Unknown is the road not traveled.

Does a CAP guarantee the NHL prosperity? That calls for speculation.

It has been said that there are only 2 guarantees in life. Death and Taxes! However once you post on here long enough you will discover there are some who think that a CAP for the NHL is a guarantee of maximized economic growth. You will also here them say that a CAP will create a level playing field, parity and how every team that plays in a league with a CAP has equal chance to win it league’s championship. The first example you will be given is the prosperity of the NFL’s current state of economics and how great it is for that league working under a CAP.

It is easy to for the NHL simply say “Hey if it worked that great for the NFL then let’s do the same. Its guaranteed to work for us the same way.”

If you get an education and a degree from a University that has a reputation as being the best in field you have chosen. You increase the odds of greater prosperity then the odds you would have by getting a job at that widget factory in your home town. However it does not guarantee anything. The unknown is the road not traveled. You come to a fork in the road and to the left the sign says degree from a University this way. While to the right the sign says job at widget factory this way. Common sense would tell you to go left because its the better road. Does turning left guarantee anything? No one knows what might have been! What if you had turned right? Could you have worked at that widget factory for fives year before driving home after work one day when you stop at the only store on the way to buy a lottery ticket and now all of the sudden you have millions? Where five year down that road to the left you could have been just out of that university with a big student loan to pay off? Who knows?

Point being that the NFL went with a CAP system and you can look at it as the right thing for the NHL to do. The thing is that since there is no measuring stick to compare it to. No NFL twin that chose the NON CAP road at that same time. How can anyone say that the NFL wouldn’t have ended up where it is today anyway without a CAP? The superbowl draws a lot of attention and it has grown with each passing year.

If hockey fans want the NHL to be like the NFL then the NHL needs a cash cow like a superbowl for high priced advertisement slots more then it needs a CAP. All this Lockout negotiations over a CAP is meaningless knowing that in the end when owners want to they will find a way to spend more on their roster despite any negotiated CAP amount. If the owners are clever enough to have hidden money from LeVitt then what is to stop them from getting more money into the hands of NHL players who do not want a CAP?

31 Responses to Unknown is the road not traveled.

  1. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Despite what Bettman and the onwers have done incorrectly over the past ten years, it is the players system that we have followed in the business of the NHL and it has worked poorly.

    The NBA and NFL thrive in a wolrd with cost certainty. They NHL is an even more extreme league needing restraint since the haves have so much and the have nots are so not able to keep up. Blame Bettman if you want for recruiting bad owners but if the game was more healthy, better owners would be interested in owning hockey teams. Bettman has promised cost certiantly to the expantion teams who payed 320 million to join the leage and he is going to get a cap of some sort one way or another.

    It is time today that the players wise up. If they do not accpet a cap they will have their union broken. They will lose their current contracts and will have no say in a new system. They simply DO NOT own the teams and show no respect for the game as shown by the way that they stick their nose up at the million upon million of dollars EACH of the 700 NHLPA members stand to make EACH year under a salary cap system. In turn, they do the one thing that can hurt the game and its fanbase the most – NOT play.

  2. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    The Penguins are screwed even with the NHL’s latest proposal (Must spend 32-42 mil.) and if they lower the cap, then less European talent will come to the NHL from Europe. I am starting to swing to the PA’s side, because the owners should realize some locations aren’t working out.

  3. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    So Leafy, when Carolina comes to Hamilton will you be buying a Jeff O’Niel jersey?

    Think about the sheer logistics of moving a team? It is complicated. You don’t just wave a magic wand at it and then Boom – it happens.

    In time, the weaker teams will move back up north. Winnepeg will be second. Hamilton will be first. quebec might even eek out a team if they can get a good owner. But in order to get the right owners there needs to be cost certainty.

  4. rojoke says:

    I assume by “less European talent” you mean fewer players, and not players with less ability.

    While I don’t check a guy’s birth certificate before I decide if I like him or not, there are many people, including players, who would welcome a league with less European content. One of them is ironically currently playing in Europe, and he’s not exactly known for his offensive prowess either.

  5. rojoke says:

    That’s the key to this whole thing, that some people believe that a cap is a guarantee that the owners will make piles of money of the players backs. And it’s just not the case.

