2024-25 NHL Thread: Leafs Quest for the Next Cup, Volume 58

It’s probably more related to weather and difficult media/fans than tax rates. Ryan Oreilly said as much when he decided to leave Toronto for Nashville.

But that’s precisely the problem from my point of view: the canadian teams are at a disadvantage because the players have more pressure but dont get compensated for it due to the salary cap.

In the NFL, almost every team is under considerable pressure and media scrutiny.

For top players, they can earn more money outside of hockey with sponsors. You make much more in Canada doing that than in the USA. So I think Canadian teams can still attract elite players.

Easy fix is to adjust the cap for state income taxes.

This is not necessarily true, the NY Jets, even when mediocre, receive much more local media attention than say, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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nhl players in seattle can live normal lives, they are not famous. not the case with seattle seahawks players.

cole caufield could take a trip to a small town in Quebec and everyone in that town would recognize him.

Either today or tomorrow - or some point soon, depending on when the transaction closes - at least 22 NHL teams - 24, based on one count I saw - will have to go figure out how to run cap scenarios because their default choice, the one people have come to rely on for years, will shut down operations after being purchased by Ted Leonsis and the Washington Capitals.

No, I’m not surprised by this. If anything, I’m kind of surprised it’s 24. It really should be 0 except NHL front offices are lazy and full of bloat … but, I suspect that may be true for sports front offices in general.

Background: way before CapFriendly existed, before Matthew Wuest launched CapGeek, I had the first site that tracked the NHL’s salary cap. I ran it off a spot on Yahoo!'s Geocities, then moved it to a private site. I did that from 2005-2010, when Wuest built his site with most of the functionality I wanted but never had time to build out. In the time I had my site, I had numerous e-mails from NHL front offices and certain individuals in the media asking questions about the cap and asking about various cap scenarios.

This wasn’t a surprise to me; it’s 2006, 2007, everyone’s trying to figure out the cap, I’d spent extensive time learning it and asking questions, I’d established myself as a resource in certain corners of the internet. What did surprise me was that (1) after a few years, it didn’t seem like anyone was building this stuff out themselves for their own research, and (2) no one ever said “holy shit, you know a hell of a lot about the cap, come work for us, we need this kind of knowledge in our organization.” Even in early 2006, I was saying “management of the cap is going to be a critical thing, teams who figure this out early will have a huge advantage over everyone else.”

Fast forward to about 2011 or 2012, when teams were rushing to claim they had a capologist doing this stuff. No, what they had was someone who was going out to public sites and doing the same stuff you or I would do. They weren’t building new tools, and they weren’t doing informed analysis. They were going out to a website to see what it said and reporting back this one site says _____, so it has to be right. Which, for all the work I did, Matthew did and others did, no - none of us had things exactly right. But, like actuaries, we were directionally close. That worked for most things, but might not work in situations where a team is trying to execute a trade with virtually no margin of error for cap space. But, teh cap site says ____, and we’ve got a capologist who used teh cap site, so they’re teh expert and so we’re teh expert. That’s where teams having stuff built out for themselves would have been invaluable.

Which brings us to today. The fact that most teams haven’t built an archive of data that they can analyze and were instead relying on API calls to a site to get data is … well, like I said, not shocking at all. These are the same teams who breathlessly sing the praises of their analytics, which they claim help them be successful, which no one has ever demonstrated that teh analytics gives an advantage that’s not otherwise explainable by “drafting high because the team sucked for years” and “lots of talent + winning attracted lots of talent” and certainly hasn’t been explained as the distinguishing factor in success aside from a coach or coaches “acting from the gut” or making moves based on experience that’s not grounded in teh analytics.

But, we’ve got the mostest bestester analytics, huuray us, we’re teh awesomerers and teams are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars getting data. hoping someone can interpret it correctly. Cap construction and forward planning of a team - you know, the basics that help plan future roster construction in a cap world? That’s maybe 5th or 6th on the list of importance, right after “find a job for this ex-NHLer so they’ve got a post-playing retirement gig so they can get paid to do not a whole lot.”

Shouldn’t the NHL have this system up? Yeah, it should. When I quit doing cap stuff, the league still had no plans to build something out. At last check, it still doesn’t. Otherwise, teams wouldn’t be using API calls to a public website to get that information. [Add this to "things the NHL should be doing, but doesn’t, that are inexcusable.]

Can teams build this out themselves? Yeah, they can. Every team is kept up to date on active contracts, transactions to/from the NHL, roster designations and the like. Considering there’s been at least 6 sites that tracked the cap, it shouldn’t be that difficult to find someone to replicate it using the data teams get at least every week [contracts] or day [transactions]. Will they? Probably not, they’ll wait for the next website to come along and do their work and then have their “capologist” do the point-and-click thing hoping they know what they’re doing and the website knows what it’s doing.

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That’s really neat that you worked on that in the past. I was bummed when I heard the Capitals had bought out CapFriendly because it’s such a great website.

You mention that 22-24 teams don’t have their own database/system. I’ve heard that too but I don’t know which teams that includes. Is there a list you could post or point us to? I’m quite curious.

Let me find the Reddit post that alluded to it, but I think it was based off an Elliott Friedman post about who did have such a system, one of the teams on the list being a huge surprise to me knowing what I knew about them and what they did.

And Pittsburgh is only listed because Dubas directed something to be built out to match what Toronto had.

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The Blues sign twice-bought-out Ryan Suter. Minimum salary, performance bonuses can get him to $3 million.

Kind of pointless IMO, but that also sums up most of this summer’s moves by the Blues.

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The Evgeny Kuznetsov Era ends in Carolina after a little over 4 months. This will be welcome news for the Capitals, who gained $3.9 million in cap space from this move.

And there’s a little clarity on why the Blues scooped up Ryan Suter: they’re laying the groundwork for Torey Krug to not play with the team again. If they were thinking about trying to trade him before and getting value back, good luck getting that done now - and, top free agents have moved and I don’t sense that anyone is desperately looking to unload players to create cap space at this point.