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Long Term Contracts- the fad of post-lockout

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1 Long Term Contracts- the fad of post-lockout on Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:22 pm

Jordo

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In the salary cap world created after the terrible lockout in 2004, managers have attempted to strategically plan their teams' future by locking up key pieces and building around them. Long term contracts have been quite popular to the league's elite players and even some lower teir players as well (see Dustin Penner). My question is whether or not these are actually beneficial to the team. I'm of the belief that once a player is given such an enormous reward for a year or two of hard work, they tend to coast- given the feeling that they've already achieved success- and have nothing to work for. Forget about the want to achieve sports' greatest trophy- the Stanley Cup- the desperation is gone in these players once this amount of compensation and financial security is bestowed upon them. With the fluctuations in the salary cap- it's also becoming a burden to teams who have signed these long term contracts, and have to fulfill their part of the bargain- costing them other players in return.

As a Senators fan, I've seen a good decrease in the level of play from Spezza, Fisher, Heatley, Emery, and Redden after signing long term contracts. Looking elsewhere around the NHL- we can see similar examples- to name a few:

Ryan Smyth
Scott Hannan
Dustin Penner
Pavel Kubina
Scott Gomez
Chris Drury
Michal Roszival
Daniel Briere
Kimmo Timonen
Ed Jovanoski
Marc Andre Fleury
Jeff Finger
Jason Blake
Michael Nylander


My recommendation for GMs is to only give long term contracts to players who truly deserve it. I'm talking about your Sidney Crosbys, Alex Ovechkins, Martin Brodeurs....I know this strategy is not really going to fly around the league when you have GMs tossing insane amounts of money in long term contracts at mediocre players... But if all GMs restricted themselves to 3 or 4 year contracts (or better yet, if there was a clause minimizing the length of contracts to say 5 years), we'd all be seeing more motivated players- which means better hockey.


Just a thought.

wprager

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Don't forget Gerber and even Vermette and Kelly, to a lesser extent. And you should also not forget the grand-daddy of all long-term, ridiculous-amount contracts, Yashin and Jagr (he did alright in New York, I'm talking about how he did in Washington).

PTFlea

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Very true. I can see the NHL coming to an absolute stand-still soon. Too many contracts on each team taking up too much cap space. Eventually teams will run out of $$ and players who could've had contract, like Shanahan are all of a sudden left holding their dinks.

The KHL had the right idea in luring these guys over there when the $$ runs out here, but they just don't have the funds to make it happen.

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wprager wrote:Don't forget Gerber and even Vermette and Kelly, to a lesser extent. And you should also not forget the grand-daddy of all long-term, ridiculous-amount contracts, Yashin and Jagr (he did alright in New York, I'm talking about how he did in Washington).
The grand daddy of long term contracts is Dipietro's..And I don't see how Gerber or Vermette even come close to falling into that category - although I do see how it could feel like Gerber was in that category Wink

wprager

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DiPietro's was actually reasonable in terms of cap hit. And Jagr and Yashin's are older than DiPietro's, so he can be a distant relative, but not a granddaddy.

As for Vermette and Gerber, I was making a point about players whose performance dropped off after getting a big contract, not contract length.

Number Twenty Nine

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There needs to be some sort of performance guarantees in contracts. Something like "we'll pay you 5 mil a year for 50 goals and 7 mil a year for 70 goals". For under production, the player would have to refund the team. It doesn't have to be goals, anything that can be tracked.

I'm sure our big money players would get their a$$ in gear if it meant avoiding a pay cut.

How many of us could get a promotion and then sit on our duffs. We'd be sacked. The NHLPA is too strong and have ruined the game IMHO.

PTFlea

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The NHLPA will never go for that because there would be layers to it. Like if you don't score 10 goals, you get the league minimum - and they don't want their guys who couldn't got more, getting the minimum.

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lmao NTN :lol!:
wprager wrote:DiPietro's was actually reasonable in terms of cap hit. And Jagr and Yashin's are older than DiPietro's, so he can be a distant relative, but not a granddaddy.

As for Vermette and Gerber, I was making a point about players whose performance dropped off after getting a big contract, not contract length.
True story. My bad.

wprager

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Number Twenty Nine wrote:There needs to be some sort of performance guarantees in contracts. Something like "we'll pay you 5 mil a year for 50 goals and 7 mil a year for 70 goals". For under production, the player would have to refund the team. It doesn't have to be goals, anything that can be tracked.

I'm sure our big money players would get their a$$ in gear if it meant avoiding a pay cut.

How many of us could get a promotion and then sit on our duffs. We'd be sacked. The NHLPA is too strong and have ruined the game IMHO.

Can't happen with a cap. The cap hit would have to include all potential bonuses.

However what they *can* do is eliminate these long-term contracts or, if they want longer-term security, a short guaranteed term (1-2 years) followed by a performance-based term (another 1-2 years) with the same max.

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