    Players’ salaries are the largest expenditure that a team incurs in its operations, but there’s also a myriad list of things that we never get to see. Travel, equipment, medical expenses, maintenance, these things never generate revenue to cover their costs. There’s also interest expenses for those who carry any kind of debt load, be it on arenas or just to cover operations.

    Will a cap make teams be more profitable? Of course it will. Will it guarantee them a profit, large or small? No way.

  6. 19Yzerman says:

    Its a lockout not a strike. The owners are the reason a new CBA has not be established up to now. It is the owners who are trying to hang on to the failures of expansion. Those markets agreed to pay the franchise price and have discovered they are not drawing enough fan interest to support a team. So for you to say,” it is the players system that we have followed in the business of the NHL and it has worked poorly.”Is wrong since you still need to refect on the fact that the last CBA was operated in an era the saw 4,5,6?? How many expasion teams? This is a major part of the state of the NHL econimics right now.

    320 Million??? Wow the other owners are still waiting for that money. Bettman should not make promises to help defray a 320 million debt before getting everyone involved to agree first.

    They could devise a CBA without a CAP that would work equaly as well for both sides.

    The only thing a Cap guarantees is that the owners don’t trust each others spending habbits which is the real reason they want one. They are shooting themselves in the feet and pointing at the players as though they caused the pain.

  7. 19Yzerman says:

    That franchise would enjoy great prosperity cap or no cap if it were to be returned to that strong market were it was removed from. That region has displayed that it is a strong hockey market since the Whales departure and I think if it were returned that those fans would embrace it with no intentions of letting it go away again.

  8. 19Yzerman says:

    You would not have said that 13 years ago. Crazy isn’t it? Something needs to spark that fan base because it has been around for a long time and it would a shame to see it colapse. Do you think that pens fans have a hard time embracing its franchise now that the #66 and #68 love affair is over?

    Look at Edmonton. Once an NHL power house with Gretz, Mess, Kurri and Fuhr. How can a frachise lose ground in the wake of such greatness? That is scarry to see happen knowing that it can.

  9. NjDEVSFN says:

    The NHL has given back to the players a total of $330million since they proposed their $31million cap at the beginning of the lockout.

    The players have given back around $345million to the owners.

    If the owners move up to $43million, they will be giving more to the players than vice versa.

    If only it were reported like I write it.

  10. 19Yzerman says:

    Thats a lot of money being passed back and forth without anything coming in. I don’t get it.

    Hey NjDEVSFN I am going deep pass me a few MILLION on a long bomb.

    2.2 billion dollar industry

    If they can throw around those millions you spoke of how about throwing one at each of us.So we can throw them around ourselfs.

  11. 19Yzerman says:

    I was watching a game and Brett Hull teed one up and the blade broke off the shaft of the stick. The game commentators were saying how the teams spend x amount per year on sticks and then the players are on their own after that. I think it was $20,000. I play a 23 game season and 2 sticks usually last. I pay 250.00 for the season and 35.00 for each stick. I use bauer Fiberglass/wood laminated sticks. I think those players can buy their own sticks and equipment. I also keep a fanny pack in my gear bag with bandages, neosporin, asprin, Ibuprofin, alcohol, Hperoxide and tri antibiotics. Most of it is travel pack sized. I would be happy just to have my league fees paid.

  12. kyle88 says:

    I agree with you that the CAP is not a guarantee for the NHL to make money, or have a balanced form of competetion. I believe the idea behind a CAP is to leash the owners without brains (Toronto, NY, etc.). You have to imagine that a team limited on its expenses, would have to be more careful with draft picks, scouting, and trades. It also eliminates collusion.

    I think that the owners are more concerned with the health of the NHL as a business, then how much money they make personally. When you are worth 1.6 billion, do you really need that extra million. It is more of a hobby for owners, and they think a CAP will level the playing field.

  13. cgolding says:

    does a cap assure prosperity?


    does a cap assure teams will all have a chance to win?


    does a cap assure teams of profit?


    then why does a cap work?

    the cap is an idea that works to creat the POSSIBILITY of all these things given equal management. if you manage your team wisely then you can not only compete and win, but also assure yourself of some financial returns on your investment. if you really want to argue that owners don’t deserve some return on the money that they have put into this then you aren’t really living in reality… if the return wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have teams.

    look the cap works only to level the playing field. assuming they institute a minimum, i would assume they will at the same time put in place some form of revenue sharing that gets teams to the necessary level of funds… only way that works.

