Why An Amnesty Clause Makes Sense

Jonathan Willis
April 28 2012 08:26AM

Shawn Horcoff. Keith Ballard. Matt Stajan. Mike Komisarek. The list is a lot longer than that, but it sometimes feels like every team in the league has a player or two whose contracts they’d love to make disappear.

That’s why some sort of amnesty buyout could be an appealing option when the NHL and NHLPA eventually get together and work out the next collective bargaining agreement.

At this point, such an amnesty is entirely speculative; the NHL and NHLPA haven’t even sat down to begin discussing the next deal yet. That might not sound good, but it’s okay; the league and the players’ association have almost five whole months to hammer out a new deal and nothing in their past suggests they’d sacrifice hockey for bickering over terms. And surely, if they had done so, league revenues would have dropped so precipitously that they’d never even ponder doing it again.

At any rate, with the next CBA barely a twinkle in the eye of its uncommunicative parents, it’s impossible to know if it will contain some sort of contract amnesty. What is clear is that it makes sense for both sides.

A contract buyout is often viewed as an ugly tool by the media, but from a player’s perspective things generally aren’t so bad – especially if the player is old enough that he’s only eligible for a two-thirds buyout. Even when he isn’t, the buyout can work out well – Cam Barker made more money this year, post-Minnesota buyout, than he would have had the Wild opted to keep him around.

Take Shawn Horcoff as an example. If the Oilers decided this summer that they wanted to buy Horcoff out, they would need to spend $8.67 million (spread over six years) to make it happen. Horcoff, without a buyout, will make $13 million. Now, if Horcoff can get a free agent contract equal to Eric Belanger’s three year, $1.75 million/year pact he’ll pick up almost a full million extra to stuff into his bed of money (and that shouldn’t be hard, given his true value is likely north of $2.0 million per season).

Indeed, from a player’s perspective, any sort of contract amnesty would be a huge injection of cap circumventing cash. If each team spent $3.33 million on a buyout (i.e. bought out $5 million worth of total salary) that would be $100 million of expenses that wouldn’t count against the salary cap. Knowing what the they know about NHL general managers, the players’ association could also bank on that open cap space quickly being filled as teams do what they always do when they have money: spend it like drunk sailors on shore leave.

Plus, there’s even a chance that with an amnesty buyout, Wade Redden might get to play another NHL game at some point, and that has to be a plus.

From the league perspective, the problem is that teams could go ahead and shell out $100 million that doesn’t count against the cap, throwing their delicate revenue-to-player salary ratio out of balance.

Really though, it’s a minimal point. The league will still have their salary cap, and this would represent a way to ease some of the pressure teams are facing internally without backing off it. Besides, the big market teams – the Leafs, the Rangers, etc. – have been crying out for a chance to use their financial clout to better their teams. An amnesty would give them that opportunity without throwing the cap system out of whack while still allowing small-budget teams to carry on as they were.

If the league chose to decline an amnesty offer, it might also come in handy as a wedge issue for the players’ association. For the NHLPA to get the best possible deal, they’ll need to find issues that split ownership, and this could easily be one of them.

In any case, the league will need to figure something out, particularly if they’re pushing for a reduced salary cap in the new CBA. If, for instance, the team was successful in pushing the players’ portion of revenue down to 50% as it is in basketball, that decision would knock the current cap down to the $55 million range. Eight teams already have that much committed to next year without signing any of their free agents.

This is why I tend to think a one-time amnesty clause will be a part of the new agreement. It simply makes sense from all angles – it’s money for the players, appealing to teams in financial trouble, and one way to help the league adjust to what is likely to be a lower cap figure in the future.

Then again, if NHL history is anything to go by, ‘making sense’ doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘going to happen.’

This week by Jonathan Willis at the Nation Network

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 Eulers
April 28 2012, 08:29AM
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I'm certainly concerned that this amnesty would incentivize handing out ridiculous contracts: especially if the amnesty is renewed after a few years. These contracts squeeze the salaries of the non-elite players in the short run though would relax this pressure when amnesty is granted. So, like any good economist, I remain ambivalent!

Also, I've attained the coveted double FIST having caught Jonathan's article yesterday too! My weekend is off to a good start!

By the way, does anybody else feel like most of the teams they cheered for in the first round lost their series? Sigh!

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#2 15w40
April 28 2012, 08:59AM
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"Besides, the big market teams – the Leafs, the Rangers, etc. – have been crying out for a chance to use their financial clout to better their teams."

