Octo.... it still has been the same teams dominating over and over again, just like before the cap.
The difference is the teams winning now are SMART rather than just rich. The usual suspects are always San Jose, Detroit, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Vancouver...
+ they have players demanding to be traded there (Heatley, Burns) or choosing to sign with them over others= not over money but a chance to win.
It seems most teams in the NHL may get a glimmer of hope in the playoffs - like Edmonton & Carolina - but fall back down. But at least most teams get to have some fun sometimes now.
There's also many teams that stay bad for a long, long time - like Columbus, Islanders, Toronto, Minnesota... This "new era of parity" has not caused parity. Free agents want to play for winners and will take a slight discount to play there.
So, if anything, the cap has made it HARDER for the bad teams to improve. They can not bid higher than the juggernauts because of the cap . And because there is a minimum, the crappy teams have to trade for an overpaid guy like Langkow or Rolston JUST TO HIT THE FLOOR or pay $4.5M/year to a Ron Hainsey.
So teams are being forced to completely nosedive and build through the draft like Chicago and Pittsburgh. Personally, I find it embarrassing for the Oilers. I think every team that misses the playoffs should have an equal shot at 1st overall. This way, every team is encouraged to be competitive in front of their fans and not mask their incompetence through the veil of "rebuilding".
There has been a natural shift of power this year as players age. Like the Blues up and Wings down (like I said, I think the Wings will stay ok but will be with the rest of the pack now).
And the lesser teams have found a way to move up the ranks. The players are bigger and faster. The games are more entertaining and physical. Yet, the goalies have improved even more.
Now, all you need is a star goalie who stops pretty well EVERYTHING. Then, pick a group of grinders and block all the shots. It worked for the Oilers in 2006 and Canadiens in 2010. This year, everybody's doing it (Rinne, Smith, etc). All the boring teams are advancing even if they're outplayed.
Even more reasons to not like the direction the NHL is going. But I don't know how exactly to solve it either.
Posted on Apr 26, 2012, 7:23 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206