Holy frejoles, is there ever a lot of this going on right now. And fair enough. It's a question for the Bruins as they look at whether or not to extend Krejci, Boychuk, Paille, Campbell and Soderberg. The one common element of the discussions - and not just here? Nobody and a clue, lieutenant, not a f--king clue.
The "market" for players is like a character out of Hunter S. Thompson. One minute it's flying high, manic, hallucinatory and prone to violence, the next its drunk, depressive, totally passive. Pity the fools who go to arbitration because the arbitrator is going to look around at the sheer randomness of the signings over the last 18 months and make a decision by throwing a dart.
I suppose this is to be expected. I mean, here are all of the unknowns you need to take into account when thinking about your team pay structure if you're the GM:
- How is 50% of revenue vs. 57% going to affect what you can pay players?
- Last year's cap was artificial - how good was the projection?
- This year's cap projection was all over the place thanks to a fluctuating Canadian dollar; is that going to be the rule?
- How much weight can you put on the achievements of a 48 game season when projecting a player over a full season?
- What's the market going to be like for trades if teams are increasingly reliant on EL contracts to balance the books?
- Is the kind of moves TBL made with Sam Gagner going to become a common strategy to free up cap space, and how do you capitalize on it?
- What will be the impact of the TBL moves (and others) on the trade market for players like Gagner who might be had cheaply as part of a cap space plan?
- How will these uncertainties be reflected in arbitration decisions?
- How fast will the cap continue to rise?
- What impact are the cap reclamation measures going to have on teams?
- Is the "middle class" going to get squeezed to the point that good second and third line players can be had at bargain rates?
- Now that there are no more "get out of jail free" card buyouts, how are teams going to deal with contract mistakes? They can't bury contracts under the new CBA...
It's the wild west for contracts right now. For the first time in a few years, teams are able to spend with a bit of certainty re: the CBA. This year's cap is, at least, the first under the new CBA that's actually based on revenues. So we're seeing a lot of high numbers and only a few of the low numbers of players finding that the frenzy for their services isn't really coming together.
Midas Whale just get out the crystal ball - it's just as likely to tell you the right things as any talking head.
Are you not entertained?!?!