They already have that option. Case #1, making Wade Redden's contract go away in the minors. Not all teams can afford the 6 mil or what ever his cap hit is to play in the minors. It sucks for the player like you mentioned but the GM's of the teams with big money can bury their mistakes on the farm if the owner will let them. I believe the leafs have done the same with Jeff Finger correct? Pretty sure the Jackets or the Predators won't be doing that any time soon.

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#3 Fresh Mess
April 28 2012, 09:10AM
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I'm dead against the amnesty buyout. Let those who spend like stupid idiots live with the consequences (cough,oilers,cough). It's kind of like the coming housing crash in Canada.

It's always the same. The owners hire "hockey men" (ex players) to manage their clubs and give them multi million dollar budgets. The competitive emotions, pressures of job security, and lack of business sense drives the GM's to give out short sighted contracts. The owners then cry poverty, raise ticket prices, demand concessions from the taxpayer, and enter labour disputes with the greedy players union. It's gotten boring.

This is why I am in favour of more non-traditional "hockey men" managing teams and deciding league discipline. Profesional managers of sorts.

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#4 Smokey
April 28 2012, 09:46AM
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I think the NHL should not let off the teams and GM`s for their mistakes. The idea that Burkie had was to allow teams to trade a player to a team and eat contract. So say the Oilers traded Horcoff to the Pheonix Nordiques or Quebec Coyotes this off season, they trade that player at to Phoenix who has loads of cap space, the Oilers pay 2/3 the salary for year one, say half next year, and a third of his salary the year after. Pheonix takes only half the cap hit the Oilers the other for the remaining three years. Also Phoenix could negotiate a 3rd or 4th round draft pick to help the Oilers dispose of a contract. That way both teams are helped, Horcoff doesn`t get sent to OKC or bought outright, and everyones happy. Im not saying it has to be under these perameters, but something to that effect.

Players like Horcoff don`t have to go through hell for 5 years for signing a contract they could not live up to, because the guy a decent player who does not deserve the crap people give him for a contract that any one of us would have signed. A situation like this would eliminate the Redden fiasco, where a NHL caliber player has to go to the minors for three years cause his cap hurts his NHL club. A guy like Redden should be in the NHL as at least as a 5-66 pairing defender.

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#5 Lexi
April 28 2012, 09:58AM
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From the Oilers point of view the amnesty clause would actually be negative as they needed the amnesty on Horcoff's or NK a couple of years ago. The Oil are in great cap shape to wait for the new CBA before signing the young stars. There are at least 15 teams with long term contracts taking guys well into their late 30s. My fear is the amnesty clause is going to free up so much cap space that someone will be able to take a RFA run at one of the young guns.

My gut says there will be an amnesty clause as the rich influential teams like the Flyers, Leafs and Rangers need it.

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#6 Oilcruzer
April 28 2012, 10:05AM
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Is that Sean Avery?

Nevermind, just another dickhead - Mike Commodore

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#7 Smokey
April 28 2012, 10:05AM
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Maybe the NHL should put a prohibitive luxury tax on money spent over the salary cap. If you spend x ammount you have to pay double the ammount up to a certain point.

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#8 BlacqueJacque
April 28 2012, 10:11AM
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Amnesty clauses make no sense. This has been debated to death in the NBA and an ever-growing portion of the fanbase is against it. Yes, they all want to see underperformers get kicked to the curb, but they also want their teams to learn fiscal restraint and stop overpaying players. The NBA just had its second amnesty and it's starting to become ingrained in the culture, that at the end of every CBA, people are going to get cut.

What does need to be done is to toughen up the rules on NMC/NTCs and to put limits on the terms of contracts.

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#9 Oilcruzer
April 28 2012, 10:12AM
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I don't like the amnesty but I "more dislike" a guy like Wade Redden (nice guy, over paid) can't play in the NHL just because of his contract.

Suggestion...

Players want long term deals? Once they exceed x years (or perhaps $x.xM per year on cap), allow an Amnesty clause within them after x years.

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#10 BlacqueJacque
April 28 2012, 10:16AM
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@Oilcruzer

Cruzer, what you're suggesting is non-guaranteed contracts. It's the bane of players in the NFL and lead to serious issues there (like giant signing bonuses, since players want some sort of guarantee of income), and not one of the three other big sports unions (baseball, hockey, basketball) would allow that to happen. They'd strike/get locked out for two years before they'd bend on that. Especially in the NHL, where injuries are such a constant concern.

