16 June 2010
I don't think this is getting nearly as much attention as it should because no one wants to take anything away from the Blackhawks deserving championship. But what exactly is the punishment for being over the cap? I get that it's pretty tough to criticize a team for spending too much, and bringing the excitement of hockey back to a great hockey town, when that same team spent the last three decades in a frugality-induced coma. but if the Rangers, Leafs, or yes the Wings won the cup being $4M over the cap who wants to bet that one of the narratives to come out of the season would be how big money teams can spend over the cap limit with little to no punishment.
After Jonathon Toews $1.5M bonus for winning the Conn Smythe, the Blackhawks were $4M over the cap this year. The $4M carries over to next season's cap, which makes it even harder for Chicago to fit under the cap.
But the real question here ... so what?
If the NHL's salary cap had any type of teeth the Blackhawks would have some sort of punishment for this season. I'm not talking about anything ridiculous like negating the cup victory or anything, that would be monumentally stupid. But shouldn't the punishment be... you know... something?
The NHL went through great pains to set up this salary cap, and I don't even want to know how many lawyers forced paralegals to write this 472-page behemoth of legalese. But lost in all the negotiating over the cap seems to be an actual punishment for going over the cap, other than public embarrassment.What if the Blackhawks went into cap $10M over. Would they lose draft picks? Not be allowed to suit up enough players? fined? Forced to hire Doug MacLean as GM? And if any of those things would happen why didn't they happen this year? And what if the Blackhawks trade for Scott Gomez and Wade Redden during the season? There seems to be very little incentive to trying to stay under the cap.
Right now it appears that the salary cap is nothing more than a gentleman's agreement. Worse it's a 472-page written gentleman's agreement that was paid for with a years worth of hockey. If you look through the table of contents, the "TEAM PLAYER RANGE SYSTEM" (i.e. the salary cap) starts on page 160 and rambles through the next 82 pages and goes over everything from player's injuries salaries, averaging the amount over the life of the contract and has an entire section on accounting practices when it comes to player salaries. But no where in those contents is there any section where I might look to find the consequences of violating any of the provisions set aside in those 80 pages.
Did the NHL really go through all that trouble to create this system and forget to create a punishment for violating it?
I'm not a lawyer, so maybe it's buried in there somewhere and I just didn't find it, but if I were the Blackhawks I'd just give everyone the middle finger and keep all my players that just won the cup. There appears to be nothing the NHL can do to stop them.
|< Prev||Next >|