WILL IT REALLY BE YAK CITY?

Jason Gregor
August 16 2012 01:45PM

The Oilers scheduled a press conference with Nail Yakupov this morning at 11 a.m, where he will announce.....

What could he possibly be announcing on August 16th?

Will he let Oilersnation know what jersey he'll wear? Speculation is that he might go with #96, mainly because Captain Horcoff has #10.

Maybe he had a birthday present for Brownlee. If he wanted to get on Brownlee's good side he'd have a pair of Russian Bulls Nuts waiting for the Nation's Colossal Fossil. We all know how much Bronte loves those.

I thought he might just want to thank Mark for making YAK CITY. Of course Yakupov would denounce the use of guns, but I thought he might invite Mark over for Borscht to properly thank him.

It was possible he he just wanted to thank the Oilers for having dryers that work, because Halifax didn't seem to have any.

Some were worried he'd  announce he's signed a deal in the KHL in case the NHL and NHLPA can't get their act together by October? This scenario seems to scare the hell out of many fans, but thankfully for you that didn't happen.

He mentioned it a month ago and announced it today that he, and along with him mother and family will be living in Edmonton. This is a good sign for the Oilers and their fans considering only Theo Peckham and Ryan Smyth reside here now, although Devan Dubnyk did buy a new house in Edmonton recently.

It will be a refreshing change for Oiler fans. It gave you a short break from the past few days where we witnessed contrived, lame and painful attempts by the NHL and NHLPA to gain public support in their battle to share over $3 billion profits.

Yak is indeed moving to Edmonton, and it might become Yak City.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • I was surprised by how many people felt the NHLPA's proposal was great. I'll give Donald Fehr credit; he got a few headlines stating the Players will take less. Of course that isn't true, but some believed it. The players love the current situation, so I understand why they don't want it changed.  Many focused on one aspect of their proposal.

    During the next three years -2012/13, 13/14/ and 14/15- player compensation would be a "fixed" number, that wasn't directly connected to Hockey Related Revenue (HRR). However, it would rise by 2% in 2013, 4% in 2014 and 6% in 2015. That wasn't it though. They also added that if HRR grew by more than 10% then the players would get 57% of that growth. It was a smart opening volley by Fehr, but I don't think it was "Taking less" like some suggested.
     
  • After chatting with a NHL official I did learn of two other interesting points in their proposal. The first was that the NHL and individual teams would limit non-player spending. Supposedly they didn't elaborate on this, but I'm very curious what that means. Does it mean limiting the amount of scouts, managers and support staff? Or does it mean they will be staying in four star hotels instead of five-star? I doubt it is the latter. I'd really like to know what they meant by limiting non-player spending.
     
  • Another point  few have talked about was their proposal of more flexibility. They proposed that teams could trade dollars as well as players. Supposedly they suggested a maximum of around four million dollars. So if a team who didn't want to, or couldn't afford to, reach the cap floor, they could "sell" their cap space to another team. Meaning rich teams could "legally" go over the cap, by buying cap space from other teams. Essentially a team could go over the cap by $4 million by buying cap space from poor teams. This would help teams that are making money, but it would also open the window towards once again a league of contenders and pretenders. I know Oiler fans remember watching their star players leave town for money, and I doubt you'd want that possibility to happen again. Would you like to see teams "legally" going over the cap?
     
  • In 2004, I was on the NHL's side, only because I wanted to see teams use their money wisely, rather than just open up their wallet and contend. This time around, I'm not on either side. The players are making loads of money, all of it guaranteed, while the owners SHOULD be making money if they had any common sense and could control their spending. The league needs a better revenue sharing system, but they are to blame for handing players long-term contracts after only two or three solid seasons. It sucks that once again the fans lose out. No games, and when the games return ticket prices will likely go up. I think some fans could boycott going to live games, and only watch on TV. We'll see.
     
  • Late yesterday it was reported that Joe Thornton and Rick Nash would  bolt for Europe and play with HC Davos if the labour conflict continues after September 15th, however, today Nash and his agent said that report isn't true. I wonder if HC Davos got ahead of themselves, or were just hoping Nash and Thornton would return after playing there during the last lockout. I guarantee you Nash and his agent realized how bad it looks if he is already planning an escape plan to Europe. I'd guess many fans wouldn't be overly happy if they found out players were already making plans to go play in Europe. Not good PR for the NHLPA.
     
  • Solid signing by the Flyers. They lock up Wayne Simmond for just under $4 million/year for six years. Simmonds scored 28 goals last year, and even if he averages 22 for the next six years it is a good deal. He is feisty, plays hard and has decent hands.
     
  • Does Yakupov's announcement end any chance of the team speculating on whether he will be here full time.? I sure hope so. Last year, for reasons unnecessary, they didn't announce Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was staying until after his 9th game, despite everyone in Edmonton knowing he would. I hope this means no one has to ask whether or not their 3rd straight 1st overall pick will make the team. Of course he will, so how much icetime and where he will play are the only questions what will need answering once the season starts. 
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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 TigerUnderGlass
August 17 2012, 10:58AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The Cavs could have signed Lebron for six years, while the rest of the league could only sign him for five as a UFA. Is this what you guys are talking about? IF it is then I like it, because it gives players an incentive to stay with the team that developed them.

