The Star Tribune has an amazing look inside the NHLPA’s contract-tracking software. Called SCORE, it allows NHLPA agents to track what comparable players make in the league (login info.). The software even allows agents to see how teams tender offers, giving agents insight into if a club’s final offer is really final.
The software and concept seem pretty powerful, and as NHL salaries will tell you, pretty effective. The NHL has a similar software, but they have to be careful about applying it, because if they share too much information, it could, potentially, enter the world of collusion.
But really, the whole process makes the case that the best way for the NHL to control player salaries is to train the owners and GMs to negotiate in a more sophisticated way. Even if the NHL gets a cap installed, I have every confidence agents will find a way to exploit its loopholes within a season.
Speaking of business, I wonder why the NHL isn’t reaching out to more foreign markets (you know, when they actually play hockey in the NHL). The NBA is making some decent money selling their programming around the world. There are tons of hockey-loving countries (like England, the proud new owners of NHLers Scott Nichol and Eric Cairns). I wonder if the NHL is tapping into this revenue. It kind of seems like they’re not.