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#11 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 10:19AM
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It's funny, the NFL has non-guaranteed contracts and players get cut outright by just about every team in the league every year and somehow nobody thinks NFL teams are awful for doing so, but in the NHL, suggest paying a player to get out of a contract and everyone will tell you how it will give the team a bad reputation and nobody will sign there.

Someone should tell the NFL that they are ruining their reputations when they cut players.

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#12 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 10:21AM
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@BlacqueJacque

This has been debated to death in the NBA and an ever-growing portion of the fanbase is against it.

false. The NBA has already done it. It worked well and fans didn't care one way or another.

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#13 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 10:22AM
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@BlacqueJacque

It's the bane of players in the NFL

Why should we care if the players wish otherwise? Irrelevant.

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#14 Oilcruzer
April 28 2012, 10:30AM
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@BJ

Not at all suggesting similar, non-guaranteed contracts as we see in the NFL. In the NFL, you can sign for a bazzillion dollars and not receive anything after you are cut.

The suggestion I would put forward, and only under very limited circumstances, is a one time amnesty deal that pays the player out but doesn't affect Cap Space.

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#15 Oilcruzer
April 28 2012, 10:33AM
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(and)...

I think the NFL has a higher rate of injuries than the NHL.

They did studies 15 years ago... the rate of injury at the high school level, per season, was greater than 100%. (meaning on average, everyone gets hurt, and on average, some twice (or more) a season)

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#16 BlacqueJacque
April 28 2012, 10:46AM
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Fans of well-managed teams, and fans that expect good management, despise the amnesty clause. As do, in fact, teams that are managed well.

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#17 BlacqueJacque
April 28 2012, 10:48AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
It's the bane of players in the NFL

Why should we care if the players wish otherwise? Irrelevant.

Have you seen what happens to ex-NFLers? I don't mean the Mannings and Bradys and Petersons. I mean the average, typical grunts. They live some seriously crappy lives. Poor education, terrible health issues, and somehow they were expected to save up for life after a three year contract that pays $550,000 per year... that got canceled in year two.

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#18 db7db7db7
April 28 2012, 10:49AM
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Personally I think all that is needed is a consensual contract opt out clause. If the player is willing to void the contract and the team is for this also, by all means rip up the papers. That would have worked out great in the Souray situation. Oilers didn't want him anymore, and he wanted out. He could of easily turned around and signed a new deal as a ufa instead of playing a year in the minors. I'm not so sure that would work out in Redden's favor though. He would have to decide what he likes most; playing in the NHL or making piles of money.

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#19 db7db7db7
April 28 2012, 10:57AM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

Personally I think all that is needed is a consensual contract opt out clause. If the player is willing to void the contract and the team is for this also, by all means rip up the papers. That would have worked out great in the Souray situation. Oilers didn't want him anymore, and he wanted out. He could of easily turned around and signed a new deal as a ufa instead of playing a year in the minors. I'm not so sure that would work out in Redden's favor though. He would have to decide what he likes most; playing in the NHL or making piles of money.

However, I could see some pretty nervous agents.

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#20 chuck biscuits
April 28 2012, 10:58AM
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TUG-agree 100% I am a fan and want to be entertained-I don't give a rat's arse about team finances.

A one time amnesty clause and adjust the buyout process so teams pay a percentage of the money owed to the player and no cap hit penalty.Limit the number of these new buyouts to twice?? in the span of a 6 year CBA.

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#21 captainnapalm
April 28 2012, 10:59AM
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Jonathan, shouldn't you be linking cap numbers to nhlnumbers instead of capgeek, considering it's a Nation owned website?

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#22 RexLibris
April 28 2012, 11:15AM
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If I recall correctly Bettman said after the Palm Springs GM meetings this season that there was no chance of an amnesty clause in the next CBA. Now, I know Bettman is a lawyer by trade and therefore his word has to be taken with a grain of negotiating-strategy salt.

If the league were to introduce a one-time amnesty clause for the lifetime of this CBA (hypothetically, seven years), the teams that rushed to use it on a contract that was set to expire in the next two years might be following one mistake with another.

I know when the Cavs essentially waived Baron Davis under the new NBA CBA I wondered about the management of that group. They had made a mistake in Davis' case and here they were, the ink barely dry on a new CBA, already using an out-clause to correct that mistake. Is there any evidence to suggest that they won't make a similar error early in this new CBA lifespan with which they then must live?

