After Shea Weber’s arbitration award of $7.5 million came down, I wrote the following in an August 3 article entitled Shea Weber, Drew Doughty & Market Value:
Shea Weber received an award of $7.5 million for one season. That makes him literally the highest paid defenseman in the league. For one season. That does not establish “market” value for top defensemen who seek contracts for more than a season, anymore than Surly getting lucky with a hot, drunk, 20 something year old blonde who is angry at her ex boyfriend, on one random night establishes his target market for the rest of his potential scores. It does not “raise” the market value for any player that will enter into a multi-year contract. Only the “market” does that and that market includes other contracts, with specific multi-year terms, for reasonably comparable players at or about the same age. If the years go up, then the cap hit must come down, at least in this circumvention by any other name era. Are any of those in the $7.5 million dollar range? No.
Others claimed that whatever Drew Doughty was asking for just went up and even went so far as to proclaim the market for all defensemen went up. Exaggerated? Absurd. From the NY Post today via Puck Daddy:
Finally, an arbitrator who did more than split the difference between a club’s submission and the player’s. Finally, an arbitrator who did more than color by numbers upon reaching his decision.
… the arbitrator reached his decision based on the compensation due Keith and Seabrook this coming season, including signing bonuses, rather than on their respective cap hits over the course of their long-term contracts. This was not about a multi-year deal; this was about compensation for 2011-12.
There is an old adage in the legal business that sometimes all it takes is an a-hole and a filing fee to file a lawsuit. So, I suppose arguments (like opinions) resemble that hole in some respects and anybody, even an experienced agent, can make an argument for his client using an inapplicable and irrelevant precedent. However, intelligent and not reactionary discourse dictates that a 1 year contract for an elite defenseman does not “raise” the financial bar for all elite D, much less every Tom, Dick & Harry D-man. The arbitrator correctly gave Shea Weber $7.5 million because he recognized what you do as well – if the “years” are going to be less (or, in this case, all of 1), then the dollars will be more for one of the best in this game. Years get longer, dollars get less.
It was nice reading something from Larry Brooks that didn’t give me a small migraine. That was a bonus. GO KINGS!