The Angry Budgie Live

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Injuries....Signings.....and the Wage Cap!

Im not sure if this is meant to be a rant or not! Looking around the various club forum’s, websites etc.. it seems a few clubs have/or will be making new player signings recently or in the next week or two.

This got me wondering, how are these clubs able to make these signings and stay under the wage cap? If anything it re-enforces the view that there is no wage-cap, and as before the league will do nothing! I could be making wild accusations here, its entirely possible, but something just doesn’t sit right for me! I know clubs do make singnings during a season to cover injuries etc…. however of the clubs making signings recently, im only aware of Nottingham having many players out through injury! Having said that, I think it’s a grey area! Obviously the new player is coming in to cover an extended injury, fair enough, but what happens to those players wages? Are they still counted towards the cap? I have read on The Cage Forum, some people saying the insurance will pay the wages and therefore those wages do not count. That seems a little fishy to me!

The new singnings in question are:

Panthers, in: Jurij Golicic and Corey LeClair.
Giants: Jason Rushton
Coventry: Dominic D’Amour (rumoured)

This whole issue also stems from watching Coventry beat the Phoenix last Sunday, now Coventry are a very good team and they put on a great show. However looking at the bench it go me thinking. Coventry have a roster that provides 3 very strong lines, plus an extra skater or two (cant fully remember!). Add to this two goalies and, according to the Blaze website you have 20 players. Against the Phoenix bench, 16 players, this makes a huge difference.
Then the thought popped into my head, how can the Blaze be under the wage cap? I admit the basis for me thinking this is not the most sound, but, the Phoenix will never bust the wage cap, there simply are not the funds to do it. However are we really 4 whole players behind? There cant be huge differences in quality of those players, as the game ended 2-1 Blaze and was fairly close in the end. So what is it? How can there be such a big difference in the size of the roster and both clubs remain under the cap? I always thought the wage cap would leave a roster with around 18 players, give or take a few depending on the number/quality of Brits.

Looking into the rosters for the other ‘big 4’ teams you can get a bit of a mixed view, looking at three different sources (Internet Hockey Database, Clubs own website, and the Elite Website) the ‘big 4’ clubs have the following roster numbers:

Coventry: 19.3 players
Belfast: 17 players
Nottingham: 24 players
Sheffield: 18 players

I know Nottingham stand out, but this is where the players signed minus those injured makes a difference. So you could take a couple off the Panthers figure. But either way, the closer to the top of the table you are, the bigger your roster! Some would say that makes obvious sense, to get to the top you need a big team. But I would also argue, the bigger the roster, the closer you are to the cap if you’re not over it already!

My argument basically falls down to numbers. This season we had a lower wage cap and a commitment by the league to enforce it. So if we had a lower wage-cap, how can some clubs have similar or larger rosters than last season, with the higher wage-cap?

If you have made it to the end of all that thanks for reading! Feel free to dismiss my comments as sheer paranoia, however the league does not exactly give the best impression of self-governance!
In the end you can believe what you want, I could ramble on for hours about the wage-cap but I wont, for now! I just wanted to get that off my chest!


  1. We (Checktothehead) interviewed Doug Christiansen at the start of this season, we spoke to him about the wage cap. He started laughing, he said officialy clubs might be under the cap but their are so many ways to get around it. The cap isn't really enforced as it doesn't suit the power holders in the league. He hinted that their wasn't any point in even having a cap in place.

  2. To be fair, the new signings will stay under the cap because other players are going to make way for them. Who (if they actually are) Belfast are deregistering remains to be seem but they *have* to let someone go so the wages cancel each other out and stay within the rules of the league. I'm sure I'm not the only one that wants either the release or justification for breaking the 11 import rule made public.

    However, if we're really getting to basics, I'll be amazed if no-one's actually broken any wage caps this year. Nottingham have tonnes of kids so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, Sheffield have a loyalty thing going on so may not have had to pay as much (but could easily still be over) but I'll certainly question where the Giants have hidden funds for the players they have. This is all blind accusation, of course :P

  3. Thank you for the comments guys, as I think I said in the post my thoughts are not based on solid foundations! But as we all know this league is useless at enforcing its own rules!

  4. The whole 11 Import thing was a waste of time. Why won't this leage learn from the mistakes of the past? When the EIHL was set up they made it clear they wanted to reduce the number of imports in the league but what happens in reality? The numbers go up to suit the rich teams. The main problem with the EIHL is that everyone is in it for themselves, nobody thinks of the game and its development first.