I think that would be a great rule for the NHL, especially if they can get the max length of contracts set at 7 years. Then a player could sign for 8 if they wanted to, but only with the team that drafted and developed them.

No, although I'd be in favor of that as well. The 6 year/5 year thing is from the just ended previous CBA.

The Bird exception allows teams to go over the cap tosign ther own players provided they have been with the team for three consecutive seasons. Bird exceptions use to allow 6 years deals but apparently now only 5. These deals can go as high as max contract.

There is also the early bird exception - teams can go over cap to resign own players who have played 2 consecutive seasons. Early bird deals are the higher of 175% of the players previous salary or the league average salary. They also must be more than 2 years but no more than 4.

Teams can now also go over the cap even for non-bird players. They can be re-signed for 120% of previous salary or 120% of league minimum. Max of 4 years.

There are a number of other exceptions available as well - rookie scale exception, minimum salary exception, traded players exceptions, etc.

The one thing you can't do is sign a UFA over the cap. You either have to have the cap room or negotiate a sign and trade to make the cap room.

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#52 TigerUnderGlass
August 17 2012, 11:09AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:
Severe luxury tax is the key. Which scenario provides more balance: TOR: 70M EDM: 60M NSH: 50M PHX: 40M or Tor: 90M EDM: 80M NSH: 70M PHX: 60M

The current formula doesn't allow for a team to be at $50 or $40 million. They have to be at least at $54 million. A gap of $16 million, not the $30 million that you proposed.

The current system creates balance. Teams like Nashville, Phoenix, St. Louis for example have been competitive. You throw in luxury taxes and the NHL will become haves and haves not...

I don't see how $30 million dollar gap equals more balance than a $16 million gap.

Keep the cap in place and if they want add better revenue sharing, but opening up a luxury tax will likely provide more of a competitive gap.

You took the numbers in my comment as literal. They were simply numbers to show that balance can remain with higher numbers.

I don't really have time today to go over the math in detail but this is the point:

If Toronto had to pay a severe luxury tax to go over the cap which goes directly into revenue sharing then the balance is exactly the same - the average numbers just go up.

As long as the penalties are enough to hurt, teams won't go over for no reason and it accomplishes revenue sharing without "revenue sharing". The difference is that teams paying into revenue sharing will be doing so voluntarily and teams receiving money can increase their payroll.

There is no competitive balance today, and this wouldn't improve that, but it wouldn't hurt it and it would give poorer teams a chance to profit or increase their own payroll on the income of the rich teams.

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#53 glenn schwarz
August 17 2012, 11:17AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

You took the numbers in my comment as literal. They were simply numbers to show that balance can remain with higher numbers.

I don't really have time today to go over the math in detail but this is the point:

If Toronto had to pay a severe luxury tax to go over the cap which goes directly into revenue sharing then the balance is exactly the same - the average numbers just go up.

As long as the penalties are enough to hurt, teams won't go over for no reason and it accomplishes revenue sharing without "revenue sharing". The difference is that teams paying into revenue sharing will be doing so voluntarily and teams receiving money can increase their payroll.

There is no competitive balance today, and this wouldn't improve that, but it wouldn't hurt it and it would give poorer teams a chance to profit or increase their own payroll on the income of the rich teams.

you are wrong on competitive balance under a luxury tax system. do you see the blue jays get any better or compete with the yankies. Rich teams will poach players from smaller teams that cant pay. you'll see the Rags with a payroll at 100 mil they wont car if they have to pay another 40 or 50 mil in luxury tax cause they can afford it Nasville, Cbus, Florida even uswith Katz wont be able to compete with the likes of T.O. Philly Boston Rags those teams will have the bulk of talent and not care about the money they have to pay.

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#54 TigerUnderGlass
August 17 2012, 11:49AM
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glenn schwarz wrote:

you are wrong on competitive balance under a luxury tax system. do you see the blue jays get any better or compete with the yankies. Rich teams will poach players from smaller teams that cant pay. you'll see the Rags with a payroll at 100 mil they wont car if they have to pay another 40 or 50 mil in luxury tax cause they can afford it Nasville, Cbus, Florida even uswith Katz wont be able to compete with the likes of T.O. Philly Boston Rags those teams will have the bulk of talent and not care about the money they have to pay.

In MLB there is no salary cap and the threshold for taxes is 178M. Only 4 teams have ever exceeded the cap and only the Yankees and the Sox have exceeded it more than once.

Not only that, but the MLB luxury tax is not distributed to the rest of the league so it accomplishes no revenue sharing, meaning it doesn't help poorer teams raise their own payroll in competition.

Your example is not analogous to the NHL in any way.

