The NHL Money Problem

Ok, I know I’ve sat here and defended the Red Wings spending spree until I was blue in the face. I still don’t think they’re overly guilty. However, I’m also an extreme homer and do recognize that there is an extreme money problem in the NHL. With the Rangers going out and spending about 25 million dollars on getting 4 of the top 10 free agents on the market, plus getting Bure for almost nothing at the deadline (up to 35 million dollars on 5 players who definately are not worth 35 million dollars), things have gotten out of control.

However, I don’t believe a flat cap will solve matters, nor will capping individual salaries.

First, the flat cap. Let’s, just b/c of the information I know of them, take the Detroit Red Wings. If we cap it at 35 million, which most teams can afford, Detroit’s drafted players alone would exceed it.

Dandy: 1 million

Datsyuk: .5 mill, soon to be more

Elliott: .5 mill, best guess

Fedorov: only 2 mill, but spread out the signing bonus, and you get something like 6 mill)

Fischer: 1 mill

Holmstrom: 1 mill

Kuznetsov: .65 mill

Larionov: 1 mill

Lidstrom: 10 mill

McCarty: 1 or 3 mill, can’t remember

Wallin: .5 mill

Yzerman: 8 mill

That comes out to about 30 million. BUT the Red Wings wouldn’t have made the Hasek trade, Boston wouldn’t have lured Lapointe away, and the Shanny trade probably freed up some salary, so he should be counted in this. Also, Ozzie would still be here, and Draper and Maltby have been here long enough to be considered as good as drafted (especially since we traded McGillis to get Maltby).

So…that adds an additional 18 million dollars in salary, which pushs us, based on drafted talent alone (not to mention what we’d be paying Vladdie if he was here) 15 million over the salary cap. IOW, we would have to let go of talent and be punished b/c we drafted well. Not how you want to structure your league. And setting the cap to 50 million accomplishes nothing. A flat cap would punish the teams that are run the best, which is grossly unfair. It could also force them to cut some franchise players, which is unfair to the players.

The individual player cap would allow a team like the Rangers to sign all the big names on one market. They’d definately be able to sign all the role players by vastly over paying them b/c they have a lot of money freed from not signing the stars to as big of a contract. Also, it encourages what the Wings did, sign everyone who wants to win a Cup in one season (Hull, Robitaille, Hasek, Olausson, and CuJo didn’t come here for the money). If two teams offer you the same contract, you’re going to go for the better team, which means Detroit instead of signing the above players the last two seasons, would sign them, Amonte, Guerin, Holik, Kaspar, etc b/c they still have the same amount of money to work with. Rich still getting richer.

So what is the way to go, you ask? Cap the amount of money free agents can make. Any player who leaves their team via free agency is limited to 5 million dollars max yearly salary until 3 years after they left their original team. Also, no team is allowed to spend more than 5 million dollars total per year on free agents. Players who stay w/ a team for 4 years have no limit to their salary per year. This encourages loyalty and limits teams to one big free agent signing a year, unless the player wants to be significantly underpaid to play for a champion. Also, it allows them to keep any of their drafted talent, so the good drafting GMs get the talent from their efforts. I think this system, w/ some more detail, would offer the best approach to solving the NHL’s money problem.

53 Responses to The NHL Money Problem

  1. kreatiiv says:

    the red wings going out and signing three hall of famers to win a cup isnt overy guilty but the rangers signing 4 free agents to win a cup… thats things getting out of control.

    LOL thats beautiful. just precious. LOL

    so basically you got what you wanted now lets stop the madness? LOL

  2. habs_88_4life says:

    It’s like the saying “more money than brains”

  3. Zamboni says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve voiced my disdain for what the Wings did last summer in a number of forums. I’ve always gotten nothing worthwhile in terms of responses from the Wings fans. It’s always been “you’re just jealous” or “the Cup can’t be bought.” I was truly anxious to see how big they’d all be talking after someone came along and spend more money than them in order in dethrone them. That was “just precious” to get to hear it already.

