Monday, December 27, 2004

Salary cap, not entertainment cap

Even on the heels of the holidays, Tom Benjamin at Canucks Corner is as full of vitriol as ever in his latest entry (maybe Santa left him some coal?). Tom isn't happy with Bettman's vision of the NHL and makes a few bold predictions for how the proposed changes will remake the league:
All teams are forced into a narrow payroll range. We'll never see a team as good as the Colorado Avalanche or the Detroit Red Wings again.
An interesting statement considering that the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup this year with a salary within the proposed range. And not having stacked teams in those cities is a positive in my books.
The fact that there are huge regular season revenue disparities will be ignored, thus assuring massive profits for the big market teams. Although these teams will not be able to offer higher salaries because of the salary cap, they will certainly be able to offer much better financial opportunities off the ice.
As it stands now, big market teams offer better financial opportunities in all faculties. Isn't limiting them to better off-ice opportunities a marked improvement?
Smaller market teams will not be able to close the revenue gap with playoff revenues as they do today. Instead of rewarding success in a place like Vancouver, money the fans spend on playoff tickets will go to subsidise franchises in Nashville, Anaheim, Carolina and Washington.
Tom's got a great point here. Team's should not be rewarded for not making the playoffs with revenue. Revenue sharing has to split up things like the huge Cablevision contract the Rangers have, but not so much as to hinder teams which sell tickets and help the hopeless (here's looking at you Carolina *cough *contract* cough*).


At 7:45 p.m., December 27, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey James-

I just wanted to say that I've just discovered your blog and I've enjoyed what I have seen so far. Keep it up!

At 12:00 a.m., December 28, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta disagree with you here James. Having been a Preds fan for seven years now let me tell you that there is nothing better than being the underdog. Having the Red Wings come into your barn 3 to 4 times a year and kicking their arses is sooooo much sweeter when you know how good they are. I love having dynasties, I think its good for the sport and when they are taken down a peg (as they often are) it's just great. Tampa is a perfect example of how things can work well with the current system. You build through the draft, make good trades and free agent signings and *boom* you have success. Just because some teams can and do spend big bucks every year doesn't guarentee them anything. I'm not saying the current system is perfect I just think tweaking it is a better idea than completely changing it. The salary cap in the NFL has made its product craptacular and I don't want to see that happen to the NHL. Charlie

At 2:26 a.m., December 28, 2004, Blogger Sea Otter said...

Implied in Tom Benjamin's latest comments is an admission that, in fact, the league will succeed in bringing in a cap. Yes, I know he flies his traditional flag of decertification, but I'm not sure there's anyone who takes that seriously.

Put it this way -- these weren't the words of a guy who thought his side was winning the war.


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