It’s official. The “new” NHL is just as out of control as the last one.
The other day, I used the phrase “Patrick Sharp money” while talking about Dan Cleary’s contract demands. (Yes, Dan Cleary is allegedly thinking about holding out for a pay raise. Dan freaking Cleary. He’s had one good year this year, and that warrants a big raise?)
Wait a minute. That’s it. Dan Cleary making contract demands. Patrick Sharp making all this money. Mike Ribero signs a big contract after one good year and Mike Richards signs a deal that rivals Chris Chelios’ playing career in length.
Before you know it, someone’s going to sign Murray Craven out of retirement to a 5 year, $24 million dollar deal.
Don’t get me wrong…Patrick Sharp and Dan Cleary are solid players that any team would like to have. But what has the world come to if these guys are getting paid $4 million dollars a year? Did I miss something? Is Patrick Sharp making $3.9 million in American dollars or monopoly money?
And the $64,000 question: should I be more worried that Sharp is making that much money or that taking that amount of monopoly money might be worth more than the American dollar in a couple years?
And yet, the salary cap is expected to go up an estimated $3 million next year. Good thing. I can’t imagine what will happen if Marty Reasoner decides to test free agency.
Some long term deals are good. Signing Ovechkin is good for the Caps. You’ve got the most marketable player in the league locked up for life, and you know he’ll be something special for a very long time. Ditto with Crosby. If anything, these players are getting less value than if they were to sign shorter deals and test the free agency market. But Pietro? Richards?
So, who’s to blame? As much as I’d like to, I’d like to blame Gary Bettman because he was the one who had to have this CBA, but nothing is forcing these GMs and owners into these deals. They’re freely entering a contract. Is it really going to take a 2 year, $30 million dollar Kirk Maltby deal (with a no trade clause) before the GMs get together and stop the insanity?
Maybe the NHL can still make money after these insane deals. That’s fine. I’ll stop complaining and shake Jamal Mayers hand when he signs his 7 year, $42 million deal. But in a couple of years, when the owners are claiming that the sky is falling, I’ll have no sympathy.