  4. Rocks says:

    Well, I’m a Rangers fan and although, I wish they would develop their talent they have in their system, Amonte was a Ranger young gun along with Weight, they traded both these guys away to get role players to what they say helped win the cup in ’94, as it turned out it did get them the cup but I think it would have come a bit easier with these guys. As for the spending part, yes we are spending a lot, but the Dolans of Cablevision here in NY were utterly embarrassed not having any playoff action at MSG from either the Knicks or Rangers. Anyway we are adding by subtracting as well, the salaries of Fleury and possibly Nedved and perhaps a few others are bye, bye! I’m sorry if we are spending the money to a team, that truly has no guarantee to make the playoffs, even though I think they will, I thought they were going last season before everyone got hurt. But that’s life.. So, now we have scoring, pure scoring for the first time since Gartner. I’m excited that my owner is willing to put up the big $$ to get his fans back, Oh and watch out we ain’t done yet! sheesh I’m gonna be broke.. let’s see $100 per ticket times 40= $4,000, then hopefully playoffs at $200 per for …. whoa I better sit down!

  5. nskerr says:

    I would say the Rangers are definitely the most guilty, but Detroit is right there as well. Getting Hasek, Hull and I believe Chelios as free agents is just as bad as bringing in Holik, Kasparitis, and now possibly Amonte. Dallas and Colorado (not this year) have been as guilty.

    I believe Brian Burke is on to something. Second line players are getting ridiculous contracts that will force similar players to ask for the same type of money and better players to ask for more. If teams like the Bruins, Blackhaws, Devils and Islanders who play in major markets can’t afford Amonte, do you think they will be able to afford the Modano’s and Sakic’s of the world when they become available? I doubt it. The only solace is that the Rangers to this point haven’t become the Yankees of the NHL. If that happens, you will really see a dropoff in attendance, especially in the small market cities where the NHL is fighting to keep their interest alive.

    I hope their is a lockout in 2004. Not that I don’t think some of these players deserve the money. But a salary cap needs to be instituted. As Burke said, it is not right for a team who is terrible at managing themselves and can not draft a beer let alone a player can write a check to cover their mistakes.

  6. cwhockey says:

    Truthfully, the Wings and the Rangers have gone terribly overboard with their spending. Fans will sit there and give every excuse they can think of to defend their team, but they’re just too close to the situation to see it from the proper perspective.

    Yes, they are guilty of driving up prices and overpaying players. But maybe this can be a point to accelerate the drafting of a new CBA. Because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the situation is radically out of hard. And it would benefit both sides to resolve the issue before it gets any worse (if that’s possible).

    Capping FA money would help. But the league also needs to set new rules in place about what constitutes free agency and what each specific category of free agents is entitled to. Quite a few other problems need to be fixed, which is why the stoppage is looking really possible. But these absurd signings should help to speed up the process a bit. At least I hope.

  7. Modano_Fan says:

    Detriot isnt as guilty as the Rangers at all.

    Pretty much all of their core talent are draft picks and smart trades that all worked out well. Hasek and Chelios were both picked up by trades.

    They picked up Hull and Robetile (sp?) as free agents,and Hull was only picked up really because he was available when Dallas didnt want him. He wasnt someone they were wanting all along,they just took him because the price was right and he’s Bret f’n Hull.

    Even as a huge Dallas fan,i have to admitt that buying big name talent feels somewhat hollow. Like you don’t feel like your team really earned anything,they just put together a group of players that they knew would win the cup. I don’t have alot of complaints about Dallas’s win in 1999. Hull and Belfour were free agents,but most of the team were traded for or were not big names that the Stars spend alot of money on.Plus Modano is the Stars franchise player and he’s been there since the Minnasota days.

    The Rangers,however,are just ridiculas!! They went from a team that missed the playoffs to an all star team in a week.They develop almost no young talent,and when they do they trade it away for a big name. Amonte was a Ranger before,remember? And who did he get traded for? Damned if i can remember.

    I guess the big spending is just how it works these days,and i should be lucky that my team can afford to do it.

  8. kreatiiv says:

    well the wings fans should now defend the rangers…. they just became birds of a feather…. teams that spent lots of money to cover up the deficencies of the team…. have to spend lots of money to turn a team that cant barely navigate playoffs or even get there into a cup winner. the wings management basically admitted by signing four all stars in one offseason that the team they had didnt have CLOSE to what it took…. and the rangers just did the same thing.

    nothing speaks louder about management confidence than what they spend in the offseason.

