Mr. Colby wrote:Is it really necessary to have a contract length maximum AND a +/- 5% variance clause? There should really be no contract length limit - if a guy wants to sign for his career and never have to worry about it again, he should be able to. The 5% takes care of cap circumvention.
Kind of, yeah. It wouldn't be as bad as it is now, but you could still circumvent the cap by exploiting AAV vs years played. I could see where teams would sign a Brad Richards type of player who is 30 years old to a 12 year deal when he only plans to play 6 or so. Start him at 12 million, decrease it 5% every year.
year 01 - 12,000,000
year 02 - 11,400,000
year 03 - 10,830,000
year 04 - 10,288,500
year 05 - 9,774,075
year 06 - 9,285,371
year 07 - 8,821,102
year 08 - 8,380,047
year 09 - 7,961,045
year 10 - 7,562,992
year 11 - 7,184,843
year 12 - 6,825,601
The AAV (and thus cap hit) of that contract is 9,192,798, yet he gets paid more than that in every year that he plays hockey. The day he retires, his cap hit is off the books. Cap has been succesfully circumvented.
That's an extreme case, but it shows the potential to exploit by the rich teams with "superstar" players that tend to retire early anyway.
To me, and to others I've seen mention it, the solution is simple. No term limits. No % variance limits. Whatever a player gets paid that year, that is his cap hit. Retiring doesn't take it off the books.
Yes its less flexible. Yes its unlikely to pass from either side, especially the NHLPA. But its the simplest way to stop cap cheating.
Edit: Actually, I got ahead of myself. Retiring could take it off the books in this case. It wouldnt matter, as no cheating would have gone on in the early years. So its even simpler than I originally thought.