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Thread: Sather Talks Candidly About Arbitration Process

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    Well, i guess we will agree to disagree. In the current landscape, you are almost punished by having too many players developed that blossom and flourish I'm not talking about having everyone from the farm be exempt. It would just alleviate slightly one tough decision to keep a player who might be worth the money, but unaffordable because there are just too many players developed. Tha trickles down to a second or third player too since one large salary isn't a cap hit.

    I just find the system slightly flawed. The idea of the draft is to draft players that hopefully one day make an impact on your NHL roster. Some are late rounder fillers with no hope of making it but still. The point is to draft players that one day will be good NHLers. If a team does it right and scouts well with a bit of luck mixed in, they can draft multiple top level players that eventually are going to cost a lot of money to retain. To a sense they are slightly punished for that. While I do like parity, I do also like a good dynasty if it's done right and the idea these days of a player spending his entire career with one club is getting very few and far between.
    You've got one in Chicago. Who've done it with largely the same core group, only removing a piece or two here or there every other year. And the entire thing has been built on the backbone of the team — Toews, Kane and Keith.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    Well, i guess we will agree to disagree. In the current landscape, you are almost punished by having too many players developed that blossom and flourish I'm not talking about having everyone from the farm be exempt. It would just alleviate slightly one tough decision to keep a player who might be worth the money, but unaffordable because there are just too many players developed. Tha trickles down to a second or third player too since one large salary isn't a cap hit.

    I just find the system slightly flawed. The idea of the draft is to draft players that hopefully one day make an impact on your NHL roster. Some are late rounder fillers with no hope of making it but still. The point is to draft players that one day will be good NHLers. If a team does it right and scouts well with a bit of luck mixed in, they can draft multiple top level players that eventually are going to cost a lot of money to retain. To a sense they are slightly punished for that. While I do like parity, I do also like a good dynasty if it's done right and the idea these days of a player spending his entire career with one club is getting very few and far between.
    I don't think forcing a team to make choices on players is punishment.

    I mean if you look at Tampa, they stand a very good chance of losing Stamkos and still being a great team.

    Chicago lost Saad and will inevitably lose Seabrook and will still be a good team.

    Yes, they are only 2 teams, but they are proof that it can be done. Anaheim is another team that always seems to be in the mix.

    Teams need to change their approach and the new generation of GMs seems to be doing that. No system will ever be perfect, so arguing that it's slightly flawed to it needs to change is going to be had no matter what.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I don't think forcing a team to make choices on players is punishment.

    I mean if you look at Tampa, they stand a very good chance of losing Stamkos and still being a great team.

    Chicago lost Saad and will inevitably lose Seabrook and will still be a good team.

    Yes, they are only 2 teams, but they are proof that it can be done. Anaheim is another team that always seems to be in the mix.

    Teams need to change their approach and the new generation of GMs seems to be doing that. No system will ever be perfect, so arguing that it's slightly flawed to it needs to change is going to be had no matter what.
    And all three teams have either won Cups in the last decade or have come extremely close to winning one, so clearly the system does actually work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    You've got one in Chicago. Who've done it with largely the same core group, only removing a piece or two here or there every other year. And the entire thing has been built on the backbone of the team — Toews, Kane and Keith.
    And that is great, but I also find that a shame that they need to have fire sales every so often because of those guys. I suppose you can look at it just as much as a Hossa problem as well, but still. I'd just like one thing to help the franchises that draft correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I don't think forcing a team to make choices on players is punishment.

    I mean if you look at Tampa, they stand a very good chance of losing Stamkos and still being a great team.

    Chicago lost Saad and will inevitably lose Seabrook and will still be a good team.

    Yes, they are only 2 teams, but they are proof that it can be done. Anaheim is another team that always seems to be in the mix.

    Teams need to change their approach and the new generation of GMs seems to be doing that. No system will ever be perfect, so arguing that it's slightly flawed to it needs to change is going to be had no matter what.
    And i do understand that. If we look at Tampa though as an example. Yes winning of course is ultimately what will bring the fans in the seats but if they lose Stamkos, they also do lose a large source of identity, memorabilia, etc. Whatever you want to call it. Why would they lose him? Because he is very good and they cant afford to keep him with what he deserves to be paid. That seems a bit flawed to me. Keeping him or not they still eventually will have to face the same decisions when all their young players are in their own contract years. I just think something should be altered slightly to somewhat cushion that blow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    And all three teams have either won Cups in the last decade or have come extremely close to winning one, so clearly the system does actually work.
    System working does not equate to it being perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    And that is great, but I also find that a shame that they need to have fire sales every so often because of those guys. I suppose you can look at it just as much as a Hossa problem as well, but still. I'd just like one thing to help the franchises that draft correctly.
    They really don't, though. They simply make choices. They could choose to not keep younger players like Teräväinen and instead keep mostly veterans, but they recognize that contracts and team-building is a type of cycle in the league, and that the best teams will always have an influx of young, cost-controlled talent to plug in place when more experienced veterans reach an age to make more money than fits within the teams' budget.