That being said, having the ability to essentially erase a contract from existence could be extremely valuable if a team were in trade negotiations and teams that use this clause sparingly or hold on to it, like a "get-out-of-jail-free" card, could use it very wisely.

If team x has a player that team y desperately wants at the trade deadline and team x also has the ability to amnesty-out a contract, meanwhile team y is cap-constrained and needs to move a contract in order to acquire said player then team x has all that much more bargaining power and a higher price could be exacted from the purchasing team. So rather than having to take a cap-contract back effectively diluting the return for a trade deadline sell-off, it could actually reverse that and enhance the price of the deal from a seller's perspective.

Buffalo extracted a 2nd round pick from Calgary in order to take both Regehr and Kotalik off their roster. Calgary got back a few younger options, Butler at least performed at about the same level as Regehr this season, but Byron looks like a career AHLer and that 2nd round pick may ultimately be what tips the balance of that trade in Buffalo's favour. In essence, Darcy Regier already extracted from Jay Feaster a price that another GM could by instead using this amnesty clause.

Horcoff, to me isn't a contract that I would waive. Neither is Gomez. DiPietro, Bryzgalov, even Luongo or Lecavalier are all contracts that may be seriously considered, though.

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#23 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 11:19AM
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BlacqueJacque wrote:

Have you seen what happens to ex-NFLers? I don't mean the Mannings and Bradys and Petersons. I mean the average, typical grunts. They live some seriously crappy lives. Poor education, terrible health issues, and somehow they were expected to save up for life after a three year contract that pays $550,000 per year... that got canceled in year two.

OH NO!!!! You mean they only made $1.1 million dollars in just 2 years? Whatever will they do?

That's over a million dollars of money they wouldn't have had if they didn't make the NFL. What would they have done then? What if they flamed out in college? Should we make sure those guys have millions stashed away as well? The idea that we should pity them and demand guaranteed contracts because they can't manage their money is bordering on offensive to the average person.

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#24 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 11:22AM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

Personally I think all that is needed is a consensual contract opt out clause. If the player is willing to void the contract and the team is for this also, by all means rip up the papers. That would have worked out great in the Souray situation. Oilers didn't want him anymore, and he wanted out. He could of easily turned around and signed a new deal as a ufa instead of playing a year in the minors. I'm not so sure that would work out in Redden's favor though. He would have to decide what he likes most; playing in the NHL or making piles of money.

If a player and a team both want out of their contract they can already get out of it. If you believe Souray was willing to walk away from his inflated contract you are mistaken.

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#25 Dave Lumley
April 28 2012, 11:47AM
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I like Burkes suggestion of being able to negotiate salary as part of a trade. This would make for a much more interesting league with more trade opportunities and would give the teams with good money management a leg up on the financially irresponsible teams.

The only type of "cap" amnesty I would agree with would possibly be a "Redden" or "Souray" clause, where a team can get amnesty for their half of a Players salary lost on waivers.

This would allow the player a chance to come back into the league unless it is truly a dreadful contract.

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#26 BlacqueJacque
April 28 2012, 12:08PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

OH NO!!!! You mean they only made $1.1 million dollars in just 2 years? Whatever will they do?

That's over a million dollars of money they wouldn't have had if they didn't make the NFL. What would they have done then? What if they flamed out in college? Should we make sure those guys have millions stashed away as well? The idea that we should pity them and demand guaranteed contracts because they can't manage their money is bordering on offensive to the average person.

$1.1 million isn't much, in particular after taxes and given the lifestyle most players feel compelled or tempted to lead. Even if you save half of what you actually earned (let's say $600k after tax), that still leaves you with a broken body and complete change in life to deal with.

Imagine being a 23 year old with a bad education from a school that used you to fill seats in a stadium, who just got cut after his contract was canceled, and maybe $400k to your name. You're not ready for the real world. Your job, your life has been football since you were a teenager.

Or worse, you're a potential star player who suddenly receives a major injury that kills your impact. You're not insurable, you can't play, you're limited in your ability to work.

I don't see why it's wrong to have some empathy for people who commit so much. I'm not saying that players with $100m contracts deserve guarantees, but I'd like to see protection for players who earn far less.

NFL players in particular have short lives and many health complications - brain, skeletal, heart, joints, ligaments. It's sad the way the NFL treats them. It makes me sad that you feel that's ok.

