Saturday, July 23, 2005

Buyouts Begin

Under the previous NHL CBA, the only players that could be bought on the open market were older players past their prime who were 31 years or older. Many teams could not control themselves from overpaying these players who were often no longer good enough to lead their teams to success. As a result, we had a lockout and lost a season of hockey (afterall that solution is far simpler than admitting teams have made mistakes and showing financial restraint in the future). Now the unrestricted free agents who were overpaid can be bought out. So teams will do this. The Philadelphia Flyers have struck first buying out John LeClair and Tony Amonte. The TSN article on this is here.

Upon breaking this news to a friend of mine offline who is a big Philadelphia Flyers fan, she responded "Oh no! Now I have a John LeClair Flyers jersey that will be wrong." I think player movement will get much more frequent under this CBA. It is probably no longer worth getting a player's name on the back of your jersey, he won't be in your town long. Most jerseys you already have with player's names will soon be out of date. Maybe the NHL hopes that this will help them make money as people will have to buy new jerseys with new players names.

LeClair and Amonte will be good pickups for a team. They will probably sign for a under a million dollars a year. At that price they will likely be worth it. Look for more buyouts to happen over the next few days. Teams have until July 29th to buyout contracts at two thirds of their remaining value after the 24% salary rollback negotiated into the new CBA.

That's why I only put my name on the back of my jerseys.

Sure, people laughed, but I am ahead of the curve! ;)
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