    I'm not against the idea you posted, about the franchise thing. I'd need to read a lot more on how they'd execute such a thing before I was on board, but I like it in principle. I just don't hate what they have in place right now. It helps to enrich the league as a whole, facilitates trades every year (which fans love) and ensures that something reaches July 1st every year, even if what actually gets there has been of lesser quality every year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    System working does not equate to it being perfect.
    Of course not, but you'll never have a perfect system. The same way you'll never have a perfect CBA. You can certainly strive for it, but you shouldn't expect to ever actually meet it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    And that is great, but I also find that a shame that they need to have fire sales every so often because of those guys. I suppose you can look at it just as much as a Hossa problem as well, but still. I'd just like one thing to help the franchises that draft correctly.



    And i do understand that. If we look at Tampa though as an example. Yes winning of course is ultimately what will bring the fans in the seats but if they lose Stamkos, they also do lose a large source of identity, memorabilia, etc. Whatever you want to call it. Why would they lose him? Because he is very good and they cant afford to keep him with what he deserves to be paid. That seems a bit flawed to me. Keeping him or not they still eventually will have to face the same decisions when all their young players are in their own contract years. I just think something should be altered slightly to somewhat cushion that blow.
    Or they can move some other guys and keep Stamkos...It's all about choices. Ultimately, if a player wants to stay somewhere, he will do what it takes to stay there. Not every player is Jagr. Some sign very flexible deals to stay where they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    System working does not equate to it being perfect.
    Nothing ever is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Or they can move some other guys and keep Stamkos...It's all about choices. Ultimately, if a player wants to stay somewhere, he will do what it takes to stay there. Not every player is Jagr. Some sign very flexible deals to stay where they are.



    Nothing ever is.
    Like Stepan just did.
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    I don't hate our system but as I said, I just wish there was something in place besides just the idea of choosing the lesser of two evils when it comes to retaining fully blossomed players from your own system. I think we are a good example of that. Realistically, what we should have done was walk away from one player, between G, Staal, and Henrik. We did it with Cally. We chose to retain all three of them and that's one of the reasons we are so squeezed. Considering the NHL and NHLPA adopted buy out clause once, to me it only seems natural to accept one contract the other way for retaining one if the conditions are right.

    Obviously it's just my idea and it's nowhere near thought enough through since there are so many other variables that would have been be considered.

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    Right. They made a choice. Whether it was the right one or not isn't really in question here. They chose to keep Staal, Girardi, Lundqvist and Stepan all long-term. They chose to trade Hagelin instead, likely thinking in terms of the long-term picture that he wasn't as important, even though he was liked and wanted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    Right. They made a choice. Whether it was the right one or not isn't really in question here. They chose to keep Staal, Girardi, Lundqvist and Stepan all long-term. They chose to trade Hagelin instead, likely thinking in terms of the long-term picture that he wasn't as important, even though he was liked and wanted.
    I wouldn't even think this is necessary if the cap ceiling were higher. It's not though so we are here where we are. They chose to keep those 4 and dealt their captain in between. They will run into a problem next season with Kreids and or Miller possibly.It's just a strange unnatural situation where in todays game the team wants to win but along teh way hope budding stars don't get too successful or your bound to start shipping parts out that got you to where you are in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    I wouldn't even think this is necessary if the cap ceiling were higher. It's not though so we are here where we are. They chose to keep those 4 and dealt their captain in between. They will run into a problem next season with Kreids and or Miller possibly.It's just a strange unnatural situation where in todays game the team wants to win but along teh way hope budding stars don't get too successful or your bound to start shipping parts out that got you to where you are in the first place.
    Well, the cap ceiling is a figure that's influenced by the real-world metrics of HRR, so it's not just as simple as "make the number bigger". Remember too, it also corresponds with the cap floor, which means every rise to the cap ceiling means a rise to the floor, which for some teams is still a problem regardless of HRR positives. Now, you could argue those teams don't belong in the league, and you may be right, but if that's true, it's true all the time, and not just some of the time, because it'd have meant cutting ties with Colorado, the Islanders, the Penguins, the Sabres and a slew of other clubs who bounced back just fine after having years in which they flirted with the floor as opposed to the ceiling, due to the structure of their teams or their owners' wishes. I mean, even Ottawa would probably get the axe.