  9. Hockeytown says:

    You’re all fools. What 3 Hall Of Famers did they sign in free agency? I know of Hull and Robitaille. Who is the third? Oh you mean Hasek who was TRADED for! Remember a winger named Kozlov was part of a trade for him? It’s funny no one bitched when it was Colorado with Borque, but because it was Hasek and the Wings it’s a crime. Get real jack asses. You’re seriously gonna sit here and not hope your team tries to improve itself? If you think they’re trying to cover up deficiencies in their drafting you are seriously mistaken. You geniuses would run Microsoft into the ground in less than 3 days. I always wondered where the execs from Enron ended up. I found them.

    How do you know when your team has achieved Dynasty status?

    When every other team’s fans ***** about yours!

  10. Jonathane says:


    As much as I like you on this board, you made a big mistake when you started with a cap around $35 million.

    Begin with the idea that the NHLPA is going to fight any kind of salary cap. I think this past off season has shown that some sort of cap will be in place.

    As you pointed out in your article, “IOW, we would have to let go of talent and be punished b/c we drafted well” Well I would argue about the “fair” part, however the have to let talent go part is the reason that the NHLPA would fight a salary cap.

    To guess what sort of plans will happen at this point is just crazy. So much will happen in two years that it would be like trying to predict the playoffs two seasons from now.

    With that said, it appears that the NHLPA is going out of thier way to ensure a lock-out. We keep hearing about how the owners and GM’s are ruining the game. The truth is that yes, some people are over spending, however it is the Players Association that is pushing the issue.

    You like the Red Wings. Why do you think Chelios became a free agent? Was it because he wanted the money. Sure he got a slight raise over what the Wings initally offered, however he signed for what they offered him before July 1st. The reason, the NHLPA pushed him to test the waters.

    The Players Association is pushing to bring the salaries of everyone up. To do that, they keep pushing everyone. They are not looking out for the interest of the game, its simply how can we wring the most money out for us.

    Does the players assoication care about the fans? No, they can talk all about thier charities, but in the end, its all about the money.

    Trust me when I say this, any kind of salary cap will not be at $35 million. If it is, it will be simply scabs playing.

  11. guinsfan4life says:

    The overall team cap, which I think you mentioned first, would work out the best. The player cap wouldn’t work at all. You still are going to have marginal talent going for the market max–

    The problem the Wings have would not only be a problem for them, but the league in general. The flat cap would lower the salaries of these draft picks, ie, teams would not want to pay;

    *Darren McCarty 1-3 million to play on the third line.

    *Larionov would probably be out of a job to make way for a younger cheaper forward who can do the same job for less money.

    *Teams would then have to consider how sucessful they can be when a certain player takes up a certain percentage of their total payroll. I remember the topic coming up a few years ago in baseball. There are alot of owners, and gm’s in the league who believe that a player should not make more than 20% of your teams overall payroll. If he does, then chances are he is taking up too much.

    *So players such as Lidstrom and Yzerman would be forced to take pay cuts so that Detroit could fit under the cap.

    *Nothing you do with the salary cap will encourage loyalty. Players will ALWAYS try to get theirs, no matter what.

    *Why would you limit the signings a team can have outright? If a team is close to the cup let them spend the money, if they must, to get it, as long as they are under a cap.

    *Look, keeping your drafted talent won’t be as big of a problem as you say. Teams just won’t pay outrageous contracts. YOu have to be very smart on who you want to keep at what price. This places the job of the general managers at a higher importance.

    *Under a league wide cap, the Rangers wouldn’t be able to have Bure, Lindros, Holik etc. under contract. THey’d have to pick which one they feel helps them win the most.

    Look everyone, when you change things from what they are, you are going to have different things we all don’t like. Nobody likes change. Nobody is going to be able to keep ALL their players like we want.

    The bottom line is that in order for this league to improve, fiscally and competitively, a league wide salary cap needs to be in place.

    Keep in mind the sport that does have a cap is number one in total revenue and popularity(NFL). Basketball is a close second and has a cap as well.

  12. nskerr says:

    A free agent salary cap wouldn’t work because not all players are alike. You can’t tell a Mike Modano he is worth the same as Tony Amonte due to a cap. However if you set a salary cap and salary floor for the entire team, it would force teams to be fiscally responsible. $35 million is not realistic. I am an Islander fan. Their payroll was $33-35 million this past season and they didn’t get out of the 1st round. However something like $50 million in my opinion is realistic. That would allow for 2 more top players that could make the difference.

