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Revisiting the Debate: Long-Term Contracts or Bridge Deals


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Rick Dipietro 10 years 4.5M\year. Or was it 15 years?

I thought it was $3.5m for 15 yr.

Chris Pronger played 1.5 yr of a 4 or 5 yr deal.

Crosby got signed to an 8 yr deal AFTER missing almost 2 yrs with concussions. So should Pittsburgh not have signed him?

Drury and Gomez on 7yr deals. Gomez played one half decent year, Drury got injured almost immidiatelty.

Wiznoowski, 6m/5yr. Has not played to a level to deserve 1.5m. I could go on and on with UFA examples.

Again, the injury arguement is NOT an arguement against bridge deals. There have been far more UFA signings that did not either perform to the level of their contracts, or got injured than bridge deals,

Similarity the motivation arguement doesn't hold.

Long term deals are here to stay. I feel much more comfortable to give long term deals to players whose best years are ahead of them, than to those starting their declining years.

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I thought it was $3.5m for 15 yr.

Chris Pronger played 1.5 yr of a 4 or 5 yr deal.

Crosby got signed to an 8 yr deal AFTER missing almost 2 yrs with concussions. So should Pittsburgh not have signed him?

Drury and Gomez on 7yr deals. Gomez played one half decent year, Drury got injured almost immidiatelty.

Wiznoowski, 6m/5yr. Has not played to a level to deserve 1.5m. I could go on and on with UFA examples.

Again, the injury arguement is NOT an arguement against bridge deals. There have been far more UFA signings that did not either perform to the level of their contracts, or got injured than bridge deals,

Similarity the motivation arguement doesn't hold.

Long term deals are here to stay. I feel much more comfortable to give long term deals to players whose best years are ahead of them, than to those starting their declining years.

Well you can say that the motivation theory doesn't work, but you give us examples of what I am talking about. In my opinion bonuses should be a big part of any contract not just the new kids and the old guys. Lower the annual salary and give them bonuses to play for, team, as well as individual and you will see what motivation can do. I know that isn't going to happen but it should. It is human nature that the more comfortable you are the less likely you will strive for more comfort. I also did not say this was true of every player but it is for a lot of them. I must say that when you say the paycheck is not the big motivator in this day and age, that certainly flies in the face of everything we have seen. From lockouts to players leaving for MORE money. :):habslogo:

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I'm not saying the paycheck isn't a motivator. What I'm saying us that, for most of these guys, the paycheck will come anyways. Is Kessel worth $8m? In my opinion no bloody way!! But had he become a free agent someone would have given him probably even more.

At the end if the day, the good players are going to get their money. What's going to drive them is success and pride.

I'd love to see a bonus structured contract where you get rewarded based on performence, but from what I understand, they did away with those types of deals except for players over 35 and players who were injured and only played a certain number if games.

Well you can say that the motivation theory doesn't work, but you give us examples of what I am talking about. In my opinion bonuses should be a big part of any contract not just the new kids and the old guys. Lower the annual salary and give them bonuses to play for, team, as well as individual and you will see what motivation can do. I know that isn't going to happen but it should. It is human nature that the more comfortable you are the less likely you will strive for more comfort. I also did not say this was true of every player but it is for a lot of them. I must say that when you say the paycheck is not the big motivator in this day and age, that certainly flies in the face of everything we have seen. From lockouts to players leaving for MORE money. :):habslogo:

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I thought it was $3.5m for 15 yr.

Chris Pronger played 1.5 yr of a 4 or 5 yr deal.

Crosby got signed to an 8 yr deal AFTER missing almost 2 yrs with concussions. So should Pittsburgh not have signed him?

Drury and Gomez on 7yr deals. Gomez played one half decent year, Drury got injured almost immidiatelty.

Wiznoowski, 6m/5yr. Has not played to a level to deserve 1.5m. I could go on and on with UFA examples.

Again, the injury arguement is NOT an arguement against bridge deals. There have been far more UFA signings that did not either perform to the level of their contracts, or got injured than bridge deals,

Similarity the motivation arguement doesn't hold.

