Fun With Numbers: Making Whole Of Current NHL Team Salaries

Day 59 of the lockout is about to pass us by & no news today might mean good news tomorrow, or the next day & so on….sigh. We’ve heard that both sides are close to agreeing on the sharing portion of a new CBA agreement then they gotta be close, right? I mean from a fans perspective we’ve learned quite a few things about negotiating tactics, such as, the Devil’s in the details & 50-50 isn’t always 50-50. Realistically, it gives hope to guys like Fehr & Bettman that once they move on (oh please, move on) and their days of babysitting players & owners respectably are over, they will be great at selling snakeoil, rustbuckets & auto/life insurance alike. Today I heard the best lockout quote thus far, 2 actually, from a former NHL player. Derek Sanderson today during 630 Ched’s, Oilers Now broadcast mentioned that one of the keys to him signing the most lucrative sports contract ever at the time was that he believed that & still does that in order to get the most out of negotiating a deal is when one side is willing to walk away from it. He explains everything in full with the release of his book, Crossing the Line: The Outrageous Story of a Hockey Original

Hmmmm, sound familiar, Lockout 2005, anyone?

He also went on to say & I’m paraphrasing here:

Never in my wildest dreams, could I have ever imagined that a basketball guy & a baseball guy would be negotiating the future of hockey.

No kidding!

What we do know currently is that the players are willing to get to 50%, IF and only IF, owners are willing to pay out all existing contracts past the lockout. It’s a sign of good faith & as a fan of the sport, makes total sense. The real gray area surrounding what has been called “make whole” is the actual percentage of which will be paid back. Some say it’s 7% others say 13% but whatever the number is, the owners are said to be willing to honor in full. I’ve put together the following format, which describes what each team owes players, beginning with the 2013-14 season in ‘whole dollars’. It’s difficult to know if this season is actually going to take place & if so when. When it does begin, the 2012-13 contracts will be paid by a pro-rated concept based on games played & once a 50-50 split is negotiated, the owners will have to ‘make whole’ over the next 3yrs, all with the perceived notion, that it’s all in good faith. After all, these are billionaires, so I guess they have paid their way to say whatever they want.

Man, looking at those figures & I’d be happy with any of those figures, even minus all the zeros involved. Anyway, there’s a lot of cake here to share which begs the question, why do they schedule this CBA in mid September & not say, oh i don’t know, mid July? That’s a blog for another day. So, whatever the figure of rollback, whether it 7% or 13% this part of the deal should be a slam dunk. The percentages of which teams owes what is right behind the total that is owed…which brings me to the fun part of this blog, team & player breakdown.

No surprise to see the Minnesota Wild owing the most, what with the recent signings of Parise & Suter equating to 73% of the team total & a whopping 4.1% of league total. This duo are to be paid more than what 21 other teams will pay under the current guidelines.

17 players are accounting for 25% of the total which averages to $59, 714, 617.65/ player. I think I’m going to get sick.

Vincent Lecavalier, at 32yrs old will still be owed $45, 000, 000 after this year … is he’s not the poster boy for bad contracts owed to diminished talent, tell me who is.

The Staal trio are the highest paid brotherhood, now & probably forever being owed $ 95, 950, 000, post lockout
Alex Ovechkin via Twitter recently called the NHL a bunch of clowns & prior to that said he’d stay in the KHL if a new CBA wasn’t in his favor. Hey Alex, I’ll bet you $95, 380, 000 that you WILL come back.

The average ticket price for 2011-12 was $57.10 according to Team Marketing Report. It would take 71, 113, 730. 30 tickets to cover the cost of the ‘make whole’ process or 33, 012, 959. 35 tickets sold @ the ACC or 1677 sellouts.

Last but not least I’ve designed a Lockout Clock, well, sort of. It calculates what money the players have lost out on since September 15 when they could’ve been heroes with an offer a true 50-50 split in time to start the season, but alas.


Someone, slightly smarter than me, should design one of these , but in real time clock form because there’s no chance I’m going to update it everyday, maybe, ok probably.

Tick, tick, tick…

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