    Look at the NFL. Every year teams have to decide whether a players performance warrants bringing him back. If it doesn’t, they have to cut him to stay under the cap. It would force some players to be released and sign for lower amounts if they want to keep their job. I think everyone can relate to a player who signs for big money and then doesn’t produce. If they knew that only some of the money was guaranteed, they would produce. The only exception would be in the case of an injury. I believe if a player gets hurt while playing, he should be paid in full unlike the NFL. Teams like the Rangers and Detroit would have to cut players to add new ones to stay under the cap.

    Here lies the two options. A hard salary cap where all teams must stay under it. If this were to be put in place, I think a salary floor should be put in place as well. It would force all teams to spend a certain amount of money. This would slow down the amount of unfair trades you see when a smaller team dumps salary to a larger team. If they can’t afford to be in the sport, get out. At the same time, you won’t see the Rangers and Red Wings of the earth buying every player available.

    The other option is a soft salary cap. Teams like the Rangers, Detroit, Dallas can go over the cap number, however they will be taxed or fined for doing so. They would be charged a percentage of the amount they go over the cap by. That money will go into a pool that will be shared among the other teams in the league which would help them get their own UFA’s. No team would want to help get a player for another team by going over the cap, so in effect, teams would police themselves. Those teams that get the money from the pool would have to increase their payroll by at least the amount they received so they don’t just pocket it. That would be monitored by the NHL since they have copies of all the contracts anyway.

    Either way though, UFA’s would get market value because there would be no UFA cap. It would just take some creative movements by the teams to determine who stays and who goes and what they can afford. I could be a GM of the Rangers if you gave me an open checkbook. Lets see how some of these teams do when they actually have a budget to follow and have to look at a players talent when developing them.

  13. aaron says:

    I completely disagree with anyone who says we should be punished for good drafting. That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard.

    If you don’t flat cap to 35 million, the flat cap is useless. There are some teams w/ payrolls at 20 million still. If we’re going to fix the problem, let’s not do it half assed. Most of the teams who are affected by that type of cap missed the playoffs anyway (Detroit, Philly, St. Louis, Toronto, and Colorado being the only ones that come to mind as making the playoffs w/ a payroll that high).

    You say Detroit will have to make some tough decisions and only pay guys what they’re worth. I don’t see a single player whose overpaid on our payroll (save *maybe* Maltby and McCarty, but they’re cool anyway). We have no one who doesn’t earn his money, and its grossly unfair to have to cut some of them just b/c we’re that good at drafting. The point of the cap is to allow GM ability, not money, to build the team. With a flat cap, the sucky GMs still get all the free agents b/c the good GMs can’t afford them. It awards sucking at being a GM. Bad. Plus, it encourages ridiculous player turnover. I don’t want to see a new team every year here. Yeah, make some additions, but the same core, definately.

    The improvement offered by a free agent cap is that players will stay put, basically. They’ll only use free agency for what it was intended, get out of a situation they hate, and then only at a pay cut. Plus, teams can’t do what the Rangers or Red Wings did; they can sign one big name free agent at the most. As much as I love what the Wings do, I have to step back and agree that its no better for the league for all the free agents to go to one team b/c they want to win than for the money. That will stop that as well. By capping what free agents can get, that will lower overall market value. Teams won’t be pressured to pay a Bobby Holik 9 million dollars, as the most he can get on the open market is 5 million. So if they offer him 6 million a year, he’ll have to accept it b/c that’s the best he can get, and stay w/ his original team. It seems to me that it would work much better at controlling the specific NHL problems of free agents abandoning teams for the money and all signing for the same franchises much better than any other alternative I see.

  14. bruinsfan12 says:

    You didn’t even have to state you were a Rangers fan…only a Rags fan would say something like that.

    But I must say, you should be glad to have a GM who spends money when you have it. I’d rather have one who overspends then one who doesn’t spend it and keeps it all for himself (Bruins).

  15. Zamboni says:

    Oh yeah, Kozlov for Hasek, woohoo, real fair trade there! Might as well have tossed in a bag of pucks for good measure. The only reason that trade ever happened is because Hasek started crying about how he was going to retire, the Sabres had no choice but to dump the little bastard and try and get something back. Apparently Kozlov was the best they could do, which leads me to believe that the Sabres organization has some tie ins with Enron.