Long term deals are here to stay. I feel much more comfortable to give long term deals to players whose best years are ahead of them, than to those starting their declining years.

Your reasoning is sound, but signing a player to a bridge deal doesn't mean that they will leave after their second deal is done. Players do stay with teams their entire careers. I think you look at the bridge deal as being a slap in the face when an athlete might understand the business, especially after the lockout.
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Your reasoning is sound, but signing a player to a bridge deal doesn't mean that they will leave after their second deal is done. Players do stay with teams their entire careers. I think you look at the bridge deal as being a slap in the face when an athlete might understand the business, especially after the lockout.

They can't leave after the bridge deal (barring a really high offer sheet that doesn't get matched). What makes it a bridge is that it's only short-term, the player almost always has one or two RFA years left at the end.

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They can't leave after the bridge deal (barring a really high offer sheet that doesn't get matched). What makes it a bridge is that it's only short-term, the player almost always has one or two RFA years left at the end.

Sorry, I meant second after the ELC. I didn't mean to stir the resident CBA expert!

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Interesting post but why not looking in a different way? Did Colorado make a mistake from a gambler perspective? I really don't think so. It was a worth bet, I could argue that the chance of a superstar rookie not living up to his expectations is just 20%. You have a 80% chance of success. Who wouldn't take this bet? 80% chance to win and 20% to loose. Not bad, huh? Yes, the loss in monetary terms is pretty bad because you are going to be overpaying a bust for many years but then you could pretty much nail it and save up along the way. 

 

Ovechkin, Kane, Crosby and Malkin. All of them are paid what they deserve. You look at Statsny and you see a point out of the curve, an aberration.  

 

 

Sure you might win 80% of the time.  But when you win you save maybe 2 million per year for 8 years but when you lose you could be losing 8 million a year for 8 years.  So its a lot closer than is sounds when you say you win 80% of the time. 

 

I prefer always using a bridge contract.  In the end you have your player locked up longer if you want them,  You have to pay for this but I'd rather have players getting what they are worth than have

4 guys 25% under paid and 1 guy vastly over paid.

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The doctrinare argument against bridge contracts is reliant on the idea that you can be 100% certain about which players are absolute "can't miss" all-stars, and then goes on to propose that these should be locked up long-term. It's hard to deny that locking up a Crosby is a good idea, but once you admit the possibility that even seemingly can't-miss-kids can go sideways, the argument is no longer airtight.

Gainey Rebuild 1.0 was full of players about which the fanbase was very enthusiastic. Komisarek was supposed to be a guaranteed elite shut-down defenceman. Higgins was supposed to be a star. Kostitsyn was the most talented player in his draft class. Price was the new Roy. And so on. Turns out that not one of those players was unambiguously elite (except maybe Price). Thank God we didn't "lock them up."

Hell, look at Ovechkin. Seemingly the ultimate instance of a supreme thoroughbred, he had two fairly insipid seasons that left some people wondering whether the Caps had hitched their wagon to the wrong horse. He's back now, of course, but that wasn't written in the stars - it could have gone the other way; and the point is that a lot can happen over a 10 year career.

A lot of hockey people had doubts about PK Subban, worrying that his ego would spiral out of control and make him the second coming of Dion Phaneuf. These people were wrong, but I think it was a respectable concern.

What I'm saying, then, is that we shouldn't be attacking bridge contracts by comparing them to some ideal universe where teams unfailingly make accurate assessments about a player's long-term potential. In the real world, they'll make mistakes. Which is why, like I said before, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

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The doctrinare argument against bridge contracts is reliant on the idea that you can be 100% certain about which players are absolute "can't miss" all-stars, and then goes on to propose that these should be locked up long-term. It's hard to deny that locking up a Crosby is a good idea, but once you admit the possibility that even seemingly can't-miss-kids can go sideways, the argument is no longer airtight.

