A reader sent me a link to Tim Panaccio’s Sunday NHL column, which I missed this week (login info.). It’s a pretty interesting one, where he talks about the refusal of the big market NHL owners to step up and admit the lockout is bad business. He also talks about the eight NHL owners whose votes allow NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to control the negotiation process with the players. Bettman only needs eight of 30 votes to keep control of the negotiations. There are some interesting names pushing for the hard cap, even if it destroys the NHL. Among them:
- Ted Leonis of the Caps. Leonis signed Jaromir Jagr to a seven year, $77 million deal in 2001. Although Jagr is now a Ranger, the Capitals are still paying between $4 and $4.5 million a year on the remaining four years of his contract (although not during the lockout).
Bill Wirtz of the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season the Blackhawks were 20-43-11-8. Before that, they were 30-33-13-6. Name a Blackhawk of note whose last name isn’t Hull.
Peter Karmanos of the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes signed Detroit’s Sergei Fedorov to a six-year, $38 million offer sheet with easily attainable incentives designed to discourage Detroit from re-signing him. Detroit re-signed him anyway. They won the Cup and it cost them $12 million in bonuses.
Jeremy Jacobs of the Bruins. The Bruins invented the contract scam that makes signing top draft picks almost impossible for small market teams: it’s called the easily attainable incentive.
So these owners who are so hot for a salary cap are the same owners with little to no management skills (unless you think it’s smart to pay millions for a guy to play on another team). In fact, you’ll see many of their teams on this list of the 12 dumbest NHL contracts.
These are mostly just owners who want a cap because it’s easier than learning about hockey. The cap represents a quick way for the owners to save themselves from themselves.