  16. bcuffari says:

    I definitely agree with the idea of the flat cap. It would do great things for the league, the only people that are against it are the ones that are fans of the spending teams.

    Imagine if every team in the entire league had equal oppurunities. It would make drafting, coaching, need for a good GM, and a tight lockerroom all the more important, like it should be.


  17. J3D9B says:

    The idea of a salary cap is to DROP the salaries. All of your Red Wings would be making less. There would be no 9 or 10 million dollar players, only like 5 or 6.

    How about we just limit salaries? And limit the number of “top tier” players you can sign during FA.

    Free agency shouldn’t be a team facelift(NEW YORK/DETRIOT!!!!!!!!!!). It should be filling in holes. Like the Ducks signing Oates, that filled a hole. They didn’t buy an entire new offense or defense. They just added one player that would make a difference and take them closer to success. (Detriot getting CuJo is not an example of this because they replaced a bought player with another bought player.)

  18. Stevieforpresident says:

    I was just wondering, do the Rangers have the highest team payroll in the NHL yet?

  19. Stevieforpresident says:

    Actually, The wings filled a hole by signing cujo…say u were a wings fan (and u probably wish u were) would u pst this comment?

  20. Stevieforpresident says:

    Yeah, and u know why the wings have all the players we want? Because we fill the up the Joe every night and have been for about 9 years now about half of that goes to team salary

  21. Hockeytown says:

    Hey I think there were sticks involved too. Well a first rounder too.

  22. MantaRay says:

    Detroit doesn’t play the free agent game unless its cheap.

    Last year they increased thier teams salary structure by only $3.2 million and signed both Hull and Robitialle. They got Hull at a 50% discount ($7 million on Dallas to $3.5 to sign with the Wings) and Robitaille signed for $500,000 more than his Kings salary.

    This $3.2 cost was offset when Yzerman, Chelios and Shannahan took pay cuts to afford these free agents.

    The Wings pay for their own players more than the rest, not on the free agent market.

    So don’t put the Stanley Cup Champs in the same category as the Ranger$.

  23. Hockeytown says:

    Hasek was bought just as much as Borque.

  24. Ari says:

    You thought you would win the cup, but your team got knocked out in the 1st round.

  25. Jonathane says:


    As I said earlier, the idea of $35 million cap is unrealistic.

    The average salary right now is $1,668,582 for the NHL.

    To tell you the truth, I cannot remember what the roster limits are but with just an average salary for everyone right now at 24 that would give a team a salary of $40,045,968 or $5 million over your cap figure.

    As I said in my open post, the NHLPA would not stand for a decrease in salary, so getting a figure around $35 seems unrealistic.

  26. bcuffari says:

    That’s absolutely what they are.

    It’s the same for all the rich teams, the fans don’t except a losing team, the management feels pressure to buy a team as fast as possible. Detroit absolutely tries to buy their team (not that there is anything wrong with it, I mean I believe that ya spend the money as long as you’re allowed. I do think the cap should be put into effect though.)

    Detroit does it just like the Rangers do it, the Rangers are just in a more desperate state right now, as they have to make the play-offs.

    Yes they won the Cup and yes they played great in the play-offs, and I am not taking anything away from them, but they did buy their team, and they’re going to do it as long as they’re allowed.


  27. bcuffari says:

    Hey buddy, grow up.

    I was a pretty good sport about the Wings winnin it even though I said they wouldn’t the whole season.

    Do me a favor, don’t be an idiot alright.


  28. MantaRay says:


    I usually respect your opinion, but just who did the Red Wings buy?

    Yzerman? Lidstrom? Shanahan? Hasek? Federov? Larinov? Chelios? McCartey? Draper? Larionov?

    Detroit built their team through shrewd trades and good scouting. As explained above they signed freeagents at a discount last year.

  29. MantaRay says:

    By far and away THE most expensive payroll in the NHL.

    The world most expensive losing team.

  30. Stanajax says:

    Great post. I think your ideas are good.

    In fact, there are teams that are managed as if there was a cap, in order to respect their salary structure (which helps having a good chemistry). The Montreal Canadiens are a good example, as are most of the middle-payroll teams. They could spend the big bucks on one guy (only one), but they don’t…. With 30 of these wise GMs, there wouldn’t have any problems.

  31. bcuffari says:

    You’re right, I was wrong on that one.

