Re: #4 = CLASS!
posted at 8/13/2012 1:15 PM EDT
In Response to Re: #4 = CLASS!
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: #4 = CLASS! : I'm sorry, but I can't understand this position - I really can't. Especially on a Bruins board. I listened to Bruins fans just ripping management and ownership for decades for being "cheap" and for not caring about winning and for being everything that's wrong with America or Canada or humanity because...wait for it...the Bruins refused to offer inflated contracts. Now, someone's going to jump up and down and say "not inflated, just fair so guys would get what they were worth!" to which the childishly simple answer is that what seems like a good deal when spending someone else's money is often an inflated price when spending your own. The Bruins resisted salary escalation as hard as any team in the league. They had a top 20 all time player buy into it. That player convinced the dictionary definition of a dominant power forward to buy into it. I tend to think that it didn't hurt them much - I can't think of a single moment in time where the players they'd have needed to eclipse the dynastic Islanders, Oilers, or Penguins could have been had for the colour of money. The problem is that the goal of every team in the league is to win; winning improves your bottom line and losing hurts it; to win you need quality players; there are only so many quality players available for the highest priority positions, teams compete to attract those players when they're available; the primary way of attracting players is cash; teams are forced to speculate that paying player A a $2M premium over his other offers will be worth it to them because they will win a few more games, get a few more butts in seats, maybe play one or two additional playoff games. So they pay for what they hope will happen and not for the player's "worth". The very nature of competition is inflationary, and owners are competing for a limited resource. Where agent sleaze comes in is that they get paid based on how much money they get their clients. Never mind that the client might be going to a situation where he's set up to fail and ride the bus in the AHL for six years. Never mind that most star players are driven by the desire to win, but also to be "the guy" when the team wins. What's the number on the deal? Is that number higher than the number on that other deal? GREAT! Take it. The cap system has neutered them a bit - there's an overall limit to what they can get, and it's not rocket science to figure out that, if you're the third line C on a team, you can hold out 'til you're blue in the face and you're not going to get a ridiculous deal that will impact the two guys above you on the depth chart. The one place agents still exercise their sleaze is - and this is the sleaziest part - with the youngest players. Guys who get drafted 26th and refuse to sign unless they get Seguin's bonus package, sit out two years, get drafted again, but now lower and are stuck taking an even worse package. And then there's the whole RFA process, which is really just blackmail because no one ever changes teams. You know what the owners should do to make the point about the inflationary contracts being an inevitable consequence of competing for players? Contract. Go back to 21 teams and see if anyone is in any hurry to pay Semin that stupid salary.
Posted by Bookboy007[/QUOTE]
Wow, that's a long response to a pretty quick statement, but I'll try to follow up.... Plenty of guilt to go around Book, and I'm not trying to let agents off the hook entirely. But realistically, of course agents are going to try to make top dollar and that is never going to change. If you're looking for a solution to the problem it has to start with the owners -- they have the power to say 'no' and some already do. Do you think agents are really going to get together and decide that part of their job duty is to assess what is most fair for all parties involved, even if that means less dough in the contracts?
It all starts and ends with the owners. Sure, everyone wants to win and you need good players to win. That's a given. But who says you have to make huge free-agents signing to get good players? I think the prevailing model of building a championship team is mostly through draft/development with only a fraction on the free agent market. If an agent demands too much and fails to get a contract, that is a great way to lose your clients and ruin your career as an agent. Sleazy agents can only succeed with the cooperation of a stupid owner, whereas stupid owners would always be able to find a million sleazy agents if they want.
The solution is to stop the stupid owners from writing the checks, instead of asking agents to have a moral epiphany where they turn down huge contracts because it isn't good for the game. Be realistic. The big contracts lead to failure as often as they lead to success. The owners need to evolve and learn to spend smarter. Or they will lose. You seem to assume that overspending helps them win more and make more money. Ask the Islanders about that. The system works, sometimes.
Blaming the agents is like blaming the car salesman who talked me into buying a Corvette to drive my kids to school in. He was so gosh-darned convincing that I bought a car I can't afford. Who's fault is that? Let's call for a little personal responsibility instead of getting duped by agents and then crying foul because we lost our money. These are successful businessmen too, not some crack addict at a pawn shop. They're big boys. You write the check, you are responsible for it. The problem is with the owners.