Monday, February 21, 2011

Does Pittsburgh's payroll range have room for another Niskanen-Crosby fight?

The game: Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins.

Why I chose it: The rivalry continues, with two new players in tow following today's blockbuster trade with the Dallas Stars that sent Alex Goligoski to the Stars.

Oh the irony: The two Dallas players who will call Pittsburgh home for the rest of the season are James Neal and Matt Niskanen, the latter of which is best known for being the other half of a rare Sidney Crosby fight.

Ok, now I'm nervous: Anaheim Ducks' GM Bob Murray has stated in an inteview that he is concerned about Jonas Hiller's health. According to the latest reports he has a balance problem. Ok, I still don't freel any better. Goalies with balance problems, especially ones who are the reason I watch the Ducks, is generally not good. Equally scary is the fact that we've reached the point in the season that the injured reserve list of NHL teams on any given day is bigger news than trades, points or final scores.

The rule: Article 50, Team Payroll Range System; Lower Limit and Upper Limit; Payroll Room; Lower Limit and Upper Limit Accounting.

I'm reading slowly and carefully through this section, lest I should miss an important detail: The second half of (b) (i) "The Upper and Lower Limits of the Team Payroll Range shall be determined in accordance with the following formula" reads as follows: If a significant one-time increase or decrease in League-wide revenues (e.g. by reason of the addition or loss of a national television contract or the scheduled opening of one or more new arenas which is expected to result in a significant increase in League-wide revenues) is anticipated the next League Year, the parties will endeavor to estimate the expected increase or decrease and incorporate that estimate into the above-stated formula for calculating the adjusted midpoint. After adjustment for the revenue growth factor, the Payroll Range shall be constructed by adding $8 million to the Adjusted Midpoint to establish the Upper Limit, and subtracting $8 million from the Adjusted Midpoint to establish the Lower Limit.

Morals of the story:

The game: At last, a math equation I understand. Add a number to get the upper limit. Subtract a number to get the lower limit. On occasion, the NHL keeps it simple. Just like it should be.

Life: With the current economy still not showing official signs of improving, we need a rule like this, whereby if some poor soul should happen to experience a sudden downturn in salary due to a layoff, then his or her severance package range should be reconfigured to account for the sudden loss of guaranteed income to cover more money over a longer time, thereby protecting him or her from foreclosure and repossession of car and/or large household electronics.

Next up: Backtracking to what defines hockey related revenues. A word of caution, though: It's 24 pages long. I'll be doing the Cliff's Notes version.

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