    (note: the pens are screwed if they don’t get hockey going again because the longer this goes the more likely it is that they won’t get help for their stadium in my opinion. if they can’t get a new stadium… they are a lost cause.)

    look. no system is perfect. i’m a redskins fan, they manage their team horribly… and thus haven’t won. the eagles/pats manage their teams excellently and thus win. the point of the NFL is that it isn’t about buying players, it’s about building a team under the cap system… and doing so in an environment where EVERYONE can build a team in the exact same way.

    and no, the NHL doesn’t need a cash cow TV-deal to operate well under the cap system. how much money is coming into the league is irrelevent to whether or not the cap system will work, you simply have to lower the cap to a level that works with the revenue that is coming into the league. the NFL salary cap is linked to revenue… if they made as much as the NHL the cap would be lower.

    the cap will do exactly what people say it will, but that doesn’t necessarily mean teams will all be successful under it. teams with good management teams that make smart decisions on personel will win. those that do not, will lose.

    that’s fair. it creates a competitive level at the management level that is removed from how much an individual team can pay. it forces GM’s to look around the league and compete with one another for players that they can all sign in an effort to make their team the best it can be…

    that’s why the NFL is so great. everyone knows going into an offseason that they have a chance with some smart decision making… that there is no great gap from good to bad. it makes the offseason spectacular around the entire league… not just Detroit, NY, Toronto, and Philly.

    seriously man… just try thinking of yourself as an Edmonton fan for five minutes instead of a team with a retarded bank-roll.

  14. cgolding says:

    people who are that wealthy always want more… fact of life.

    competitive balance is at the heart of this, but that is really a large issue in the financial viability of the league. competitive balance will stabilize the smaller markets and make them more likely to grow if their teams can enjoy some extended success that will attach people in the are to the team. it’s hard for people to support a team that never wins… look at the florida teams, they both had good turnout when they were good in the 90’s, but then fell off the map and lost what they had built.

    the league needs to get a system where smaller markets can sustain a good team… not build up through the draft and then lose players to free agency and everything else.

  15. Oilerz says:

    Holy crap, you are so all over the place in this post I don’t even know what you are trying to say. Are you asking a question or making a statement about what university you went to?

  16. 19Yzerman says:

    Which would hurt the NFL more? Losing the attention and the money of the superbowl or removing the cap?

    You don’t seem to think that the superbowl has as much to do with NFL succes as I do. I think that it is their everything and without that superbowl it would not be the poster boy for sports league finacial succes.

    Your analogy of how a cap will make teams with good management and who make smart decisions on personel win presents the fact that there are only so many league leader scouts and managers as there are 50 goal scorers hence there will be inferior and superior teams. Despite the institution of a cap to balance things which cannot be balanced in the first place.

    This CBA cap issue is more of the colusion without colusion concept than it is about anything else.

  17. 19Yzerman says:

    Please be specific about what it is that you did not understand.

    I did ask this question.

    How can anyone say that the NFL wouldn’t have ended up where it is today anyway without a CAP?

    The article its self was intended to depict the laws of fate and probability as they apply to the NHL simply saying “Hey if it worked that great for the NFL then let’s do the same. Its guaranteed to work for us the same way.”

    I chose that road to the right and worked in a widget factory.

  18. cgolding says:

    dude… their everything is the ridiculous amount of money they make off of the REGULAR SEASON. 2 billion or whatever the last deal was? they don’t need the SB… it’s icing on top of a bushel of pies.