    I understand what you are saying, but everyone's definition of budding star and/or opinion of who to keep or deal varies person-to-person. The Hawks had to deal a 33-year old Patrick Sharp and watched a 33-year old Johnny Oduya leave in free agency. Oh well. They were older anyway. If I were a Hawks fan I'd accept this, knowing I've got Teräväinen to fall back on.

    Maybe they do add in some kind of draft incentive give-back, maybe not, but right now, the best teams in the league are the best because they've got the right talent locked in long-term, continue to draft well/successfully and back-fill holes created in their line-up when players leave via free agency or in trades. It always sucks as a fan of a team when the guy you like gets dealt, but it's the reality of the manner in which the league operates. It's what keeps the league "functioning" in a lot of ways — free agency, trades, etc. If every team could/would just lock up every player they like, the league would stagnate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post

    Obviously it's just my idea and it's nowhere near thought enough through since there are so many other variables that would have been be considered.
    Keirik, you do not like Dunny's suggestion of a luxury tax. A few of us were discussing it on this thread and the oother one. Have a look. A lux tax would seem to address your issue and at least give the "poorer" teams some additional revenue at the same time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    Well, the cap ceiling is a figure that's influenced by the real-world metrics of HRR, so it's not just as simple as "make the number bigger". Remember too, it also corresponds with the cap floor, which means every rise to the cap ceiling means a rise to the floor, which for some teams is still a problem regardless of HRR positives. Now, you could argue those teams don't belong in the league, and you may be right, but if that's true, it's true all the time, and not just some of the time, because it'd have meant cutting ties with Colorado, the Islanders, the Penguins, the Sabres and a slew of other clubs who bounced back just fine after having years in which they flirted with the floor as opposed to the ceiling, due to the structure of their teams or their owners' wishes. I mean, even Ottawa would probably get the axe.

    I understand what you are saying, but everyone's definition of budding star and/or opinion of who to keep or deal varies person-to-person. The Hawks had to deal a 33-year old Patrick Sharp and watched a 33-year old Johnny Oduya leave in free agency. Oh well. They were older anyway. If I were a Hawks fan I'd accept this, knowing I've got Teräväinen to fall back on.

    Maybe they do add in some kind of draft incentive give-back, maybe not, but right now, the best teams in the league are the best because they've got the right talent locked in long-term, continue to draft well/successfully and back-fill holes created in their line-up when players leave via free agency or in trades. It always sucks as a fan of a team when the guy you like gets dealt, but it's the reality of the manner in which the league operates. It's what keeps the league "functioning" in a lot of ways — free agency, trades, etc. If every team could/would just lock up every player they like, the league would stagnate.
    Well im only talking about one player per team and not every team is going to use that. There are teams that struggle to reach the floor so those teams obviously aren't tying up a player with a franchise tag just for shits and giggles. I know the ceiling isn't just something that can be artificially raised.

    As for it being a different definition about budding star/who to keep; Of course. 100% agree, which is why it would be up to that team who to choose if any to try and lock in with that franchise tag. It also can't just be anyone since it has to be someone drafted by the organization and is only available to one player. It wouldn't allow players like Kevin Hayes to be eligible for it, Sharp, Oduya, etc. I bet the Blues wish it was available for Tarasenko. Even if we just say the Blues had previously used it on say Oshie, it's still millions less on their books to play with. I don't think it would stagnate the NHL at all. Some free "cap hit eligible" money still could be used for acquisitions of any kind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin View Post
    Keirik, you do not like Dunny's suggestion of a luxury tax. A few of us were discussing it on this thread and the oother one. Have a look. A lux tax would seem to address your issue and at least give the "poorer" teams some additional revenue at the same time.
    No I really don't like the idea of a luxury tax at all. To me it basically is saying you can throw money at a team problem instead of drafting right and building a team. I don't want to see the 2002 Rangers ever again. Ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    Well im only talking about one player per team and not every team is going to use that. There are teams that struggle to reach the floor so those teams obviously aren't tying up a player with a franchise tag just for shits and giggles. I know the ceiling isn't just something that can be artificially raised.

    As for it being a different definition about budding star/who to keep; Of course. 100% agree, which is why it would be up to that team who to choose if any to try and lock in with that franchise tag. It also can't just be anyone since it has to be someone drafted by the organization and is only available to one player. It wouldn't allow players like Kevin Hayes to be eligible for it, Sharp, Oduya, etc. I bet the Blues wish it was available for Tarasenko. Even if we just say the Blues had previously used it on say Oshie, it's still millions less on their books to play with. I don't think it would stagnate the NHL at all. Some free "cap hit eligible" money still could be used for acquisitions of any kind.
    But didn't you say the franchise tag would also come with a limit? On term and AAV? Or just term?

