February 24, 2005

Tying winning to player salaries -- could it work?: ESPN columnist Jason Whitlock says the NHL has a golden opportunity to fix the biggest disconnect between pro athletes and fans -- that we all think the players care more about getting paid than winning. Could this ever work, and what mechanisms would you use if you were grand poobah of a pro league?

posted by wfrazerjr to culture at 12:58 PM - 9 comments

Team revenue, not player salaries, should be tied to winning, as revenue will ultimately determine how much and *which* players get paid. Imagine a league where team revenues from the gate, local TV deals and merchandising are capped at say, $50 million, with anything above that going into a collective pot, which is then disbursed back to teams based on the standings and playoff success. All of a sudden, the players getting the big contracts wouldn't be the flashy flakes, but the guys that contribute the most towards the win/loss record. This would give small market teams a chance to compete against the big boys, and prevent teams like the Leafs or Bruins from sitting on their piles of cash and counting on loyal fans. Whitlock's plan would never work because it needs union approval and whatnot, but the owners deciding upon a new revenue sharing scheme amongst themselves without mentioning the word cap might somehow be palatable to the union. Of course, this will never happen anyways, but wouldn't it be fun if performance were an incentive again? Like the NFL with non-guaranteed contracts or soccer with relegation?

posted by loquax at 01:33 PM on February 24, 2005

Hooo boy would Jonas Hoglund ever be out of a job. Oh yeah, wait, that already happened.

posted by fabulon7 at 01:36 PM on February 24, 2005

MLSE would totally go for this.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:21 PM on February 24, 2005

I'm not convinced performance incentives work anyway - Team or individual in most sports that aren't baseball. These are the dreams of men who never studied economics. There is a big difference between revenue sharing and revenue capping.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:42 PM on February 24, 2005

Man, Corey Dillon would have totally gone bezerker Last Boy Scout style on the Bengals with a machine gun if this was done in the NFL.

posted by Stan Chin at 04:28 PM on February 24, 2005


posted by billsaysthis at 05:39 PM on February 24, 2005

(Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, I presume)

posted by loquax at 06:08 PM on February 24, 2005

I'd love to see a league adopt some form of athlete revenue based on winning, but not for the reason Whitlock describes. I want to stop hearing about contracts and negotiations and salaries all the time. One of the nice things about the PGA is that you get paid for playing well, not for negotiating well. When I was a kid, the sports page was devoted primarily to on-the-field events. Today, it reads like a second business section.

posted by rcade at 09:56 PM on February 24, 2005

This would never work or be accepted by the NHLPA. The NHLPA would never accept this, so this would mean players that get injured, are what getting nothing for the rest of the year, they wouldn't be able to pick up their paycheck because a Derian Hatcher or put any other cheap goon in took a cheap shot at them. This needs to be handled with a salary cap and a salary cap only. They need to then cut down shitty markets in hockey, like the Columbus, Nashville, Atlanta markets. They need to cut down to 20 teams and bring back Hartford, one of the best markets of all time. They need to keep San Jose, the orginals, the Canadian teams(including Quebec),Dallas, Philly, etc, and perhaps put a team in Houston, one of the biggest cities in the world. Why would they put one in Nashville and not in Houston, go figure. The greed from both sides is sickening because the NHL wanted to be like all other major sports and expand, but they need to realize that it is a local sport not a national sport. This is my first post, and all I have to say for now. Hockey and Baseball are my two favorite sports, and I just hope that Hockey can get their crap together so I can continue to watch the quest for the greatest championship ever.

posted by phillydenver at 11:00 PM on February 24, 2005

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