Commentary, opinion and news on the world of hockey.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

To Pay or not Toupe

Is any curent NHL player actually worth the maximum salary allowed? In my opinion, not a chance. Through my eyes, there's only one player that should even come close, and that's Jarome Iginla. With all of the recent signings, and the buzz about elite players such as Niedermayer and Naslund demanding near the maximum salary, I fail to see how they are actually worth it.

Is any one player worth 20% of an entire team's payroll? In the new economic landscape, I'd be very hardpressed to say yes, and I'm sure many GM's around the league are feeling the same.

The word out West is that Markus Naslund is a goner from Canuckville, given that he is likely seeking the max. So, if he ends up signing somewhere for over $6-7 million/season, then I gladly bid him adieu. The general impression given by the media reports is that Scott Niedermayer is also seeking somewhere in the maximum price range as well. Given that the major motivation for elite players now may shift significantly over to the side of winning (as opposed to monetary gain), shouldn't outrageous salary demands be a thing of the past?

Players who want to win, such as Naslund, may have to realize that if they want the maximum salary, they may not end up on a winning team. If 20% of the payroll is dedicated to one player alone, then how likely is it that a Cup winning roster can be built with the remaining cash? It's possible for sure, but the odds go down. (The flipside is the New York Rangers, who have clearly proven that a team of high paid superstars does not equate to Cup victory).

In the new NHL, $7.78 million may very well be much better spent on two $3.8 million, or three $2.65 million players rather than on one player making the max.

In my opinion, the Canucks will be much better off if they can sign two good players for roughly the same price tag that Naslund is seeking. Naslund is a great player, but it looks as though quality forwards are available for much less. And that thought process may be what many GM's are thinking.


  • At 11:04 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said…

    To earn the $7.4 mil, you ought to pretty much be the best in the world at your position. Nick Lidstrom is clearly the best defensman in the world, so I guess he's worth it.

    Jerome Iginla is probably the best forward in the world, although, with the season Rick Nash had in Europe last season, that could be debated.

    There is no goaltender who clearly stands out as the best in the world (and yes, the Blackhawks clearly overpaid for Khabibulin). Nobody here worth 7.4 mil


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