    Your analogy of how a cap will make teams with good management and who make smart decisions on personel win presents the fact that there are only so many league leader scouts and managers as there are 50 goal scorers hence there will be inferior and superior teams. Despite the institution of a cap to balance things which cannot be balanced in the first place.

    wait? really? i accounted for that implicitly in the good management v. bad management. right now you could hire the greatest management team in the world and they wouldn’t be capable of sustained success in Edmont, Florida, etc… without bankrupting themselves.

    the PURPOSE of the cap is to actually reward teams that create strong management systems… thus having good scouting, drafting, signing, etc… if you make mistakes in a cap world they have consequences, rather than being able to toss the player aside and sign someone else.

    a cap rewards and punishes management decisions… and makes it so that a good management team can win and make a strong franchise in almost every city in the NHL. so of course some teams will be up and some will be down… that is an aspect of sports. but what does the NFL prove EVERY year. if you are awful one year you can be great the next year easily. outside of a few teams (the Sharks who were good before and made some good trades to get back) it is pretty damn hard to make quick jumps in the NHL, if not impossible.

    collusion involves owners saying WE aren’t going to pay more than this. in a cap owners can pay as much as they want… but they could screw themselves if they do. look at Indy in football… they are NEVER NEVER EVER going to win it all in the NFL if they refuse to acknowledge the issue of spending some money on their defense.

    level playing field at all levels man. take the money away from affecting the on field product. THAT is why the cap is good. that is why the NFL is good… money doesn’t affect the product on the field… good management does.

  19. 19Yzerman says:

    I left out the word Colletive. Yea!! Thats it Collective collusion.

    You are correct.

    Under a cap owners can pay any one player any amount they want. However by putting a limit on the over all cost of the team roster I consider that to be a collective collusion until the players sign such a CBA. Then they understand and agree which would be fine at that point.

    Now you have me curious as to what % of all NFL revenue come from the Superbowl. Maybe I am over estimating that amount.

  20. cgolding says:

    small %.

    the tv-networks are the ones that make a massive amount of money off the SB… not the league.

  21. 19Yzerman says:

    TV Networks.

    They will also be puting the squeeze to the league.

    NHL hockey season as a one time fee like on direct TV. offer it cheap with no cmmercials. Avoid the costs of net work contracts.

    the hell with all of them greed striken fools.I Watch NCAA hockey as things are starting to heat up there with teams that jockey for a frozen four run.

  22. Oilerz says:

    From my desk at the factory it all seems “what if? ” as well. 🙂

    The NFL would have the biggest salaries of all major sports without a cap, due to the shortness of carrers due to injury, etc, as well as the huge TV deals.

    In my opinion that is.

  23. cgolding says:

    the costs?

    they make money off of the NHL being on TV. the TV networks make money off of then selling advertising during the game… commercials are here to stay it the only way anyone makes money. the reason the NFL contracts are worth so much money to them is because so many people watch football that in turn they can charge an arm and a leg for people to get their commercials aired during the game…

    neverminding the fact that the absolute LAST thing anyone wants to do is limit the number of outlets for the game. nor would any tv carrier PAY the league money and then have no commercials… unless you want them slapping stuff all around the viewing picture.

    NBC barely cares if the lockout ends or not… ESPN does marginally. NBC gave the NHL zero cash… they are just sharing whatever money they make off of advertising… thus it doesn’t really matter to them whether or not there is hockey on tv, they haven’t put anything up front.

    TV is nothing but good for a league and everyone in it… the NHLPA would do well to accept a cap tied to revenue and then work with the league towards getting a good TV deal.

  24. Aetherial says:

    There is no guarantee whatsoever that a cap will make the league successful.

    Simply, hockey may NEVER sell big in the U.S. Let’s face, the U.S. has a number of successful sports ventures… exactly how much room is left?

    I will say that I believe a cap… with the idea of fostering competitive balance is the best chance that the league has.

    If Baseball was not such a part of American Tradition then it would die in markets outside of Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

    Why? Because the game is God-awful boring and most of the teams have no prayer, year to year of making the playoffs.

    Hockey needs a chance at least… The foundation necessary is

    Wide exposure

    Competitive balance

    An entertaining product (meaning rule changes or rule enforcement).

    ALL THREE of these are critical and without a cap, #2 is unlikely… recent Cinderella playoff stories aside.

  25. hock3yfan says:

    Your quote…

    “NBC barely cares if the lockout ends or not… ESPN does marginally. NBC gave the NHL zero cash… they are just sharing whatever money they make off of advertising… thus it doesn’t really matter to them whether or not there is hockey on tv, they haven’t put anything up front. ”

    …demonstrates why Betteman is inept and should go away. It also demonstrates that NHL is not and will NEVER be a sport with national appeal in the US and how over-expansion in pursuit of that status is what is killing the game not players wanting to be paid well for thier services.

