NHL Contracts: Is There Another Way?

The NHL does have its issues. There are teams that may or may not be able to resign star players. There are teams that have already or plan to buy out bad contracts, and then there are others that can’t get the players other teams toss aside. Here’s a thought. Maybe the NHL needs to review how players are paid.   

What if the NHL and owners decided to pay players based on the line they play on? I know it sounds nuts but hear me out. The stars would still make the most money, then it would make for competition on the lower lines to battle for more money next season. Contracts would have a base pay, and a set number of years. Players could then earn more money as they produce. I think the idea isn’t the worst I have ever heard. However, it may stop teams from signing players to bad contracts, and it may help the “small” market teams draw better free agents. Not only would it drive competition with in the locker room; it would also fuel league wide competition. With a salary cap that changes year to year, a system like this may help alleviate some of the pressure of fitting under the cap.

Why It Could Work

  • Top players would still make their money
  • It would help with cap issues.
  • It is a team sport after all, should your players all get paid?
  • Pro sports is a business, and this is not an abnormal business structure.
  • The contracts and money are getting way out of control.

Why It Will Never Work

  •  Players would never agree to a pay scale system
  • CBA issues would make this a very hard thing to figure out.
  • Players would get paid on a game by game system.
  • KHL would take the top talent.
  • Because sports are not like the real world.

I’m not saying this is a good idea, or a bad idea. However, at some point something has to change, and all changes come from ideas. It’s very simple, if the NHL wants to continue to grow, the league needs to fix the contract problems once and for all. Times are changing and so will the NHL. For better or worse remains to been seen.

Topics: Nhl Contracts, NHL Free Agency

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  • Eyyo

    And when lines are forced to change due to injuries/misconducts? A system like that would be a nightmare.

    • Eyyo

      This also does not account for the fact that lines are often built around roles, and not just a ranking of ability.

      • http://www.predlines.com/ Patrick Helper

        This is just an idea that came up over a conversation last night. As you said it would be a nightmare to use, but the point remains the same. Something needs to change.

        • Kevin

          I believe it will always be the way it is now or get even worse. As long as owners keep meeting the demands of the players, it will never end no matter what Bettman does. And how much of the blame is on the players and their agents?

          • http://www.predlines.com/ Patrick Helper

            A lot of this falls on the players. I’d even go as far to say over 50% of this mess is on them. But unless people start talking, and ideas start flowing noting can change. Not saying it will change, but every thing has a starting point.

          • Eyyo

            Does Gaustad, the faceoff and PK specialist take a pay cut for playing on the 4th line? If the Preds designate a 3rd ‘checking’ line, does Clune receive a league mandated raise? Hogwash I say.

          • http://www.predlines.com/ Patrick Helper

            Well Gaustad would need to get PK and Faceoff % figured into his contract. The way this “would” work would be players are assigned a line, if they move up or down their money would shift depending on how much time they spend on that line. The idea here is lower the amount of guaranteed money per player, and make them earn it.

          • Eyyo

            Kind of like a performance bonus? Those are already in place.

          • http://www.predlines.com/ Patrick Helper

            In a way yes. But every player would have something built in. Even the players who are role players. But with this system it’s the only way to get their big money. The thought behind this is to limit the bad contracts.

          • Eyyo

            So McGrattan gets paid per fight? Gil gets a bonus check for a locker room speech? There are too many intangibles for any other system than the one in place to work.

          • http://www.predlines.com/ Patrick Helper

            You are most likely correct. I dont think this could work ether. I just wanted to open up the conversation. I’m hoping to be able to have conversations like this through out the season, not just write something and not look at it again.It’s all part of what we are trying to do with the site.

          • Kevin

            The trainer and the equipment manager get a bonuses for getting the players ready faster than normal. LOL where does it end?

          • http://www.predlines.com/ Patrick Helper

            Sounds good. But lets say it ends with on ice talent. And no Ice girls do not count.

      • Kevin

        I agree, sometimes you have a 4th liner playing on the 1st line to protect the other guys or to add a spark. Guy moving all over the place.

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