Following the first day of the July 2010 free agent frenzy, Gabe Desjardins did an exercise to measure the current market value price of a win. That day’s UFA price was $2.65M for each win.
A win is measured as ~ 5.5 goals over replacement level. We measure this by Goals Versus Threshold projected into next season by Tom Awad’s VUKOTA, the full numbers of which will be released with the HP annual. Price per win is calculated by taking the AAV (minus minimum salary) over the projected wins above replacement of the player. I’m using 56 data points of players who signed today that were UFA eligible.
|# Players||Total AAV||Projected Wins||$/Win||Salary Cap|
The salary cap has increased 16% since the 2010-11 season, but the price per UFA win has increased 29%. This is likely an indicator that NHL management feels the 69M cap is unlikely to remain there or possibly even close to that level in the near term. The salary cap would need to get to 77M to reach the same % increase in price per win equivalent to 2010 with today’s signings. Given a bump of about 5M this season, and the new TV deal coming into play, a potential salary cap rise of 7-10M in 2015-16 doesn’t seem impossible.
What this means is that the NHL salary structure has probably changed. The average NHL player who went UFA a few years ago would probably be worth around 3M on the open market, today it is is closer to 4M. Fans should adjust their perception of new deals accordingly.