    Again, I'm not opposed to this, or the concept of it. I'd just want to see it refined so we knew exactly what it would do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    But didn't you say the franchise tag would also come with a limit? On term and AAV? Or just term?

    Again, I'm not opposed to this, or the concept of it. I'd just want to see it refined so we knew exactly what it would do.
    Well definitely on one of those if not both. The AAV though would be something like a ceiling term where player X cannot exceed a certain percentage of the highest salary in the league. I'd impliment something along those lines just to stop the reverse Hossa contract where the GM tells a player we will pay for 15m per season under this now so that way you will be willing to be lowballed in the next go around. The years restriction isn't as important but the concept I was pushing would be
    1. ceiling restriction on AAV say within 10-15% of highest paid player in the league. It would at least minimize the potential of throwing stupid money and inflating other contracts.

    2. Only one player on said roster can be used and that player cannot be offered a second franchise contract upon it's expiration.

    3. max contract length of say 4-6 years. I'd say closer to 6 years rather than 4. I say this because it doesn't allow a team to just say throw a 15 year deal at a 22 year old. The smart thing would be to not use it on a player that just had an expiring ELC since if you use it now, you cant use it on him later during his prime years when he would command the most. It probably would be optimal to use it on a player who is 26-29 years old but who knows. Every team would have a different idea of it.

    In other words, say we used it on Henrik after the 13/14 season. We sign him to a 5 year 50m contract that expires at the conclusion of the 18/19 season. The Rangers would have saved that 8.5m cap hit which last until his contract is up. During this time, no other Ranger is eligible to be tagged with a Franchise contract. Therefore every other contract signed is against the cap. When Henrik's deal is up, he is no longer available to be used as a franchise tagged salary in the offseason of 2019. The team would still have to manage the cap without wreckless abandon. If anything, they would have been able to keep Hags and when going into this offseason"s Stepan dealings, they would either have been able to pay a little more to buy a UFA year or two, or line up a contract that expires when Henrik's does to allow Derek to use that Franchise tag if offered.

    It makes sense for the player to not worry about front loaded deals that somewhat lower a cap hit. Instead of Henrik making 11m this year and 7m in 4 years he makes 10m across the board. It doesn't allow a team to poach another team's star because it cant be used on someone not drafted by your organization, and that team likely would have a little more money to use if it were going into a contract year for an extension, if that player was up for franchise tag, etc.


    The important thing is only one contract per organization is available and it cannot be used towards a player not from within the organization (i.e. has to be drafted). There would still be a lot to work out anyway if this was something the NHL looked into. It might not even be a good idea to use it on the top player since you might want to lock him up longer and just deal with the cap hit. It can be instead used for a guy you want to keep but he might be on the bubble of risk/reward in keeping. For us, that might have been Staal or G instead. It helps out with those damned if you do, damned if you don't situations like we were in twice with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    Well definitely on one of those if not both. The AAV though would be something like a ceiling term where player X cannot exceed a certain percentage of the highest salary in the league. I'd impliment something along those lines just to stop the reverse Hossa contract where the GM tells a player we will pay for 15m per season under this now so that way you will be willing to be lowballed in the next go around. The years restriction isn't as important but the concept I was pushing would be
    1. ceiling restriction on AAV say within 10-15% of highest paid player in the league. It would at least minimize the potential of throwing stupid money and inflating other contracts.

    2. Only one player on said roster can be used and that player cannot be offered a second franchise contract upon it's expiration.

    3. max contract length of say 4-6 years. I'd say closer to 6 years rather than 4. I say this because it doesn't allow a team to just say throw a 15 year deal at a 22 year old. The smart thing would be to not use it on a player that just had an expiring ELC since if you use it now, you cant use it on him later during his prime years when he would command the most. It probably would be optimal to use it on a player who is 26-29 years old but who knows. Every team would have a different idea of it.

    In other words, say we used it on Henrik after the 13/14 season. We sign him to a 5 year 50m contract that expires at the conclusion of the 18/19 season. The Rangers would have saved that 8.5m cap hit which last until his contract is up. During this time, no other Ranger is eligible to be tagged with a Franchise contract. Therefore every other contract signed is against the cap. When Henrik's deal is up, he is no longer available to be used as a franchise tagged salary in the offseason of 2019. The team would still have to manage the cap without wreckless abandon. If anything, they would have been able to keep Hags and when going into this offseason"s Stepan dealings, they would either have been able to pay a little more to buy a UFA year or two, or line up a contract that expires when Henrik's does to allow Derek to use that Franchise tag if offered.

