October 20 2012 03:13PM
One of the things that the salary cap is supposed to do in the NHL is provide competitive balance. In the AHL, there is no salary cap, which results in the top-spending teams having a payroll almost twice as high as the bottom-spending teams. Because many of the best players in the league (i.e. players on entry-level contracts) still have their salaries restricted (the current maximum for a player on his entry-level contract is $70,000), a team's payroll isn't exactly the same as its quality. Still, all of these teams are filled out by veterans, and the teams who spend more have a major advantage.
October 19 2012 04:03PM
Gary Bettman has aged badly since he signed his first CBA
By New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection staff photographer
Yesterday there was a flurry of CBA proposals made by the NHLPA. Today, one came from another source: Twitter user @67sound. It's an interesting proposal -- unlike the overwhelming majority of the fan/media proposals, it actually works to deliver what the players and owners say they need. So I want to break down how it works.
The basic stances of the two sides have been made clear. The owners want a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenue (HRR). The players are open to a 50/50 split but do not want a rollback (or the equivalent increase in escrow withholdings) of their existing contracts, which add up to more than 50%. The owners say the drop to 50/50 needs to be effective immediately to save certain struggling franchises.
What the new proposal suggests is that the cap, floor, and escrow calculations be based on a 50/50 split, but that teams be permitted to spend more than that if they choose. Teams could spend up to the current $70.2M, but the excess over the 50/50 split would come out of their own share of the revenues rather than affecting what other owners and players get.
Let's go through some numbers to illustrate how that works.
October 19 2012 10:35AM
The NHL's recent proposal to end the lockout created a lot of buzz and the hope that we might have NHL hockey sooner rather than later. This optimism was based on the 50/50 split of league revenue, close to what most expect the final outcome to be, and that all contracts would be honored with no rollback in salary from the players' reduced share of hockey-related revenue. Let's take a look at the mechanism the owners' proposal uses to cut the players' share of salary without rolling it back: the "Make Whole" Provision.
October 18 2012 09:45AM
A dying breed?
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
A couple of days ago, I looked at draft pick origins by league. The most significant conclusion from that article concerned Eastern Europe:
The most obvious takeaway from the data is the slump from Eastern European leagues. In 2003 and 2004, leagues in Belarus, The Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia accounted for 19% of all picks. In 2011 and 2012 those same leagues accounted for just 5% and 4% of all picks. In fact, since 2007, those leagues haven't combined for more than 5% of all selections.
One possible explanation raised by commenters, is that the distribution of picks by nationality hasn't changed, rather the reason for the shift in league distribution is the sheer amount of imports playing junior hockey in Canada.
I sorted the data by birth country and found that explanation doesn't hold water either.
October 17 2012 07:35AM
Zac Rinaldo has been saying for years that if he ever got a chance to play on a top line, people would be surprised to see that he has more skill than they think. The lockout is going to give him that chance; he has been put on the Phantoms' top line with Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn, two premium prospects.
This left me wondering: what should we expect of him? How many points would he have to put up to back up a claim that he has legitimate offensive talent that has previously gone untapped?
Gabe Desjardins put together some excellent conversion factors and concluded that AHL points are a little more than twice as easy to come by -- you can multiply a player's AHL points per game by 0.45 to estimate roughly what he would have in the NHL.
But that's in a normal AHL, and if there's a protracted lockout this year, that would undoubtedly elevate the quality of play and make points harder to come by. So I got curious what we should expect for a translation factor this year.