Friday, January 2, 2009

New Salary Paradigm?

1) What we're about to write is only an "out of the box' idea/opinion that we have been throwing about the past couple of weeks. The impedance is a combination of looking at too many overpaid/under performing players coupled with the ad-nauseum crap we hear all the time that its all about the team. There's no I in TEAM, etc. The beauty of this proposed system is that players still receive the same sized piece of the revenue pie. Its the distribution that would change!

2) So we decided to come up with a fair plan that would reward TEAM play and reduce individual reward. After all you can't win alone, right? So why should there be such a discrepancy in salary levels? Yes, we understand there are solid counter arguments, but for the sake of this post lets see how it would work if teams and not individual players were rewarded for success or failure. What we're saying is if hockey players REALLY believe that playing/winning is all about "playing for each other/as a team", etc, then why not be compensated as a team?

3) If hockey, as we're told over and over (and we're not disputing this) is "the ultimate team sport" then a major portion of each players salary should be based upon a teams success or failure. Do you think Sergei Samsonov would take weeks off if he knew his salary would be hurt if he did so? We aren't advocating paying ALL salary based upon team, but a significant portion. For instance:

  • if the NHL and the owners are committing 55% of the projected 2.4 billion in revenue to player salaries that would equate to roughly 1.3 billion

  • That 1.3 billion/30 teams equals about 44 million per team of 23 players

  • Lets say each team/player gets a base of 11.5 million, or 1/2 million per player (345 million total)

  • The remainder of the combined potential salary is put into 'escrow'.

  • As teams won games that team would get a higher percentage of the escrowed money.

  • Players contracts would differ only in the percentage of the team's earnings they would earn. For example, Alex Ovechkin might negotiate that he is worth 15% of his teams' escrow portion, while 4th liners like Matt Bradley would get <5%,>

  • There would be separate regular season and playoff 'pools so by the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs the winning star players would be the highest compensated players in the NHL, while stars that have teams that underperform would get significantly less salary than today. (Vinny Lecavalier)

4) Thus we eliminate guaranteed contracts in a way, without eliminating guaranteed compensation. Players as a whole still get the same compensation as before, but the players who's teams succeed now are rewarded at a much higher level. Anyone believe we'll see teams/players take a night off? Imagine the locker room between periods when a player appears to be 'dogging it' Coaches won't have to place a player in the dog house, his team mates will do it for him!

5) We are not naive, the NHLPA will never willingly accept such a salary paradigm. However, as we have written on numerous occations (even before the current economic melt down) that the owners are likely to want more consessions next CBA (2 more years). We have mentioned that next time guarenteed-contracts would be their target. Also mentioned here--> However, with our system the players eliminate the argument that some owners now use; that players who are guaranteed money don't give 100%. Its good for the players since its salary neutral. Its good for owners because each team will give all it has nightly. Most of all its good for fans because they know that no matter what their team make up, everyone will be trying to win as many games as they can. Whether it be October or May!



1) Great post FR2! We might want to add that this is also good for owners because they would have a smaller payroll if their team stinks, which is when they usually have attendance issues.
2) Of course we could also see situations where teams like Toronto, who are sold out regardless of how the team does, that the owners will reap even higher profits and have even less reason to improve their clubs

The Puck Stops Here said...


This seems like an answer without a question.

There is no reason the players of owners would be motivated to do this. It's not entirely clear that anyone benefits at all under this plan. Its mental masterbation.

blaine said...

Interesting ideas faux. I agree that the players would never go for that kind of thing. Do you really think we're gonna have another work stoppage?
Hey Puck. Don't be such a dick. Maybe your a masturbation expert, huh?


1) Puck: We won't argue for FR2, but they did mention that its doubtful the players would willingly agree to that kind of system. That said, we don't believe the post is without merit/is thought provoking, and that's what a hockey blog is supposed to do, no?
2) Blaine: We do think another work stoppage(as always initiated by the owners) is inevitable.
Also Blaine, we might disagree with Pucks perspective/opinions, but we encourage all to comment whether they agree with us or not!

Lyle said...

I have to agree with the nay sayers on this subject. No way the NHLPA would accept any thing that resembled this way of compensating players. I also don't feel as pessimistic as you with regards to another work stoppage. Both sides have too much to lose to have that happen.


1) Lyle: We wouldn't say we are pessimistic so much as realistic. The best way to predict the future is to look to the past for clues.
2) Some owners were already crying poverty BEFORE the economy tanked. Now the combo of that and the CN dollar correction, the income is not what it was, and despite the cap more teams are losing money.

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