today.
If there would have been a couple of additional sentences added to the CBA the NHL might not appear as if its rule book was written in water color.
Let’s keep this simple and move past any age stipulations and only add a couple of sentences to the CBA.
If there was a clause which stated a certain percentage of a player’s salary had to be dispersed to him in the last years of a contract, this shameful mess could have been avoided.
How about this for an added clause?
During the last 40% of a player’s contract term, at least 20% of his salary must be paid out.
For example, in a 10 year $100 million contract, at least $20 million would have to be paid out in the final four years of the agreement. The payout percentage in the final years possibly could be different, maybe it should be 25% or 30%, but at least there would be an exact guideline in place.
The Kovalchuk contract, which was revoked had the Devils paying him on average about $7 million in the final seven years of the proposed 17 year agreement. That amount happens to represent only about 7% of the $100 million contract value.
The additional money due in the later portion of a long term contract would make a big difference for a possible buyout. It would also make an aging player less attractive on the trade market. In essence the economics would make the mega long term, front end loaded contracts less likely to occur.
As it stands now the NHL just continues to stumble along appearing as if they are re-interpreting rules whenever they must.
What if the Marian Hossa contract is now considered a circumvention of the CBA?
Anything can happen in the NHL but it would be hard to believe the league will mess with the Hossa contract. They already blessed the deal, but even more important he has fulfilled one year of the contract. There would be a multitude of lawsuits coming at the NHL if they tried to void the Hossa deal.
If somehow the league did rescind the Hossa contract the Hawks might be screwed.
Most likely Hossa’s next contract would have to be shortened, which would mean a higher cap hit unless he signed for less money. Hossa’s options are limited too, so he probably would be driven to make it work in Chicago.
If Gary Bettman made waves about the Hossa contact immediately following the Stanley Cup Finals, maybe things would be a lot different.
Certainly Hawk management would wince at the thought of losing Hossa, but they might not have been too upset. With Hossa gone a few younger Hawks who had to be traded away would still be able to play in Chicago.
Maybe the Blackhawks would have taken one on the chin…For the good of the league, don’t you know.
Hossa is the most talented Blackhawk and couldn’t be replaced with only one player. Two months ago his loss would have been much easier to bear. Maybe given the choice Hawk management would rather have had some combination of Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg and Andrew Ladd instead of Hossa.
What if Hawk fans would have chosen to believe what was written concerning Niemi’s likely arbitration award?
There were some who wrote Niemi would really strike it rich and earn close to $4 million next season. To add to the lunacy some thought Stan Bowman would have enough cap space available to re-sign Niemi for as much as $3.5 million.
Those which can tell the difference between a hard salary cap and a hard boiled egg knew the Hawks were going to be facing many roster changes this summer. The high alerts on the changing of personnel kicked in December 3, 2009, when the big three (Kane, Keith and Toews) were all re-signed.
The reality is the Blackhawks salary cap dilemma was far worse than many thought.
What if Blackhawk fans choose to blame the NHL salary cap for the break-up of a young, talented championship team?
My thinking is the rules are the rules, no matter how misguided they might be.
The NHL needs a salary cap and a properly written CBA. Hopefully neither today’s salary cap nor the CBA will resemble the new agreement in place a few years from now. In a perfect world the CBA would be worked on today, and polished up sooner than later.
If the purpose of the NHL salary cap was to provide financial parity, it has failed. Many of the same franchises which lost money before the lockout are still deeply in the red today.
As far as the Hawks are concerned, the first signal of future cap trouble started with the Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet free agent signings. The qualifying offer screw up from last summer contributed with some unnecessary spending as well. The other contributing factor came with the overpayment of a few talented, inexperienced players. Too many young promising Blackhawks went from earning close to the NHL minimum to a $3 million payday.
Until there is a way to take back salary when attempting to trade off big contracts or some sort of a luxury tax is put in place it will be difficult to keep a young talented team together. Especially, as in the Hawks’ case, when a bunch of young players become very good all at once.
Hawk fans should be thankful management put the team in position to win the grand prize. Spending a fortune on player salaries doesn’t guarantee a Stanley Cup. Hawk faithful should realize loading up for one big swing at any championship doesn’t often work.
The NY Yankees spend to the hilt every year and have won five World Series since 1996, which is a high success ratio. But there have been many more seasons since 1996 in which the Yanks have failed to win the World Series, some years they haven’t come close. It is also far easier to keep a baseball team together as long as management is willing to spend excessively for every campaign.
If Blackhawk fans want to lament about the summer of 2010…Just imagine what it would feel like if the Cup wasn’t in Chicago.
There has been speculation concerning disunity among NHL players over the current CBA. It is no wonder considering there are so many players signing league minimum deals or reduced two-way contracts than those striking it rich.
The current economic environment has helped the Blackhawks re-sign players to skinny contracts. But the salary cap and current CBA isn’t working out great for all involved.
That’s what happens when there are more players looking for jobs around the league than available cap space.
I really wanted to let the Antti Niemi, Bill Zito, Stan Bowman saga rest, but not yet….
So sometime next week I will take one last look as to why Niemi isn’t a Blackhawk.
Not sure where Niemi will end up, but I still find it curious Carey Price wasn’t re-signed before the Jaroslav Halak trade.
It has been reported the Hawks have signed Fernando Pisani to a one year, $500,000 contract. Pisani suffers from colitis and has had other health issues.
If healthy he could add some skill and needed experience to the line-up. Last season Pisani played in only 40 games.
It might not be etched in stone but odds are Kyle Beach will start the year Rockford.
Maybe if he has a great camp things could be different. But from what I can tell Beach does his best work in games…not practices. Beach will learn in Rockford how important practice and preparation really is, and he will have more time to figure things out.
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