Monday, December 13, 2004

Dissecting the NHLPA Proposal

Unless you've lived in a cave for the better part of last week or were part of the Scott Peterson jury, you know that the NHLPA presented the worst kept secret in hockey by putting a new proposal on the table. This one was actually somewhat nice on the outside, but when you actually look at it-- not so good.

Here are the six main points of the proposal:

  • An overall market deflator that resets player compensation at a new, sharply reduced level by rolling back all player compensation by 24% through the life of existing contracts. In addition to an immediate economic impact for owners and their teams, the deflator will have major ongoing effects on new contracts.
  • A new set of system deflators that will reduce spending on the individual contracts executed in the new, rolled-back marketplace. These system deflators include reduced qualifying offers; the use of rolled-back and new contracts as the only comparables available in salary arbitration at the election of the club for two new purposes identified by the NHL as important.
  • A payroll tax with lower thresholds and higher rates than previously proposed. The payroll tax will operate at the macroeconomics level to inhibit individual clubs from increasing payrolls beyond certain levels. If a club triggers the tax, its payments will flow into a poll for distribution by the NHL and the NHLPA.
  • A revenue redistribution plan that will (a) transfer money from the high-revenue clubs to the low-revenue clubs; and (b) encourage low-revenue clubs to increase their own revenues. The redistribution will operate at the macroeconomic level to inhibit spending on players by the clubs that have formerly spent the most.
  • Joint Player-Club committees designed to ensure real improvements in the game, its marketing and its revenues, along with other areas of mutual concern.
  • Adjustments and updates to a variety of other CBA provisions.
It looks all nice and cute, huh?? Well, the NHL is going to rejected on their meeting on Tuesday. They saying what everyone else has been saying that the 24% is nice on the outside, but it's like putting a band-aid on severed arm.

It may come off as "great", "spectacular", "momaculous", but the problem is that it's a one time rollback and in about 2 years-- the problem will be back to the status quo it is today. It's a big move by the NHLPA and it should be commended that they would do something like that; but it's a short solution to a long term problem. Plus, since it's only a one time thing-- all the Free Agents coming in and to be UFA's next season don't have to suffer through it. They will get the money they're seeking and it won't do a damn bit of good for the NHL to accept something that's going to just get worse.

The "deflators" that the PA is talking about, one includes a Cap on Entry Level salaries. You know, it's good to see that the NHLPA is looking out for "the next generation coming into play." That will really show them that the older members were looking out for them. Other than that-- it all goes back to the 24% rollback and how they see that as a long term "deflator."

The payroll tax is absurd. For teams over 45M is 20 cents on the dollar, over 55M is 40 cents, and over 60M is 50 cents on the dollar. How low can you go?? How low can you go?? If they think that they'll help out, they need to keep sipping on the Bob Goodenow Kool-Aid and keep thinking it. It could be a weird starting point, but the fact of the matter is that this tax needs to have dollar-for-dollar value or else it's not going to matter the value of it over 45M, because it won't mean squat.

The others are just a downfall of the Luxury Tax, the Shanahan Summit, and just other CBA entities. All in all, it's a nice proposal in theory-- but in theory; communism worked out for the betterment of society.

But, come Tuesday, the NHL and it's owners will reject it and send something to the NHLPA. But since the NHLPA is convinced that ANY linkage to salaries and revenue is a Salary Cap; then they will not accept it and we'll all be on our way.

Here's hoping both the NHL and NHLPA can come to their senses seeing as both are alienating their fans and not making many friends, but I doubt that'll happen.

This has been ScottyWazz. Take care of yourself and someone else. PEACE!!

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