Q. Ken Campbell at The Hockey News asks: "Didn’t we have a year-long lockout a couple of years ago because teams like the Washington Capitals couldn’t afford to pay runaway salaries like the one they’re going to be giving Alex Ovechkin for the next 13 seasons?"
A. No, Ken, we had a year-long lockout a couple of years ago so that the owners could have cost certainty, something the Caps now have with regards to one of the best players in the game over the next 13 years. How much will Sidney Crosby command at the end of his new five-year extension? Now there's the uncertainty.
Q. Campbell follows up: In a likely best-case scenario, Ovechkin will average 50 goals and about 100 points per season through the life of this contract. Could they not have signed three players for $3 million each, which could have given them more than that?
A. In the mid-20teens? Perhaps, though not necessarily. Besides, I'll take Alex Ovechkin in his prime with you centering him and me on the right wing over three $3 million players in 2014.
But thanks for the questions, Ken, and for demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of the time value of money.