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Every Player in the NHL has the Same Value


Pro Canuck

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Every player in the NHL should have the same trade value. Hear me out.

This implies that trading Brad Richards should not get you 2 players and 2 first rounders. Neither should Joe Thornton. In a salary cap world, where the maximum salary cap of 56.7 is the same for everyone, players are fairly priced by their salary. Hence, if Joe Thornton deserves 8 million, and Alex Burrows only 2, then teams should be indifferent about having either player because if you have Burrows, you would have an extra 6 million to acquire someone else. You can only say "Joe Thornton is way better than Alex Burrows" if they are making the same salary. If they are not, then every advantage Joe Thornton has over Alex Burrows has been priced in.

SO WHAT IS PHILLY DOING GIVING UP 2008, 2009, 2010 1st Rounders and Lupul? Read my analysis, Pronger is worth Lupol. Pronger is worth Burrows. Pronger is worth Heatley. BUT NOT 3 1st round picks.

This frustrates me now even more that we are not trading Luongo. Luongo would equal Hedman + Stamkos or Steve Mason, 2 1st rounders + Prospect.

This is why there is a desire to get young players from the draft. The rookie contract is the only phase of a player's career where their contract can't closely mimick their fair value. The other exceptions are players who truly deserve more than the player maximum (Sidney Crosby) and players who deserve less than the minimum salary but have to be overpriced because that's the minimum contract (Rick Rypien).

GM's should be indifferent between trading Burrows for Heatley, Luongo for Matt Cooke etc. because if you are Vancouver, you get Matt Cooke, plus $ to buy someone else. and if you are Pittsburgh, you are not actually just giving up Matt Cooke. You are also going to need to free up $5 million in salary by dumping someone like MA Fleury, or perhaps Luongo prevents you from acquiring someone else because you have a lack of money.

This is why if you can trade Luongo for anyone like Stamkos, Schenn, Hedman, etc, you do it because those rookies are not fairly priced. Thus you would essentially get a player for cheap and save a giant amount of money to sign back a Luongo type goalie. I am not factoring age of players at all here. Just the fairness of their contracts. This is because age should be factored into their contracts already. A 37 year old declining player shouldn't be making as much as a 24 year rising star in the first place. So no need to look at age. As long as two players are valued fairly, they can be traded for each other. I fail to see why if you are the opposing GM, you would ever offer a player + a prospect + 2 first rounders for a superstar. It makes no sense.

Someone below tried to counter my post by writing the following:

Anyone wanna trade me their Lamborghini Diablo for a Toyota Corolla? They have equal value because you will save gas, insurance and maintenance money on the Corolla - every advantage Joe Thornton Lamborghini Diablo has over Alex Burrows Toyota Corolla has been priced in.

He/She clearly is making the wrong analogy. In a cap environment, everyone is able to spend up to 56.7... yes not all owners want to, but everyone is capable of spending to this amount. Which means using your argument, the person driving the Corolla has the same amount of cash as the person driving the Lamborghini. Hence, yea I will switch the Lamborghini for the Corolla. Use the extra cash to buy myself a Bentley. DO YOU GET IT?????? If you are just getting the Corolla back... with no cash.... then of course no trade. The real question is .. would you trade a Lamborghini for a Corolla + 250,000?

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alright lets trade luongo for matt cooke

bring the champ back to vancity

then we can sign a bear to goalie

no one wants to mess with a bear right

after one season we should trade this bear for ovechkin because washington's zoo really needs a upgrade

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Burrows should be able to fetch you the following:

Thornton

Lecavalier

Heatley

Iginla

etc etc.

-----------------------------------------

Thornotn, Lecavalier, Heatley, Iginla etc etc should not be able to fetch their teams:

Corey Schneider.

That would be highway robbery if they could get Schneider because they would save all this money to just immediately sign Hossa / Gaborik / Sedin etc. Plus they got a top prospect.