    NBC is not stupid, why would they pay for a game with little national appeal, but the morons who run the NHL are delusional so they accept a deal that they, in their fairy world, believe will lead to a road of riches. It reminds me of a crack dealer…hey bud, the first one is free…what if you dont like crack after trying it? crack=nhl in this analogy.

    I for one, have no problem with having local games broadcasted on fox or perhaps even a pay-per-view system. First off I like/prefer local play-by-play and color commentary to the psuedo-hype driven blabbering that goes on by national announcers that do not know the players on the ice, their tendancies nor their abilities. They only spew what they can find from a 3×5 index card.

    I for one, would like to see some contraction, if you want a clear sign to the players that there are problems then that would be a good way to get it across, not some arbitrarily assigned artifical salary cap.


  26. cgolding says:

    we won’t see contraction… but yes, i would like to see it as well.

    the deal bettman got was the best he could… NBC was the only one offering anything to the NHL. take what you can. the vast majority of games are going to be shown on local TV, but in reality a national TV deal is necessary for the league and the grandiose dreams they have.

    some of the announcers that do national stuff are pretty good… clement for example, who i really like (definitely better than the local color guys in philly).

    given time and smart practices… potentially with the help of HDTV making an impact, they have to try and grow TV audiences. they won’t be the NBA, NFL, or MLB… but they should be a viable sport on TV if they can work this all correctly… then they’ll get some up-front cash.

  27. 19Yzerman says:

    Owners ?? Players??

    Its hard to feel sorry for anyone who is making 1.3 million or more per year.

    Pay them all by incentive like piece work.

    Shooting the puck at the net pays $1000.00

    Miss the net completely and pay $1000.00 back

    Goalies get 10,000 for a shutout

    Goalies must pay back 1,500 for each goal allowed

    Dman gets 1000.00 for disposesing oposing forwards of the puck

    Dman pays back 1000.00 for coughing up puck in own zone.

  28. cgolding says:

    see the dirty little secret is that baseball IS dying in markets outside of the ones you are mentioning. competitive balance is a major issue in MLB, but the fact that people will just sit down and watch a game of baseball on tv nullifies it to a large extent.

    the NFL has exploded past the other sports — including baseball — since it took control of its finances. i assert this is mostly due to the fact that they have solid competitive balance, or more importantly everyone believes they have a real chance to win… thus they have a vested interest in the team from year-to-year. (barring the year when i protested the skins whole Jeff George fiasco)

    NHL may not explode, but it will reach some amount of financial stability… some level of competitive stability and it may help the sport grow in markets thus making the league stronger. in reality, the best thing that could possible happen to the league is all the big boys fall apart for 10 years and let the small fries into the spotlight… that could potentially lead to the league being very strong.

  29. aafiv says:

    ..I am always responding to your misguided nonsense.

    Players’ system?

    Yeah, this would be the players’ systems that the owners agreed to and then perverted. The system that allowed owners to foolishly spend ridiculous amounts of money for mediocre talent.

    I suppose it’s the players’ fault for taking the money.

    Please stop being a tool.

  30. rojoke says:

    I think the reason that hockey doesn’t sell in the US is because it’s not a US-developed sport. Basketball was invented in the US (by a Canadian, I know). Baseball and football all came from other sports, but the games as they exist in their current formed all came from American adaptations, which made them barely a semblence from the sports they originated from. If someone in the US had taken the game from its infancy, made a few changes, and re-branded it, it would take off. And only because the US populus would be sold that it’s a new American game.

  31. 19Yzerman says:

    How can you consider an opinion of any topic which is debatable to be misguided nonsense.

    Please give me an example of something I stated which was misguided so I may understand your post here.

    Players fault for taking the money?

    No Way!

    Unless you can some how prove I am misguided when I say:

    “It was not armed robbery”

    ” it was not extortion”

    “it was not embezzlement”

    May be I can change my name on here to Al Pacino.Thats me in That movie scarface during the restaurant scene where he says “JYou need a guy like me around here so jyuo can point jyour fingers and say he’s DA bad guy”.

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