Gainey Rebuild 1.0 was full of players about which the fanbase was very enthusiastic. Komisarek was supposed to be a guaranteed elite shut-down defenceman. Higgins was supposed to be a star. Kostitsyn was the most talented player in his draft class. Price was the new Roy. And so on. Turns out that not one of those players was unambiguously elite (except maybe Price). Thank God we didn't "lock them up."

Hell, look at Ovechkin. Seemingly the ultimate instance of a supreme thoroughbred, he had two fairly insipid seasons that left some people wondering whether the Caps had hitched their wagon to the wrong horse. He's back now, of course, but that wasn't written in the stars - it could have gone the other way; and the point is that a lot can happen over a 10 year career.

A lot of hockey people had doubts about PK Subban, worrying that his ego would spiral out of control and make him the second coming of Dion Phaneuf. These people were wrong, but I think it was a respectable concern.

What I'm saying, then, is that we shouldn't be attacking bridge contracts by comparing them to some ideal universe where teams unfailingly make accurate assessments about a player's long-term potential. In the real world, they'll make mistakes. Which is why, like I said before, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

You definitely over estimate what people thought about Komisarek and Higgins. No one ever said they were superstars and deserved to be locked long term. I thought that Komisarek would remain a good fit for Markov on a 1st pair, but that's it. He was not a Subban. Not even close. And how can you possibly compare Higgins and Galchenyuk ?!?!?!

As for Ovechkin, what is his 2nd "fairly insipid" season ? The one when he put up 85 pts or the one with only 56 pts in 48 games. Or maybe it's the one where he finished with a +/- of -19 with 92 pts ???

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You definitely over estimate what people thought about Komisarek and Higgins. No one ever said they were superstars and deserved to be locked long term. I thought that Komisarek would remain a good fit for Markov on a 1st pair, but that's it. He was not a Subban. Not even close. And how can you possibly compare Higgins and Galchenyuk ?!?!?!

As for Ovechkin, what is his 2nd "fairly insipid" season ? The one when he put up 85 pts or the one with only 56 pts in 48 games. Or maybe it's the one where he finished with a +/- of -19 with 92 pts ???

Details, details! :lol: Actually, you can argue that a $9 million cap hit isn't good value for an 85-point season. Plus his playoff history is merely decent. In any case, if you do think that we always possess 100% guaranteed future knowledge about which players are going to be "superstars" - and incidentally, what is the view when it comes to the non-superstar Phil Kessels and Tyler Seguins of the world? Lock them up too? Do we also possess infallible knowledge about their career trajectories? - then yes, avoid the bridge contracts. This also assumes, notice, that players themselves are reliably happy to be locked up long-term at well below their projected market value. This is a further assumption that I find highly questionable.

I'm not arguing against it. I'm more trying to explain why I don't have burningly strong feelings on this issue, and basically just saying that mistakes are gonna happen and regrettable costs will likely be incurred under either approach. I think the heat generated by fans on this issue is disproportionate to the gains accrued under one approach or the other, in real life.

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Details, details! :lol: Actually, you can argue that a $9 million cap hit isn't good value for an 85-point season. Plus his playoff history is merely decent. In any case, if you do think that we always possess 100% guaranteed future knowledge about which players are going to be "superstars" - and incidentally, what is the view when it comes to the non-superstar Phil Kessels and Tyler Seguins of the world? Lock them up too? Do we also possess infallible knowledge about their career trajectories? - then yes, avoid the bridge contracts. This also assumes, notice, that players themselves are reliably happy to be locked up long-term at well below their projected market value. This is a further assumption that I find highly questionable.

I'm not arguing against it. I'm more trying to explain why I don't have burningly strong feelings on this issue, and basically just saying that mistakes are gonna happen and regrettable costs will likely be incurred under either approach. I think the heat generated by fans on this issue is disproportionate to the gains accrued under one approach or the other, in real life.

I would lock both Kessel and Seguin in a heartbeat. Both are (Kessel) and will be (Seguin) pts/game players.

I would gladly live with my mistake of locking up Seguin at 6M$ instead of paying him 3,5 - 3,5 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8.

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