    Hah, treasure it cause it’ll never happen again, just jokin. I didn’t realize that all those players have been part of the team the whole time they have been great. You’re comment actually made me realize how great the Detroit management actually is. Maybe they should hire those guys for the Tigers, hah.


  32. bcuffari says:

    Ya know what, I didn’t realize how a cap ACTUALLY worked until readin this page today. I mean I had an idea of how it worked mostly, but I had no idea that drafting didn’t count on the cap.

    That makes me think of it as an even better idea. Drafting will become very important again (not that it isn’t now, but even more important, like it should be).

    A cap would be great.


  33. J3D9B says:

    Yes I would. Because it is destroying hockey. Even if the Penguins were out buying players like this, I would disagree with all of this free agency.

    The Wings are just buying a team season in and season out. They don’t believe in the term “rebuilding”. Are they going to buy a new captain when Yzerman retires?

  34. jlarge says:


    Haven’t all recent cup (last 7 years, at least, probably closer to 10 years) winners been somewhat guilty of this?

    except maybe New Jersey? someone correct me if I am wrong.

    And what is considered buying the cup, how many free agents? If the Rangers end up with Amonte, and win the cup, Will we all be sitting here harassing them all next summer?

    And you Rangers fans, if you are sitting home all next summer reading these harassments, and watching highlights of winning the cup, will they bother you much?

    As a Stars fan, if somehow they went ahead (doubtfully I might add) signed Amonte, and won the cup…I would sit here next summer continuing to tell the Sabres fans GOAL…read the other posts, put in a tape of the finals, and smile

  35. Hockeytown says:

    The Wings never bought shit. Since when? 2 free agents last year suddenly means their buying their team year end and year out. You’re just still pissed because Waahhh got the living crap kicked out of him in Game 7!

  36. Hockeytown says:

    Why would we want to give our management to them? It’s not 1984.

  37. Jonathane says:

    I think we have been over this thread before but here goes again:



    Pavel Datsyuk

    Sergei Fedorov

    Steve Yzerman

    Tomas Holstrom

    Darren McCarty

    Matheiu Dandenault

    Jiri Fischer

    Maxim Kuznetsov

    Nicklas Lidstrom

    Jesse Wallin

    Acquired by Trade:

    Igor Larinov

    Kirk Maltby–for Wings draft pick Dan McGillis

    Brendan Shanahan–for Wings draft pick Keith Primeau/Paul Coffey and draft pick that turned into Marik Malek

    Kris Draper–for future considerations from Winnipeg. Turned out to be $1. Still trying to figure out if that was $1 US or Canadian

    Chirs Chelios–For Wings draft pick Andres Erickson and two 1st round draft picks.

    Jiri Slegr-For Wings draft pick (I just forgot his name) and a 3rd rounder.

    Dominik Hasek-For Wings draft pick Slava Kozlov and 1st round pick.

    Free Agents:

    Sean Avery-Signed as undrafted free agent.

    Boyd Deveroux

    Jason Williams-Signed as undrafed free agent.

    Luc Robitaille

    Brett Hull

    Steve Duchesne

    Uwe Krupp

    Fredrik Olausson

    Curtis Joseph

    Manny Legace

    As you can see the Wings have drafted well. The trades they made were mostly made for Red Wings draft picks and have used free agency to fill holes.

    As I have said in other posts to suceed teams need to be good in all areas, drafting, trading and free agency.

    However to say that the Red Wings went out and bought a cup just doesn’t add up.

  38. NYRfan78 says:

    Im tired of hearing about money problems in sports. I agree with the boss of the yankees if you cannot afford it get out of the sport, if you do not like it hockey fans go watch the AHL ECHL ETC in 04 there will be a strike and who’s fault is it?Is it the players asking for big bucks??? Or is it the owners who spend big bucks? Well its a bit of both but you cannot really blame the players if you get a offer of 5 years 45 mil I know you aint going to turn it down.It seems that a couple of small market teams cannot afford to spend money, (ottawa) and sometimes its the owners who are cheap with a big market (boston) LA the 2nd biggest market in the USA is a middle of the pack team, meanwhile the dodger’s and lakers are big time why is that??And do not say about the cap in the Nba look at the clippers for being cheap.All I hear is whining bitching and everything from fan’s here to bitching Brian Burke, what I do not hear is a answer to solve things. I still think the nhl over expanded and that did not help with the problems the league has.Maybe getting rid of a few teams is the answer?Not to many places to move them (Portland/Seattle where else?)And some places just is not able to keep a team look at Vancouver could not keep the NBA hell even lost triple A baseball and how many times Quebec lost hockey? They lost the nords, they lost the Ihl and now they lost the Ahl.Im going to get bashed. But bottom line somthing got to change, if only to stop hearing about the whining, and one more thing. Even with a cap can some teams even afford it? look at Vancouver im talking about them so much since Burke whines the most, They did not have a big payroll if the cap was around 60 mil you think they would spend that much???

