Some Thoughts On He Who Shall Not Be Paid

No, this is not another rumor as we don’t have any updates for our anxious readers. I did want to provide some financial perspective on the situation, however. On the negative side, it strikes me that the hold out by HWSNBP cannot be divorced from the pending expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement at the conclusion of this season. As I’ve discussed in two previous posts, the current deal likely does not work for many of the smaller market teams and those saddled with heavy debts not offset by cash flows from related businesses, AEG’s real estate empire, for example. The rising salary floor is putting real pressure on several teams who are either being put on the block, moving to a new market or whose continued existence is in doubt. I predict that the owners are going to exercise their right to terminate the current CBA after this season which means it will have to be renegotiated. Meanwhile, the players have hired Donald Fehr to head the NHLPA, and he is a man who has a history of playing hardball in negotiations with the Major League Baseball owners. This could get quite messy.

The possibility of more labor turmoil has to be part of the subtext in the negotiations between Don Meehan and Dean Lombardi. It is impossible to predict whether any games or an entire season will be lost or what a new CBA will look like, but both parties in the discussions cannot entirely dismiss the possibility that the constraints they are under could look very different starting with the 2012-2013 season. For instance, Dean Lombardi needs to cognizant of the fact that the salary cap may not continue to increase by the 8.8% it has averaged since the end of the lockout. Likewise, HWSNBP’s agent has to worry about a scenario where the cap is reduced in order to assuage some of the smaller market owners. Remember, the last CBA cut compensation on all existing player contracts by 24% for their entire length. This possibly explains why Meehan is looking to take every last penny off the table. At the end of the day, HWSNBP’s contract will reflect his current (and potential) value to the Kings, but it is important to remember that the current economic rules of the game could very easily change, complicating already difficult circumstances.

Another aspect of this story which has been speculated on is whether an offer sheet might break this wide open. It is my strong belief that this is something we as Kings’ fans do not need to worry about (despite Scribe’s insistence that is could happen). If you look at the 2011-2012 salary charts courtesy of Capgeek, there are 18 teams who are close enough to the cap that they would have to lose significant salary before taking on a contract like HWSNBP’s. Most importantly, this list contains all of the large market, highest spending teams. With the start of the season less than a month away, I believe it is unlikely that teams are going to make major changes to their roster that the signing of HWSNBP would entail. Besides, with all teams above the salary floor, there is not a long line suitors looking to take on another club’s bad contract in a salary dump this close to the start of the season.

There are 11 teams that have the cap space to sign an elite defenseman, but this list contains teams in real financial trouble (Phoenix), on the block and being dressed up for sale (Dallas and St. Louis) and that play in some of the smallest markets (Florida). The only two teams I see that could conceivably tender an offer sheet are Minnesota and Ottawa. Both teams play in strong Hockey markets, have plenty of cap space and could use additions to the blue line. On the other hand, neither is close to competing for the Cup with the Senators in full rebuild mold and both lack the beach and other amenities that HWSNBP has grown to enjoy. Remember, there has to be mutual agreement for an offer sheet to take effect. But, this gets to the main reason why HWSNBP is not going anywhere. With the Kings, both the player and the team know each other well and what role HWSNBP is most comfortable playing. Thus, it is less of a gamble for the Kings to sign their star since they know what they are getting for their investment. At the same time, by going to another team with a huge contract to live up to, HWSNBP is going to be under tremendous pressure to be ‘The Guy’ right away in a new system and with unfamiliar teammates. The familiarity of the known is why players often accept a home town discount as human beings are naturally averse to change. Ultimately, I believe HWSNBP is going to remain a King, and it still comes down to the numbers.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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20 replies

  1. I like this. This makes me feel stupider for being duped by a fake twitter post. It’s hard to be so close to the end of the work day, anticipating pre-season game one, and waiting on this little hurdle. GKG!

  2. Hey, asshole, you’re supposed to leave the game thread at the top until after the game. :P

  3. Calling this thing a “holdout” is not based in fact. You would be equally correct to call it a giraffe or a bottle opener. Doughty is not under contract. A holdout involves a player, currently under contract, not showing up in order to re-negotiate an existing deal. Even DL refuses to call it a holdout. I wouldn’t usually care about a gross factual error like that but in this case the mistake only achieves in slighting the player (and his right to negotiate his compensation) while marking him as “selfish” or “not a team player.” The only thing that is certain is, like DL said: “its only a bump in the road” and fans should not “overreact” to this situation which he himself saw coming months ahead of time. It would be silly and ludicrous for fans to greet #8 with boos when he arrives at Staples because they believe he has been “holding out.”

    • Once again, I addressed this. He is not holding out. He is holding out, he is holding his dick. Not a hold out, a cock holder. I think that’s fair.

    • You can define hold out any way you want, and I have no problem with people deciding that (for them) it refers to a player who is under contract who refuses to play. Lombardi uses this definition.

      However, in the dictionary, “hold out” refers to (variations of) a person who resists something by refusing to accept what is offered.