I'd never want to work for you if you treat people like disposable objects, to be replaced at whim.

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#27 Maggie the Monkey
April 28 2012, 12:47PM
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@ Jonathan Willis

I think that if the cap is reduced to 50% of league revenue from 57%, rather than teams being forced to meet the new limit with their existing payrolls all players would be forced to take a 12.3% haircut (the difference between 57% and 50%). This would be a major area of contention for the NHLPA, of course, but it is not without precedent as the players' salaries were slashed at the start of the current CBA, too. Forcing each cap team to shed $7.9M (based on this season's limit - 12.3% of $64.3/m) just could not work, logistically.

With my predictive Maggie the Monkey powers, I'll guess that the NHL and NHLPA will meet at a point just below the mid-point of 50% and 57%, say 53% of league revenue, and each player will be forced to forfeit 7.1% of their existing contracts.

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#28 Walter Sobchak
April 28 2012, 12:54PM
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BlacqueJacque wrote:

$1.1 million isn't much, in particular after taxes and given the lifestyle most players feel compelled or tempted to lead. Even if you save half of what you actually earned (let's say $600k after tax), that still leaves you with a broken body and complete change in life to deal with.

Imagine being a 23 year old with a bad education from a school that used you to fill seats in a stadium, who just got cut after his contract was canceled, and maybe $400k to your name. You're not ready for the real world. Your job, your life has been football since you were a teenager.

Or worse, you're a potential star player who suddenly receives a major injury that kills your impact. You're not insurable, you can't play, you're limited in your ability to work.

I don't see why it's wrong to have some empathy for people who commit so much. I'm not saying that players with $100m contracts deserve guarantees, but I'd like to see protection for players who earn far less.

NFL players in particular have short lives and many health complications - brain, skeletal, heart, joints, ligaments. It's sad the way the NFL treats them. It makes me sad that you feel that's ok.

I'd never want to work for you if you treat people like disposable objects, to be replaced at whim.

They also got free education from said school! I got a brilliant idea, go back to school and get the degree he skipped out on for the pay check.

The NFL takes out insurance on every player in the NFL in case such an injury occurs. I'm not buying your argument.

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#29 BlacqueJacque
April 28 2012, 01:07PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Often it's not free, and typically it is a token education - poorly delivered, at that. The NCAA is a business and treats its players as commodities. Powerhouse teams that put butts in seats get significant leeway when it comes to the grades, attendance, etc. Many star athletes are accepted into schools despite not meeting other qualifications, and go through easy, useless education programs just to stay in school.

Officially, of course, the NCAA has strict policies against all that - and does nothing to enforce them except in egregious cases that get media attention.

Yes, teams take out insurance on those injuries, but it's not the players who are paid out.

No other league has movements like "Dignity After Football".

http://www.pro-access.org/the-nfls-forgotten-players.html

BTW, how old are you? I don't mean to sound snarky, I'm just curious.

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#30 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 01:15PM
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@BlacqueJacque

$1.1 million isn't much

It's more than many people make in 20 years and its way more than they would have made if they didn't happen to make the NFL for two years. Should the NFL also give money to players who sacrificed but weren't good enough to make it?

after taxes

So now I should feel bad that they pay taxes?

given the lifestyle most players feel compelled or tempted to lead

You could not possibly have said anything that helps your case less. An extravagant lifestyle is their own choice. I'm not going to guarantee the salary of one of my assistants because he or she chose to spend too much money.

Imagine being a 23 year old with a bad education from a school that used you to fill seats in a stadium, who just got cut after his contract was canceled, and maybe $400k to your name. You're not ready for the real world. Your job, your life has been football since you were a teenager.

Not sure how that is my problem or how it helps your case. They chose the life and knew the risks. Imagine that same person if they never even got that 1.1 million for 2 years in the NFL. There are even more of those out there.

Do you somehow believe that average Americans start out with MORE than 400K to their name?

I don't see why it's wrong to have some empathy for people who commit so much. I'm not saying that players with $100m contracts deserve guarantees, but I'd like to see protection for players who earn far less. NFL players in particular have short lives and many health complications - brain, skeletal, heart, joints, ligaments. It's sad the way the NFL treats them. It makes me sad that you feel that's ok.

Every single one of those guys chose to sacrifice for a shot at the big leagues willingly. It is not my fault that many of these man-children who won the genetic lottery spent their lives being catered to at every turn and failed to develop any life skills relevant to the real world.

