A major challenge for general managers

Un défi de taille pour les directeurs généraux

You can always mention that there is an agreement in principle between the owners and the players Association.


The negotiations have been intense up to now. The whole thing takes place in the warmth, the discussions are in harmony, we seem to agree on several hot spots.

Once again, at least we’re not talking about another lockout or another strike.

Except that the players want answers to many questions. Many say that they still have not obtained the necessary information to make a judgment. The representatives of the players Association believe they have made significant gains. They believe that the hockey will live without fear of another labour dispute. But, the players should give their opinion and they have reason to want to get explanations about everything the two clans were discussed and they had agreed.

The subjects do not lack.

I imagine that the participation of the players at the Beijing Games in 2022 unanimous, or almost.

I assume also that an extension of the convention’s work is greeted with enthusiasm.

how to collect

But how a perception among the members of the union, a settlement of the account in the fund to 20 % per season over the next few years ? How do we see this “loan” of 10 % to the owners ? Players will have to pay 10% of their pay to come to the aid of their associates, owners. Amount that will eventually be repaid according to a plan proposed by the league.

What will be the consequences of a salary cap of 81.5 million, respectively, for two or three years with the prospect of an increase of $ 1 million in 2023 ?

And there’s the free agent market without and with restrictions that could take a good shot.

We will have to cut ” the fat “, to use a popular expression. This means that players stand the cuvée 2020 will only get maybe not the contracts that they covet.

A challenge for the general managers.

Those who have to deal with very little room to manoeuvre, how will they be if the salary cap remains to 81.5 million, respectively, for the other two years ? They have to manage the decay, and this kind of management is not included in most models of business of sports.

Decay and victory did not belong to the same equation.

It is therefore necessary to provide that the skaters will have their bargaining power dwindle because of the economic situation. Also to be expected, contracts will be redeemed to free up a little more space to manoeuvre.

The inevitable

And, the inevitable, teams will have to be sacrificed for good skaters for the draft picks. The organizations that have awarded contracts galore in recent years will have to revise their strategy. They were counting on the salary cap growing to meet the column of expenses.

This is not what is emerging now.

Expect that the session of the expansion, which will mark officially the beginning of the concession of Seattle offers inevitably of surprises. Perhaps even more important than those that have marked the session-selection of Golden Knights Vegas. It is necessary to believe that Ron Francis and his group have several opportunities to repeat the exploits of George McPhee, the Golden Knights, that is to say, building a team leading from the first season. Players with wages that are important will surely be available for the new organization.

For the moment, at the Bell Centre, Marc Bergevin has no concern in the face of this situation. He has the money in the coffers.

However, the next year, he will have to operate the fund.

Several customers are waiting anxiously.

And you know…

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