They adopt a new system that hybridizes the marketplace and the cap approach, which theoretically allows a team to spend as much money as they want. “That’s what Goodenow wanted!”
But wait... let’s go over some limitations.
The new team structure would be presented as such, assuming a 50/50 split in revenue is reached (it’s really no secret the NHL offered 43% when the players had 57% before... middle ground? Who we kidding here?). Now, since the NHL reports 3.3 billion in HRR, we can assume that average spending should be around 55M per team. I’d like to further adjust the number based on hacking off the highest revenue teams and the lowest revenue teams (5 each end). I also take into account that part of that revenue was based on NHL’s income from tv deals and such. The number I end up acquiring is $53.45M a team.
So instead, I make a new contract structure by dividing four types of contracts.
Max 2 per team. Contract length capped at 6 years.
Pay ceiling is unlimited.
Should account for 20% of a team’s overall salary, though since contracts are unlimited, can theoretically be up to 30M. (10.69 - 5.345M/y should be average).
Max 4 per team. Contract length capped at 5 years. Pay limited to 5M a player on a grade B.
Pay ceiling is 80/120% of 20% of the team’s overall salary (10.69 Max 12.828M – 2.6725M/y should be average).
Max 6 per team. Contract length capped at 4 years. Pay limited to 3M a player on a grade C.
Pay floor/ceiling is 80/120% of 20% of the team’s overall salary (10.69 - 1.7816M/y should be average).
Max 8 per team. Contract length capped at 3 years. Pay limited to 2M a player on a grade D.
Pay ceiling is 80/120% of 20% of the team’s overall salary (10.69 – 1.3363M/y should be average).
Max 10 per team. Contract length capped at 2 years. Pay limited to 1.5M a player on a grade E.
Pay ceiling is 80/120% of 20% of the team’s overall salary (10.69 – 1.069M/y should be average).
Now the cap on the grade A (all star) contracts is absolutely unlimited. However, it does set a cap on the rest of the team at 51.312M so that teams aren’t overpaying their second line (which is the chief problem right now). Theoretically, the Maple Leafs and the Rangers could fork over about 80M a season if they capped the grade B-E contracts (51.312M) and paid their two stars 15M/season.
What happens with free agency would then change. The system would work like this:
If a player is not satisfied to a grade B contract, then another team can sign him to a grade A contract during Restricted Free Agency periods (up until they’re 27 years old or after 7 years in the league at min 25G a year) and compensate the other team according to what standards are in place now.
To further expand the marketplace system, allow teams to buy to revenue sharing additional All Star contracts for 4M dollars a piece, or additional B contracts for 2M dollars a piece. That way, if a team wants to pay 3 guys 7M a season, they’re forking over another 4M to the lower tiers of the league who meets the quota and therefore paying 25M dollars. You can also institute a tax to the league 50% for every million they pay a player over 8 million, so if someone is getting 11M in one season, they owe the league 1.5M in revenue sharing as well.
Now teams aren’t forced to just fork over free money, but get to spend inflated amounts of dollars on being a little more competitive while there will still be plenty of parity in the league. Even if the Rangers and the Leafs decide to spend 80M dollars, they’ll have maybe some of the better all stars and one or two extra players playing high end roles, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that money will buy them championships.