- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: On league executive last week, “It’s eerily quiet.”
“This is just like 2004: We got to July 15 and basically nothing was done,” said a high-profile agent. “It has pretty much gone the same way this year. You haven’t really see anything, with the exception of some contract extensions.”
“Teams are saying, ‘We’ll give this to you now because we’re not sure what the rules are going to be down the road.’ In most cases, the players are jumping at the chance to get the security,” said the executive.
Shane Doan has a 4 year, $30 million offer from the Sabres. The Canucks, Penguins, Flyers, and Rangers are all willing to go 4 years and $24 million. The Ducks were shopping Bobby Ryan at the beginning of the summer, but they were asking for a king’s ransom, and now they may not move him anymore. The Maple Leafs, Blackhawks and Panthers have shown interest in Roberto Luongo, but the Canucks want assets back and aren’t going to give him away. The honeymoon period is over for Brian Burke in Toronto, and Luongo would be a major upgrade over James Reimer. If the Canucks can’t trade Luongo, they could put him on waivers and see if someone claims his 10 year, $5.3 million salary hit. You have to think that if there was a CBA, Luongo would have been moved by now.
“This is a deal that will likely have to wait until the CBA is settled,” said a league insider.
If the current salary cap of $70.2 million drops under the new CBA (latest NHL offer had salary cap at $58.3 million), there will be plenty of teams scrambling to make moves.
“Suddenly you’d have a lot of players with big salaries available,” said the insider. “I’m sure you’ve got teams right now that are waiting.”
- Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune: Wild lines to start training camp: Matt Cullen, Mikael Granlund and Devin Setoguchi, Pierre-Marc Bouchard with Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck. The 4th line will have Darroll Powe, Zenon Konopka and Torrey Mitchell. (1st line would be Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, and Dany Heatley). Defensive pairing would be Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella and Tom Gilbert, Clayton Stoner with one of Justin Falk, Nate Prosser or Jonas Brodin.
- Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Portzline offers 3 steps to avoid the lockout. 1. The Players Share:
Take away the link between hockey-related revenue and the salary cap for the first year of the deal, and set the salary cap at an arbitrary figure, say $56 million. Then, each year’s revenue sets the next year’s salary cap, thus eliminating the need for escrow. Each year that the league’s revenues grow by 5 percent or more, the players’ share goes up 1 percent. Each year it grows between 0 and 4.9 percent, it remains unchanged. If revenue falls, the players’ share drops 1 percent. The players can never take more than 55 percent of revenues and never less than 48 percent.
The team salary minimum will sit at $12 million below the cap, less than the current $18 million.
2. Revenue Sharing:
The league makes roughly $200 million a year in its contract with NBC Sports. From Canadian TV, the league gets about $35 million per year from TSN and $15 million for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. But, since it is U.S. franchises that are struggling, use the NBC money to aide the bottom 10 clubs. Clubs that land 28th to 30th in revenue each year get 15 percent of that ($30 million each), clubs in the 24-27 range get 10 percent ($20 million), and clubs between 21-23 get 5 percent ($10 million).
3. Contract terms:
A six-year contract limit seems reasonable, as does seven seasons to unrestricted free agency (as it is now). No more front-loaded contracts. All contracts will pay the same in every season, including signing bonuses. And no more burying NHL contracts in the minor-leagues to circumvent the salary cap; that’s a huge advantage for big-market clubs. Entry-level deals should remain at three years.