On the heels of a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, in which you at one point witnessed Ryan Garbutt, Jordie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak chasing Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, we consider this week's salary cap speculation that could continue to alter the competitive balance and talent disparity already on display.
Reports from the board of governors meeting based on revenue projections for 2013-2014 suggest the salary cap in 2014-2015 could be as high as $71 million, with a cap-floor of $52-$53 million.
Somewhere Ed Snider (Flyers) and MLSE (Leafs) are doing push-ups and speed-dialing drills.
The news has many franchises already "up against it" feeling relief, while the remainder contemplate such a rapid rise in the cap and how, as before, to keep up.
And this all without effects of the new Rogers TV deal (12 years, $5.2 billion Canadian) which is expected to have another significant upward impact on the 2015-2016 cap.
The Stars would wade into a $71 million 2014-2015 cap with about $20 million in space as it sits right now. They'll do so with a defense largely in place, sans Stephane Robidas, and a forward group to build around that includes Benn, Seguin, Chiasson, Nichushkin, Cole and Horcoff- So there's some work to do there, certainly.
The Stars fans have is simple: Can Dallas afford to spend $71 million? (Particularly in light of what you'd have to call lighter-than-desired gate revenue so far this season...)
Maybe they'll qualify for some revenue sharing?
Under the old CBA certain markets (Dallas, Anaheim, New Jersey, New York Islanders) were precluded outright from taking part in revenue sharing due to the size of their respective media markets. In the new one there is flexibility.
The revenue sharing pool will be drawn (50% of it) from the top 10 revenue grossing clubs in the league. The remaining 50% will be raised from a combination of centrally generated League revenues and a flat tax (35%) on each club's playoff gate receipts.
Rather than distribute the funds to recipient teams based solely on hard calculations, though calculations do exist, the league has created a Revenue Sharing Oversight Committee, consisting of league and NHLPA members. That body can vote to override the formulaic distribution a club receives by +/- 15%, presumably taking away from one club to give to another deemed more in need.
"Every business, every team has to sit back and look at their business model now and see where it fits in, where does the revenue sharing fit in? How does that come into the model? That's a new entity too now," Nill told the Canadian Press this week. "That changed in the new CBA. We'll all sit back and analyse it and go from there."
Who's to say what Mr. Gaglardi will or won't spend?
CBS speculates on Nill's ability to spend to the cap:
Nill won't have the money to spend to the cap, more than likely, so it will take more creativity to help the franchise not only take a step towards the postseason, but long-term competitiveness. Seeing as Nill has already made a few moves many other general managers wouldn't (and didn't), he's not afraid to be creative.
We won't be so presumptuous about someone else's checkbook- Though $71 million, and, some say, over $80 million within a few seasons as the TV money comes into play, is a lot of dough.
And when Eric Nystrom gets handed $10 million over 4 years in an off-season with a downsized cap of $64 million, what will the defensemen Stars fans so crave get heading into these much larger increases? The market effects on prices will be significant for those who can't keep up on spending.
Revenue sharing is expected to help league wide, along with the new 15% above and below the midpoint to calculate floor and ceiling, but with revenue already threatening to grow so precipitously will it be enough, and where will the Stars fall in the mix? Much smarter people than you or me are working on it.
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