Dec 7, 2012, 12:44 PM EDT
Yesterday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly delivered arguably the most memorable sound bite of the day (which says a lot given all the memorable sound bites) when he called the issue of max five-year contracts “the hill we’ll die on.”
For the NHL, limiting contract lengths is a simple (and apparently life-and-death) matter of eliminating long contracts that could potentially go wrong. And most people see the logic in that. (See: Rick DiPietro.)
What a lot of people are wondering is why the players are being so stubborn about term limits (they’ve proposed eight-year maximums) when the large majority of them will never sign a contract as long as five years anyway.
The best answer to that may come in the form of a question: What would Sidney Crosby’s contract look like if there was a five-year limit?
The contract Crosby did recently sign was for 12 years and $104.4 million, which renders a cap hit of $8.7 million. Given his concussion history, committing all that money over such a long term was a pretty big risk for Penguins ownership, and it’s safe to assume Crosby had to “pay” for some of the security he got by taking a lower average annual salary.
If Crosby wasn’t able to get that type of security, it’s highly likely he’d demand a higher average annual salary. Under the last CBA, the maximum a player could earn was 20 percent of the salary cap. So for the 2012-13 season (upper limit of $70.2 million), the max salary was set at $14.04 million.
So let’s say Crosby got the max (he probably could if he threatened to walk away), that would then leave less money for GM Ray Shero to fill out the rest of his roster, thus putting the squeeze on guys like Tyler Kennedy and Craig Adams when they tried to re-sign for 2013-14.
This is why the players don’t want five-year limits. Because the simple fact is this: great players win Stanley Cups and sell tickets. Yeah, teams need depth too, but they need the great players first. Want proof? Here’s a list of players who have put their names on Cups in the last five years:
Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar.
If a general manager is given a choice between keeping one of those guys and keeping a couple of good third-liners and a couple of good fourth-liners, a GM is going to keep the great player and make do with two average third-liners and two average fourth-liners. And since that reduces the leverage of the good third-liners and fourth-liners, they end up signing for less.
Mar 16, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT
Did Carl Hagelin score? Judge for yourself.
Mar 16, 2014, 7:26 PM EDT
Also included: video of Kevin Bieksa’s impressive “save.”
Mar 16, 2014, 6:59 PM EDT
The rivalry relocated.
Mar 16, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT
Tough loss for a player on a hot streak.
Mar 16, 2014, 6:18 PM EDT
It will begin 1-0, but with a full 60-minute game.
Mar 16, 2014, 6:06 PM EDT
Washington gets two key points in regulation.
Mar 16, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT
Good timing considering Chicago’s recent stumbles.
Mar 16, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT
Yep, he’s ridiculous.
Mar 16, 2014, 4:41 PM EDT
He sustained the lower-body injury earlier this week.
Mar 16, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT
Pittsburgh just lost back-to-back contests to Philadelphia.
Mar 16, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT
Wayne Simmonds had two goals and an assist to reach the 50-point milestone.
Mar 16, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT
Robin Lehner will play between the pipes instead.
Mar 16, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT
Jhonas Enroth started for Buffalo on Saturday.
Mar 16, 2014, 1:08 PM EDT
He wasn’t having a bad game, but his teammates were.
Mar 16, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT
Crosby and Malkin might get more playing time together as a result.
Mar 16, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
The game starts at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Mar 16, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT
Winnipeg is six points behind Dallas with 14 games to go.
Mar 16, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
He’s been a big part of Tampa Bay’s success this season.
Mar 16, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT
He’ll rest instead.
Mar 16, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
The Red Wings will be in a very bad place if they lose this one.
- Rangers foiled by Sharks’ Niemi, controversial no-goal 1
- Lack’s Canucks win to end weekend of awkward reunions for Luongo 1
- Blues’ Tarasenko will undergo hand surgery, out at least six weeks 3
- NHL reschedules Blue Jackets-Stars game halted by Peverley collapse to April 9 1
- Help’s on the way: Letang, Bennett cleared for practices 8
- Penguins rally falls short as Flyers sweep weekend series 26
- NHL on NBCSN: Detroit pumped to face Chicago 4
- NHL on NBC: Penguins and Flyers resume rivalry as playoff race continues 7
- Discuss: Habs overcome three-goal deficit, beat Senators in overtime 17
- Canucks ready to face Luongo on Sunday 3
- Here are three ‘major changes’ the NHL should consider (98)
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (74)
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter (62)
- Pens lose Neal to concussion (62)
- Video: Dryden on why hockey should ‘give up the fighting, but keep the fight’ (57)