  39. Ari says:

    Don’t be sour, even worse is coming. No playoffs this time.

  40. MantaRay says:

    That was exactly my point.

  41. chaos83 says:

    They only signed four players, three of which were all stars. Robataille, Hull, and Hasek are the all stars, but Ollauson was not any where near all star material. The difference I see between the Wings of last year and the Rangers of this year is the Holik contract. All of Detroits hall of Famers were signed at reasonable prices while Holik was overpaid. Its only a slight difference, but a difference none the less. As far as not being close, I beg to differ. The core group of players was well established since about 1999. We’re talking about Lidstrom, Chelios, Yzerman, Shanahan, Federov, and a host of roll-players.

  42. guinsfan4life says:


    It isn’t a punishment for good drafting. NObody is punishing you for the Wings drafting of good talent. It would be up to the Wings to resign that talent or replace them with someone from the free agent market.

    A free agent cap would play too much into the hands of the players and totally handcuff organizations that are managed efficiently.

  43. guinsfan4life says:

    That is exactly my point, Brian.

    We need each team in the league to have the same foundation to start with, ie, the same amount of money. Then, and only then, will the competitive balance become just that, balanced.

  44. chaos83 says:

    Chelios was traded for at the trade deadline in 99. chicago got some draft picks and a prospect I believe in the deal.

  45. guinsfan4life says:

    YOu sort of contradicted your own point. A cap would limit salaries and the amount of top tier players a team could sign so you wouldn’t need any thing further than a cap.

    With that said, I agree that FA shouldn’t be used to build a team. YOu can’t win that way.

  46. aaron says:

    How? I don’t see how that does anything but weaken the players stance.

  47. aaron says:

    Then lower the average salary. Half the league can barely afford 35 million (check the table, there are very few teams over 40, and most of those are paying someone 10 mill a year), so a 50 million cap will do nothing. Ten years ago, the Pittsburg Penguins had the highest salary in the NHL at 16 million. That’s a little less than the low end franchises today.

    I was looking at figures, there are some teams who don’t pay anyone more than 2 million dollars. And only a handful of ppl more than 1 million. I see Detroit dishing out 1 million for Kirk Maltby, and I see what’s driving up the salary table. It ain’t getting Robitaille for 4 mill, I’ll tell you that.

  48. aaron says:

    That is f*cking low.

  49. aaron says:

    When’d you see the light, Manta? I never expected to be on the same side as you in one of these debates.

    BTW, just to clear things up, I do agree that a salary cap of some form is in the best interest in the league. I say this freely, b/c I believe Detroit is good enough in the right areas to be a contender in nearly any salary structure. However, I still refuse to admit that Detroit has done anything unfair or “bought” anyone except MAYBE Hasek (but that was more him screwing over the Sabres than us. What were we supposed to do? “Oh, I’m glad you want to come here for less money and can engineer a trade where we can get you for almost nothing, but we’re not going to let you out of the spirit of fair play.”) I do recognize that it probably isn’t good for the league if every veteran who doesn’t have a Cup and doesn’t mind a slight paycut comes to Detroit every free agent season. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong w/ Detroit taking them, nor does it mean we bought them.

  50. aaron says:

    The only cap that would help Vancouver would be a 35 million cap, which has been shot down repeatedly in this thread. I agree completely. Its not our fault Canadian teams can’t compete; stop bitching to us and open your wallets or do w/o. Maybe Vancouver should give Naslund back to the Penguins b/c the trade was unfair. When they do that, we’ll put Hull and Robitaille back on the open market (if anyone else’ll sign ’em, no one seemed the least bit interested in them until the Wings “bought” them and “stole” them away from all the “small market teams” w/ their “stupidly large” 4 million dollar contracts).

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