You are comparing a slap-on-the-wrist-for-spending tax with my suggestion of a cap-based revenue sharing tax.

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#55 dougtheslug
August 17 2012, 12:39PM
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Mumbai Max wrote:

Daryl Katz is the son of a pharmacist who went to jasper composite high school. Became the 17th richest man in Canada from nothing, in half a lifetime. Who has worked harder, him or Chris Campoli? Katz in a landslide, not to mention creating thousands of jobs and paying multi millions in tax.

What a laughable load of crap!Go read the story of the Katz empire and see if you really can believe he built his empire "from nothing", without taking advantage of government laws around generic drugs and Canadian ownership laws, with generous subsidies from taxpayers. Just like he is building the new arena out of the goodness of his heart. Yeah, right! With Tea Baggers like you, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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#56 TigerUnderGlass
August 17 2012, 12:44PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

What a laughable load of crap!Go read the story of the Katz empire and see if you really can believe he built his empire "from nothing", without taking advantage of government laws around generic drugs and Canadian ownership laws, with generous subsidies from taxpayers. Just like he is building the new arena out of the goodness of his heart. Yeah, right! With Tea Baggers like you, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

I have no idea what you are trying to say here. Are you saying he didn't work hard?

How does your response to a comment about how he worked hard with comments regarding his ethics apply?

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#57 Gazmort
August 17 2012, 12:44PM
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@dougtheslug

My understanding is that it wasn't exaclty from "nothing", but he did absolutely take his family's lucrative but mid-sized business into a major international company.

Don't be mad that he was was smart enough to recognize markets and exploit them (exploitation is not by definition a negative word). Subsidies and marketplaces were not created for him, just utilized by him.

He's smart. Deal with it. He's rich. Deal with it. You want a piece of his pie when you demand he cough up all his bucks to build you an arena.

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#58 dougtheslug
August 17 2012, 10:59PM
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This is a ludicrous place for this discussion but I was reacting to the comment of Katz building an empire "from nothing" by dint of "hard work", as opposed to the lazy slackards who do nothing but sacrifice a lifetime of physical health for our collective enjoyment. This is Oilers Nation, for Petes sake. I cheer for hockey and the men who play it, not for the smooth operators who profit from their sweat and blood. And by the way, Katz did not "create thousands of jobs" building his drug empire - he bought up chains of stores and made them profitable the good old fashion way - he cut jobs, lowered salaries and monopolized wholesale markets. You notice your prescription drugs are cheaper now than they weee 10 years ago? Didn't think so. Anyway, lets stick to hockey.

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#59 Wax Man Riley
August 18 2012, 01:47AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

What a laughable load of crap!Go read the story of the Katz empire and see if you really can believe he built his empire "from nothing", without taking advantage of government laws around generic drugs and Canadian ownership laws, with generous subsidies from taxpayers. Just like he is building the new arena out of the goodness of his heart. Yeah, right! With Tea Baggers like you, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Where can I get this story? I have heard he started with something like a $400M private loan from his wife's father.

Could be a load, but...

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#60 dougtheslug
August 18 2012, 06:44AM
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Gazmort wrote:

My understanding is that it wasn't exaclty from "nothing", but he did absolutely take his family's lucrative but mid-sized business into a major international company.

Don't be mad that he was was smart enough to recognize markets and exploit them (exploitation is not by definition a negative word). Subsidies and marketplaces were not created for him, just utilized by him.

He's smart. Deal with it. He's rich. Deal with it. You want a piece of his pie when you demand he cough up all his bucks to build you an arena.

One last word - he ain't building me an arena with his bucks, fer fox sake! His asking us to build HIM and arena with OUR bucks so that he can profit from it. Which, if you've been paying attention to the world, is the new capitalism - socialize the risk, and privatize the profit.

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#61 Gazmort
August 18 2012, 09:29AM
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@dougtheslug

If you want to leave it alone, then leave it alone. That's fine. If you want to talk about it, I'll go all twelve rounds with you.

Read my comment "fer fox sake". What people are proposing when they say "he's rich, therefore he should pay for the arena" is that they feel that because he has means that others do not, he should be forced to pay for (i.e bear the entire financial risk) for something that does indeed benefit the populace (if I understand this whole concept of a fan site correctly, we all enjoy hockey, right?)

Does this remind you of capitalism, or something else?

Do you have access to financials for this hockey team? Do you understand the financial position of a company? Would you, as an astute businessman (let's all agree on that fact, whether we like him or not, whether we respect his business philosophy or not) allow your cash generating engine to subsidize a break-even and/or losing venture to the extent where it could eventually impact your op co? Fack no. At least, not if you understand corporate finance. Which I do. Because I do it every day, and it becomes very apparent very quickly that just because a company claims, say, $100 million a year in revenue, does not mean owners take home that amount. In fact, there are years when ownership of major companies are forced to insert equity into their company (read: personal funds loaned to their corp) after a tough year.

Don't boil it down to "he's rich and trying to get richer off of our backs" if you don't know that for a fact.

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