What a strange Cap world we've seen this year. A lot of attention had been paid too Orpik's deal around here because of Boychuk's impending UFA year, and there have been plenty of deals that look steep the way UFA deals always do in a competitive market.
I don't know that enough attention has been paid to something stevegm has brought up a couple of times, and that I alluded to in another thread as the impact of a 50% vs. 57% cap. Subban's deal is now the third highest cap hit in hockey. Only the first and second overall pick in 2004 have higher hits. Ovechkin is the only one who signed his deal under the old CBA - in 2008! after he scored 163 goals in his first three years in the league. 65 the year he signed. Next year, Subban will drop to at least the 5th highest cap hit when Kane and Toews jump to $10.5M for the top of the leaderboard.
The year the economics of the league were apparently whacked enough to warrant a lockout, the Cap was set to be $70.2M. Two years later, it's $1.2M below that level. The NHL formula for the cap is a bit more complicated than Hockey Related Revenues/2 spilt 30 ways, but that simple calculation is still pretty telling. If the current revenue level justify a $69M cap at 50%, they would justify a $78.67M cap at 57%. Fortunately for the Bruins and their UFA/RFA situation next year, this story:
...suggests that next year's Cap will jump $7M to $76M next year with the new TV money kicking in. That's a healthy jump. But it also says the healthy jump this year had a lot to do with the novelty stadium series games and an LA vs. NY final. A Florida-Edmonton final could reverse that good fortune overnight, and the appeal of the winter classic/heritage classic hasn't exactly grown over time. With a stable TV deal and successful gimmicks factored in/out of the projections for future years, it seems highly unlikely that the Cap rises $7M again any time soon.
Compare this to 2012-13 - the highest the Cap has ever been. That year, there were a total of 14 deals where one player was getting more than 10% of his team's cap, but only 5 of those deals would require the Cap to go up more than ~10% for the player's cap hit to drop into the 10% or less group. Next year, with Kane and Toews, will be brand new territory both for the Cap limit and the max player cap hits. Now, the new goofiness of these huge deals is partly based on knowing that next year will be fatter than this one - but these deals don't seem proportionate even to what we saw under the old CBA and they don't seem account for a Cap that grows more slowly because it takes that much more revenue to make a difference (basically, revenue now has to be $4.5B for the cap to be roughly similar to what it would have been at $4B). For the cap hit of Toews, Kane, or Subban to drop into that 10% range, the Cap will have to rise...30% and more. It will have to hit $90M for Subban, and $105M for Kane and Toews. A $36M jump per team. Multiply by 30 - that would be a $1.08B jump in HRR.
It may be possible; the Cap for next year is $30M more than the first cap year. But I don't see any of these deals looking like a bargain at any time in the foreseeable future, and I am very curious to see if any team can win carrying one of these new deals. And the first time one of these players suffers a Lecavalier like injury that turns him from superstar to mere mortal - able to play, but not dazzle - it will cripple a franchise for a generation.
Are you not entertained?!?!