      So it’s not ludicrous to refer to Doughty as holding out. Especially since (if the meaning of the actual words isn’t enough for you) he’s doing exactly what the pre-2005 hold-outs were doing, refusing to report until his deal is “re-negotiated.” Only now this happens when a player is an RFA, instead of in the middle of a contract.

      Doughty is refusing to be “restricted.” Too bad. He’s a restricted free agent.

  4. Thank you Howard. While the thought of another year long lockout scares the crap out of me..last time was soooo depressing. it is comforting to see some common sense thoughts regarding HWSNBP.
    I am one who does not blame the kid so much as the bottom line is he is Young, and I believe he does want to be here with his teammates.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  5. I agree with you fully on DD staying a King. I can’t even imagine why so many are talking of getting rid of him when Dean himself refuses to even consider it. This has turned more personal to the Kingsfans than to the guy doing the negotiating for the Kings. I still see the Kings as having more room than the difference between DD’s side, and Meehans side, and wish they would get this done.

    I think that difference is easy to manage with the possibility of a new collective bargaining agreement, because I think allocating that difference to 1 player is no different then allocating it to a whole different player. The money is going to be spent, wether it’s on DD, or at the trade deadline, or on a player like Trent Hunter. The Kings are going to spend it. For me personally, if it ends this whole mess, than give it too DD, and lets play some hockey.

  6. This is just a personal thought,
    but there are 14 teams (nearly 1/2 of the entire NHL) that have players that make 7 mill or more. 2 of those teams have 2 players making 7 mill or more. Why is no one telling them that they can’t do that? How is it that the Kings can’t suvive that when plenty of teams can. When Kopi’s contract comes up, is everybody going to be screaming fiscal responsibilty when he asks for more than 7?

  7. Howard Roark.

    I just can’t make myself believe that’s your name. No one outside of an Objectivist’s sexually hysterical fantasy is called “Howard Roark”.

    C’mon . . . let’s have the truth. It’s really Asa Abramowitz, isn’t it?

    Or Rita Moreno? Seymour Duckworth? Don Cherry? RuPaul?

  8. I think it is silly to even consider that DD will not play for the Kings this season. Whether he is or is not a hold out doesn’t matter either. Once the season starts if he misses games he can wait to play until he signs a contract. He is such a great player that I want him on the team and on the ice every second of every game no matter how unrealistic as that might be.

    I also am certain that without him we are talented enough to be highly competitive until he rejoins the team. Either way DD will not be allowed to simply walk away from us for another several years and while I would rather have him on the ice playing hockey for us, until he and his people again decide to accept a 7 yr deal as a reasonable offer and get something done I can live with the fact that he will have to wait to play hockey until we say so.

    The thing is that after a certain point every GM in the league says “he is scary talented but he has proven to be a holdout once so why give him the stars and moon only to have him expect Mars and Jupiter the next time around?”

    He is only hurting the value of his next contract (potentially anyways) every day that he sits past the start of the season. If that pile of human excrement that reps DD decides to allow him to sit in hopes of getting his 5yr rip off of the Kings in order to hasten the next uber deal he can get for the wunderkind then he is cutting off his nose to spite his own face in that like I said, if you think that GM’s around the league don’t see DD’s holding out as being disloyal and thus lessening his overall value then you would be mistaken.

    You have short time to sign this 7 yr deal DD, do it and let your team and your fans welcome you home with open arms. SIgn the deal and let this episode be a small and easily forgotten bump in the road during your early career and all will not only be forgiven but also forgotten.
    Sign this deal and win a cup or two with the Kings along with a few Norris trophies or nominations along with possibly a playoff MVP or two and you will literally be fulfilling what the hockey world has said about you from Bantam’s and also be forcing every owner/gm in the game to pry open their wallets and pay as much as you could dream of asking for at the end of this deal.

    At the ripe old age of 28, if you wake up and do the right thing, the best thing for your career regardless of what Darth Meehan has been saying you will be able to have already earned over $50m and will go on to earn what is likely to be the most money that any dman has ever earned. At 28 you will be able to land that $75m 9 yr contract that the idiotic Meehan has you focusing on.

    Or sit out and allow him to steer your career into a hole that you yourself will be responsible for digging your way out of and forever leaving you with the label of being in it for the money alone. I know it isn’t true, stand up and show the hockey world who you really are and sign the Kings offer.

  9. Only if you are the kind of person who wants to cause a riot on a hockey board by dragging politics where they don’t belong in my opinion.

    Closer to simply Darth Meehan or Emperor Meehan, either of those would fit in his with delusions of grandeur too.

    • It really was a Sreud-ian Flip. No political opinions were intended.

      I voted for the sonofabitch. If this thread had a “delete” feature I would have been able to correct the typo without making it worse.

  10. Your lucky.

    I say that there aren’t any good politicians anywhere any longer. Maybe it is time for us all to revert to a feudal state. Then our hockey games could really matter. JOHNATHAN! JOHNATHAN! JOHNATHAN! ala rollerball with Caan.


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