Bettman willing to consider making cap data public

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Until recently, Capgeek.com was one of the greatest hockey resources out there, providing the fans and media with accurate contract information to lean on so that they knew how much flexibility each team had. It unfortunately closed earlier this month due to its founder’s health issues, which has led to people wondering if another site would fill that void.

Meanwhile, NHL.com is expanding its offering to the fans by making fancy statistics available. So could it be that the league itself would actually step forward to create its own capgeek?

“Well, we have our own site, it’s just that it’s internal,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said with a brief chuckle when the question was asked, per Canucks TV’s feed of his recent press conference. “You know what, I’ve been asked that now a couple times since I’ve been on the road this week. I don’t know, it’s something we’ll have to focus on.

“My own view is, I think entirely too much attention is paid to the cap and the economics and how much players make and so maybe we don’t want to do anything that buys into that approach. I’d rather see all the attention paid to the players performances on the ice and what’s happening in the game. I’m not sure that I think it’s a good idea, but now that I’ve been asked it a number of times in the last few days, I’ll go back and at least think about it.”

It’s not hard to see why fans have an interest in contract information, especially in the new NHL where signing a player to a big contract limits the team’s ability to ink others or make certain trades. At the same time, there are teams that don’t publicly release salary information, so it would be interesting to see if that’s reflected in any potential NHL cap site. For example, would the NHL release what every team’s current cap hit is, but not a player-by-player breakdown (and thus player contract information)?

If the NHL decides to offer its own replacement of capgeek, it might look very different from the original. Then again, there’s no way of knowing that unless they decide that it’s something worth doing in the first place.