clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Toronto Maple Leafs, taxes, and parity

New, comments

Parity is a lie!

Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning
Score: Stamkos 1 - CRA 0
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Parity! That’s the world that the NHL used to sell the salary cap. Everyone will have to spend up to the same amount of money, and no financially strong teams can use their muscle to hoard all the quality free agents.

It all sounds nice in theory, and I’m sure some teams love keeping the Red Wings, Maple Leafs, and New York Rangers in check, but there isn’t real parity going on, not at all.

While each team could offer the same amount of money to a player, what he gets paid will differ drastically. Take the Steven Stamkos watch for instance, you know those months where everyone with access to a keyboard and website were suddenly CPA’s and big enough experts to run the CRA? It was said Toronto would have to offer Stamkos $12 million to match Tampa’s $8.5 million.

Where’s the parity in that Gary?

This is quite a big issue, especially effecting those teams in states and provinces with income tax on top of the federal tax, where instead of the advantage being on spending power, it’s for those who can spend less but still offer the same cash.

As a fan of a team who could have offered Stamkos a salary as big as Donald Trumps ego if there was no salary cap I am rather mad on line about this.

I am a Maple Leafs fan first and foremost and if they could spend recklessly to grab every great free agent and have a fourth line being paid a combined $87 million just to make sure no other team could have these players then dammit, that should be allowed! I don’t care if that means the Penguins go back to only spending $12 million in salary per year, they’ll just declare bankruptcy seven more times and be fine.

However, this awesome scenario isn’t the case anymore. Don’t worry, I’m still here to rant about what things my team should have, and my crazy idea today isn’t all that crazy.

To put it simply, there should be a cap exemption based on the different in taxes for that state/province.

If the Salary cap is $100 million (using this number for ease of math because I proved last week I can’t count to 100), teams should get a bump based on their state/province income tax. For example the Ontario income tax for those making $220,000 and over (the highest bracket) is 13.16%. So with a $100,000,000 cap the Leafs can spend $113,160,000. The Lightning and the Panthers, in a state with no state income tax, can only spend $100,000,000.

Here’s a handy chart for all of the teams and what their true cap for next season should be against the $73,000,000 ceiling:

Team Local Tax True Cap Difference
Anaheim Ducks 12.3 81,979,000 8,979,000
Arizona Coyotes 4.54 76,314,200 3,314,200
Boston Bruins 5.15 76,759,500 3,759,500
Buffalo Sabres 8.82 79,438,600 6,438,600
Calgary Flames 15 83,950,000 10,950,000
Carolina Hurricanes 5.75 77,197,500 4,197,500
Chicago Blackhawks 3.75 75,737,500 2,737,500
Colorado Avalanche 4.63 76,379,900 3,379,900
Columbus Blue Jackets 4.997 76,647,810 3,647,810
Dallas Stars 0 73,000,000 0
Detroit Red Wings 4.25 76,102,500 3,102,500
Edmonton Oilers 15 83,950,000 10,950,000
Florida Panthers 0 73,000,000 0
Los Angeles Kings 12.3 81,979,000 8,979,000
Minnesota Wild 9.85 80,190,500 7,190,500
Montreal Canadiens 25.75 91,797,500 18,797,500
Nashville Predators 0 73,000,000 0
New Jersey Devils 8.97 79,548,100 6,548,100
New York Islanders 8.82 79,438,600 6,438,600
New York Rangers 8.82 79,438,600 6,438,600
Philadelphia Flyers 3.07 75,241,100 2,241,100
Pittsburgh Penguins 3.07 75,241,100 2,241,100
Ottawa Senators* 13.16 82,606,800 9,606,800
San Jose Sharks 12.3 81,979,000 8,979,000
St. Louis Blues 6 77,380,000 4,380,000
Tampa Bay Lightning 0 73,000,000 0
Toronto Maple Leafs 13.16 82,606,800 9,606,800
Vancouver Canucks 14.7 83,731,000 10,731,000
Washington Capitals 8.95 79,533,500 6,533,500
Winnipeg Jets* 17.4 85,702,000 12,702,000


Doesn’t this seem like true financial parity? Not every team would take advantage of this, the Senators will forever be trapped in small market budget hell, but it makes up for the differences that are completely out of teams control.

I know this is an oversimplified version of the concept, but I’m not an accountant, I only play one on twitter. I’m just a guy looking to get his rich team back on top.

As it should be.