Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Just a few thoughts on the return of hockey.

I love how this salary cap is punishing teams that spend a lot of money. Look at the Flyers. They already have $33.7 million committed to 13 players, leaving them less than $6 million to sign 10 more, to be under the salary cap. Other teams like Detroit are in the same boat. To create some room under the cap, there is a provision that they can buy out a player's contract for 2/3rds its value, thus adding more free agents to the pool. What all this is effectively doing is redistributing higher calibre talent (that would have signed with rich teams) to poorer teams, thus equalizing the playing field a bit. Great!

Secondly, the draft order. They're doing a random draw for the draft picks this year, with the top prize being phenom Sidney Crosby. They're using a pingpong ball system to select who will pick first. Teams that have missed the playoffs in recent years will have more balls in the bin than others. There is a conspiracy theory out there saying that the NHL will rig it so that the Rangers get the #1 pick. The NHL desperately wants NY to be a marquee franchise again and this would be a good start. Supporting this theory are two things:

-Columbus, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and the New York Rangers will have the maximum of three pingpong balls.

-The random drawing of pingpong balls will not be televised. Who knows what they can do behind closed doors.

Anyway, it will be neat to see the massive migration of players this year, more than most, due to the cap.

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