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#31 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 01:20PM
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@BlacqueJacque

Often it's not free, and typically it is a token education - poorly delivered, at that. The NCAA is a business and treats its players as commodities. Powerhouse teams that put butts in seats get significant leeway when it comes to the grades, attendance, etc. Many star athletes are accepted into schools despite not meeting other qualifications, and go through easy, useless education programs just to stay in school.

1. If a player is good enough that he is going to be an NFL player then his education is almost certainly free.

2. It is only a token education of the player chooses it to be that way. Yes the things you mention take place, but if any player actually wants an education the school will happily provide it. If it is poorly delivered then is was the choice of the player, not the school.

3. Insurance is to pay the salaries of injured players, so I am unsure how you believe the players do not get paid out from it. Not directly, but the team has to use it to play the player.

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#32 Wäx Män Riley
April 28 2012, 01:24PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

OH NO!!!! You mean they only made $1.1 million dollars in just 2 years? Whatever will they do?

That's over a million dollars of money they wouldn't have had if they didn't make the NFL. What would they have done then? What if they flamed out in college? Should we make sure those guys have millions stashed away as well? The idea that we should pity them and demand guaranteed contracts because they can't manage their money is bordering on offensive to the average person.

Granted, I didn't devote every second of my life to perfecting (as best I can) my craft, but I don't feel sorry for anyone that makes $1,000,000 over 2 years. So now they have to take their scholarship to get an education and use that cool MIL to set themselves up for life.

I feel no pity.

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#33 Guardian
April 28 2012, 02:58PM
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I am totally against any amnesty clause.

If a team signs a player to a bad contract, then, they need to deal with the consequences.

They can bury these contracts in the minors just like the Rangers did to Redden.

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#34 Walter Sobchak
April 28 2012, 03:29PM
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@BlacqueJacque

I don't mind telling you how old I am, just not sure it's relevant to the conversation.?

The players who do get hurt while playing football, hockey, basketball are most certainly compensated, by the insurance company that the league use's and does not go against the team said player belongs too, long term or short term.

Now, if that player does play two years he also get a check from the NFLPA, no matter how little it is, it's free money, more then I get if I'm asked to leave my job.

Also, I don't have an agent or a financial adviser telling me were to put my $500 thousand dollars per year, so that it may go from $500 to a a million with little risk to player.

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#35 VK63
April 28 2012, 05:11PM
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I don't like the amnesty clause. In many instances the contracts that could potentially be bought out were somewhat sketchy to begin with. Or in other words contrary to the CBA as written.

Cases in point... the Kovalchuk deal and the Luongo deal. as far as Im concerned those front loaded jokes with super long term should stay on the books of the teams that worked the system to implement the deals in the first place. And to be true to that position, same with Horcoff.... u make your bed, you sleep in it... end of story.

Sorry Vancouver... you decided to sign Luongo till the next millennium.... well guess what..... he's all yours.... enjoy! Im sure he will be stellar in 2020!

I don't like the do over nature of the amnesty. The reality of a "bad" contract always exists and that reality should not be dismissed, it should be the deterrent that keeps competent managers from offering the deals in the first place. Or so a "real" business model would dictate.

When you sign a guy to big money for long term it stands to reason that it carries considerable risk. When that term is extended into the bogus realm to save the cap hit, i have little sympathy for the offending party. I find it deviant to the spirit of the original CBA and is a form of cheating the system. Ergo..... suck it up buttercup.

My 2C

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#36 DieHard
April 28 2012, 07:31PM
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VK63 wrote:

I don't like the amnesty clause. In many instances the contracts that could potentially be bought out were somewhat sketchy to begin with. Or in other words contrary to the CBA as written.

Cases in point... the Kovalchuk deal and the Luongo deal. as far as Im concerned those front loaded jokes with super long term should stay on the books of the teams that worked the system to implement the deals in the first place. And to be true to that position, same with Horcoff.... u make your bed, you sleep in it... end of story.

Sorry Vancouver... you decided to sign Luongo till the next millennium.... well guess what..... he's all yours.... enjoy! Im sure he will be stellar in 2020!

I don't like the do over nature of the amnesty. The reality of a "bad" contract always exists and that reality should not be dismissed, it should be the deterrent that keeps competent managers from offering the deals in the first place. Or so a "real" business model would dictate.