-----------------------------------------

Now you might ask... ok Pro Canuck you can't possibly be smarter than every GM in the league.....

I think a lot of GM's don't get this. But I do think that some understand this theory. What is restricting this from actually happening is that the GM's just like your politicians answer to their constituents (in this case the owner and the fans). The fans don't understand this and all fans in Vancouver would be jumping out of their chair if we could get Heatley for just Schneider ... so that's why the trades are still the way they are. Also, GM's have a short-term focus because their contracts are such. That is why even if they know this theory is correct, it may be difficult to act on it.

In any case, while Luongo for Cooke may have been used to make a point, at the end of the day, the ridiculous superstar trades have to stop.

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Interesting post. I think you show what the NHL should be like if it was truly a free or near-free market. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all (just as in the real world).

First off, every team has a different financial situation, this is outside of the world of cap hits and more focused on actual player salary. Not every team can afford to spend to the max of the cap, therefore each team has its own self imposed cap based on cash available.

Second, every team has different goals. I would assume each team wants to win the cup, but there are some that are willing to go to greater lengths than others. Some teams are probably more concerned with profits than building a cup contender. Also, teams are all at different stages of development (rebuilding vs playoff push).

Third, many players are not signed for their fair value. There are a number of reasons: home town discounts, varying contract lengths, bonuses, entry level deals, teams taking risks, teams being extra cautious, etc. It is difficult to determine a players fair value as that value is different depending on if they are signed as a UFA in the offseason, signed to an extension, signed to an offer sheet (with compensation being considered), etc.

Fourth,there was the example of Burrows for $2M = Thornton for $8M since the team getting Burrows can sign a $6M player to make up the difference. The problem is that you don't get a $6M player to make up the difference, you get a 1/30 chance at getting a $6M player (any number of teams could snatch these players up), whereas in a trade you get the player you trade for wth 100% certainty.

You can see that each team is going to see a player's value differently, depending on their financial situation and the current state of the team. Not to mention there are too many players out there signed at values that are not a fair reflection of what they bring to a team.

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alright lets trade luongo for matt cooke

bring the champ back to vancity

then we can sign a bear to goalie

no one wants to mess with a bear right

after one season we should trade this bear for ovechkin because washington's zoo really needs a upgrade

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Makes perfect sense.

Anyone wanna trade me their Lamborghini Diablo for a Toyota Corolla? They have equal value because you will save gas, insurance and maintenance money on the Corolla - every advantage Joe Thornton Lamborghini Diablo has over Alex Burrows Toyota Corolla has been priced in.

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Interesting post. I think you show what the NHL should be like if it was truly a free or near-free market. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all (just as in the real world).

First off, every team has a different financial situation, this is outside of the world of cap hits and more focused on actual player salary. Not every team can afford to spend to the max of the cap, therefore each team has its own self imposed cap based on cash available.

Second, every team has different goals. I would assume each team wants to win the cup, but there are some that are willing to go to greater lengths than others. Some teams are probably more concerned with profits than building a cup contender. Also, teams are all at different stages of development (rebuilding vs playoff push).

Third, many players are not signed for their fair value. There are a number of reasons: home town discounts, varying contract lengths, bonuses, entry level deals, teams taking risks, teams being extra cautious, etc. It is difficult to determine a players fair value as that value is different depending on if they are signed as a UFA in the offseason, signed to an extension, signed to an offer sheet (with compensation being considered), etc.

Fourth,there was the example of Burrows for $2M = Thornton for $8M since the team getting Burrows can sign a $6M player to make up the difference. The problem is that you don't get a $6M player to make up the difference, you get a 1/30 chance at getting a $6M player (any number of teams could snatch these players up), whereas in a trade you get the player you trade for wth 100% certainty.

You can see that each team is going to see a player's value differently, depending on their financial situation and the current state of the team. Not to mention there are too many players out there signed at values that are not a fair reflection of what they bring to a team.

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