    It makes sense for the player to not worry about front loaded deals that somewhat lower a cap hit. Instead of Henrik making 11m this year and 7m in 4 years he makes 10m across the board. It doesn't allow a team to poach another team's star because it cant be used on someone not drafted by your organization, and that team likely would have a little more money to use if it were going into a contract year for an extension, if that player was up for franchise tag, etc.


    The important thing is only one contract per organization is available and it cannot be used towards a player not from within the organization (i.e. has to be drafted). There would still be a lot to work out anyway if this was something the NHL looked into. It might not even be a good idea to use it on the top player since you might want to lock him up longer and just deal with the cap hit. It can be instead used for a guy you want to keep but he might be on the bubble of risk/reward in keeping. For us, that might have been Staal or G instead. It helps out with those damned if you do, damned if you don't situations like we were in twice with them.
    These are all team-friendly scenarios though. Why would Hank accept a 5 year deal for 50, when he can have a guaranteed 7 year deal for close to 60? He's getting that money no matter what. No matter how injured, how bad, how bald he gets. That's what the players are pushing for, the most money for the most amount of years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keirik View Post
    No I really don't like the idea of a luxury tax at all. To me it basically is saying you can throw money at a team problem instead of drafting right and building a team. I don't want to see the 2002 Rangers ever again. Ever.
    Cause and effect though Keirik. You are blaming Sather's poor decisions and building the wrong way to money and an unlimited budget. A luxury tax merely expands the budget a little bit and allows that money to flow from the rich teams to the players and poorer teams.

    Realize you are also throwing money at the problem by essentially increasing the cap with a franchise player, without compensating the smaller mkt or poorer teams. Why do the other owners go for that? You just grew the cap without considering the weaker markets. Why do the players go for that instead of a bigger chunk of the cap for all the players they represent? See where a luxury tax is a beautiful compromise? It addresses the small mkt issue (like in the NBA), allows good teams to retain homegrown talent easier and gets more money to the players from the teams that can afford it.

    Pretty simple and elegant if you ask me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    Well, the cap ceiling is a figure that's influenced by the real-world metrics of HRR, so it's not just as simple as "make the number bigger". Remember too, it also corresponds with the cap floor, which means every rise to the cap ceiling means a rise to the floor, which for some teams is still a problem regardless of HRR positives. Now, you could argue those teams don't belong in the league, and you may be right, but if that's true, it's true all the time, and not just some of the time, because it'd have meant cutting ties with Colorado, the Islanders, the Penguins, the Sabres and a slew of other clubs who bounced back just fine after having years in which they flirted with the floor as opposed to the ceiling, due to the structure of their teams or their owners' wishes. I mean, even Ottawa would probably get the axe.

    I understand what you are saying, but everyone's definition of budding star and/or opinion of who to keep or deal varies person-to-person. The Hawks had to deal a 33-year old Patrick Sharp and watched a 33-year old Johnny Oduya leave in free agency. Oh well. They were older anyway. If I were a Hawks fan I'd accept this, knowing I've got Teräväinen to fall back on.

    Maybe they do add in some kind of draft incentive give-back, maybe not, but right now, the best teams in the league are the best because they've got the right talent locked in long-term, continue to draft well/successfully and back-fill holes created in their line-up when players leave via free agency or in trades. It always sucks as a fan of a team when the guy you like gets dealt, but it's the reality of the manner in which the league operates. It's what keeps the league "functioning" in a lot of ways — free agency, trades, etc. If every team could/would just lock up every player they like, the league would stagnate.
    It was those losses then the additional loss of a 24 y/o Saad that just turned a few hundred teenagers closer to their xbox or a party than to go see the Hawks next season and root for some guy from Russia they heard was a decent 3rd line Center. Hardcore Hawk fans know the loss of Saad will be felt. I'm a Ranger fan and I can't believe they lost Saad. Maybe Toews, Kane, Keith and Quenville are that good that you can just put an ordinary team around them and win. We'll see next year. To put my money where my mouth is... I'll bet anyone here they do not make the WCF this year.

    BTW, Rome you are going deep into the metrics and calcs of how they arrive at the cap, which is great. However, a luxury tax does not change the cap process, we'll still have a cap and then a small overage allotment that will be taxed hard when used. I'm not sure your arguments are as powerful against an NBA like lux tax. Like you suggested 10% of the cap could be a reasonable # and solution for all the good teams now feeling squeezed by Florida and Ariz and Siberia.

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