When you sign a guy to big money for long term it stands to reason that it carries considerable risk. When that term is extended into the bogus realm to save the cap hit, i have little sympathy for the offending party. I find it deviant to the spirit of the original CBA and is a form of cheating the system. Ergo..... suck it up buttercup.

My 2C

Some of what you say makes sense as in "you made your bed, now sleep in it". The truth is the players and the teams benefit. It's mostly a win/win so why not.

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#37 Rob
April 28 2012, 07:44PM
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An amanesty provision in the next CBA is nothing more than an out for stupid signings by even more stupid GMs. They need to pay for their dumb moves born of desperation and access to other people's money. Make them accountable and can them.

Look at Tambellini and Lowe's failed signings and outlandish overpayments and excessively long term contracts to people who aren't even a reasonable facsimile of a hockey player.

Look at Tambellini's blunders. If there was accountablility he would be gone already.

There should be no free lunch. The amnesty won't benefit the owner(s) because the money has to be paid it just gives the team room on the cap. That only seems to benefit unfit GMs.

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#38 chuck biscuits
April 28 2012, 08:09PM
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Rob I know a couple of Oilers fans that see benefit in an amnesty clause.

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#39 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 08:24PM
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@Rob

They are paying for their dumb moves when they buy out players. They are paying with money.

Contracts can be bought out in any industry, so why is it so distasteful in sports?

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#40 Rob
April 28 2012, 08:33PM
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It's easy for fans including me to say great buy out Horcoff and Khabbi for example, but the point is that it is not my money going down the tubes. A competent GM minimizes risk by making wise moves. We don't know what a wise GM looks like in Edmonton for the last 15 seasons.

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#41 chuck biscuits
April 28 2012, 09:36PM
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I think what may have been overlooked in this discussion is JW's point in the last paragraph-the new CBA may move the goalposts on the revenue distribution and create a significant drop in the cap for 2013/14.That's isn't anybody's fault but I think a discussion regarding some sort of mechanism to allow salary adjustments is reasonable and necessary.

This isn't about Horcoff although ridding ourselves of that contract would be a nice side effect.

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#42 Henry
April 28 2012, 10:04PM
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How would the amnesty work? Do they just get to dump their crappiest contract on the buyout terms. Do they get a pass on the cap hit, but pay the guy? Is the fellow a free agent should that happen? Do GMs get a pass on their boneheaded NM clauses too?

A bad amnesty could let badly run clubs with old players and cap constraints get younger by using new flexibility to pick off guys from the oilers with offer sheets.

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#43 Henry
April 28 2012, 10:12PM
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chuck biscuits wrote:

I think what may have been overlooked in this discussion is JW's point in the last paragraph-the new CBA may move the goalposts on the revenue distribution and create a significant drop in the cap for 2013/14.That's isn't anybody's fault but I think a discussion regarding some sort of mechanism to allow salary adjustments is reasonable and necessary.

This isn't about Horcoff although ridding ourselves of that contract would be a nice side effect.

What would the players get that would make them agree to a cap cut? Free agency at 25? At 57%, the cap has managed to go up each year. Why agree to less if everyone is making more money every year?

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#44 TigerUnderGlass
April 28 2012, 10:49PM
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Henry wrote:

What would the players get that would make them agree to a cap cut? Free agency at 25? At 57%, the cap has managed to go up each year. Why agree to less if everyone is making more money every year?

Why don't you ask the NBA players union.

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#45 BlacqueJacque
April 28 2012, 11:42PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Wes (and Tiger), I remember holding your views when I was younger, that's all. I wonder if it's merely a difference of age or what that has us holding these different viewpoints.

Maybe you guys can explain to me why teams, knowing the rules, who exercise bad judgment and sign players long-term to big money, should get a free pass?

Tiger, insurance on contracts is great... but not if they're not guaranteed. A player can come back healthy enough to play, but not good enough to be worth his contract, get cut, and not see another dime. That's not right.

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#46 Wäx Män Riley
April 29 2012, 12:39AM
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BlacqueJacque wrote:

Wes (and Tiger), I remember holding your views when I was younger, that's all. I wonder if it's merely a difference of age or what that has us holding these different viewpoints.

Maybe you guys can explain to me why teams, knowing the rules, who exercise bad judgment and sign players long-term to big money, should get a free pass?

Tiger, insurance on contracts is great... but not if they're not guaranteed. A player can come back healthy enough to play, but not good enough to be worth his contract, get cut, and not see another dime. That's not right.

But what about the college star that blows out his knee in his final year? Or high school star? They didn't get the chance to make their $1M.

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#47 TigerUnderGlass
April 29 2012, 01:36AM
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@BlacqueJacque

Wes (and Tiger), I remember holding your views when I was younger, that's all. I wonder if it's merely a difference of age or what that has us holding these different viewpoints.

This is the most asinine thing you've said yet. When I was younger I thought more like you do. What's your point?

Maybe you guys can explain to me why teams, knowing the rules, who exercise bad judgment and sign players long-term to big money, should get a free pass?

Maybe you should explain why, if the players also gain an advantage from it, they shouldn't. So far all you've got is your belief that GMs should be punished.

Maybe you can explain why a player, who is paid to perform at a certain level, should be allowed to perform at a lesser level and expect the same pay.

Maybe you should explain why collective agreements bother to include an expiry date, since you seem to want to hold everyone to their terms perpetually.

Maybe you can explain why players should be able to sign a deal with a deal and demand a trade a year later AND use their no trade to choose a destination.

The one and ONLY reason anyone here has given in argument against an amnesty clause is that they'd prefer to punish teams. What in the world could make anyone possibly believe that this would be a consideration?

It's painfully ignorant to believe that the league, which is controlled by the owners, would decide that punishing teams, owned by the owners, is motivation for developing rules.

Is it because you believe the players want to punish teams? The amnesty is much more beneficial for players than owners, so good luck with that line of thinking.

The simple fact of the matter is that if a decision is as obviously a win-win as this one is there is no valid reason to object.

Tiger, insurance on contracts is great... but not if they're not guaranteed. A player can come back healthy enough to play, but not good enough to be worth his contract, get cut, and not see another dime. That's not right.

Earlier you argued that insurance money doesn't go to players. Pick a story and stick with it please.

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#48 BlacqueJacque
April 29 2012, 09:05AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
Wes (and Tiger), I remember holding your views when I was younger, that's all. I wonder if it's merely a difference of age or what that has us holding these different viewpoints.

This is the most asinine thing you've said yet. When I was younger I thought more like you do. What's your point?

Maybe you guys can explain to me why teams, knowing the rules, who exercise bad judgment and sign players long-term to big money, should get a free pass?

Maybe you should explain why, if the players also gain an advantage from it, they shouldn't. So far all you've got is your belief that GMs should be punished.

Maybe you can explain why a player, who is paid to perform at a certain level, should be allowed to perform at a lesser level and expect the same pay.

Maybe you should explain why collective agreements bother to include an expiry date, since you seem to want to hold everyone to their terms perpetually.

Maybe you can explain why players should be able to sign a deal with a deal and demand a trade a year later AND use their no trade to choose a destination.

The one and ONLY reason anyone here has given in argument against an amnesty clause is that they'd prefer to punish teams. What in the world could make anyone possibly believe that this would be a consideration?

It's painfully ignorant to believe that the league, which is controlled by the owners, would decide that punishing teams, owned by the owners, is motivation for developing rules.

Is it because you believe the players want to punish teams? The amnesty is much more beneficial for players than owners, so good luck with that line of thinking.

The simple fact of the matter is that if a decision is as obviously a win-win as this one is there is no valid reason to object.

Tiger, insurance on contracts is great... but not if they're not guaranteed. A player can come back healthy enough to play, but not good enough to be worth his contract, get cut, and not see another dime. That's not right.

Earlier you argued that insurance money doesn't go to players. Pick a story and stick with it please.

K we've obviously gone beyond rational debate at this point. Name-calling, insults, etc.

Try to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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#49 TigerUnderGlass
April 29 2012, 09:09AM
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BlacqueJacque wrote:

K we've obviously gone beyond rational debate at this point. Name-calling, insults, etc.

Try to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Please point out which name I called you or how I insulted you.

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#50 FastOil
April 29 2012, 09:26AM
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An amnesty favours other teams over Edmonton. The Oilers didn't sign devastating contracts. Those that did, attempting to circumvent the rules and fair play, should be forced to live with the consequences of their less than honourable actions. The league is responsible to set limits to contain those that will compete at any cost. This would be a good start.

Why should the Flyers (who are a threat to the Oilers at some point) be allowed to get out of Pronger's deal? They wanted the rake bad, they have him. Forever.

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