The Detroit Model? I'll Go With The Nashville Model

Throwing out the term the "Detroit Model" is en vogue throughout both the mainstream media and online media these days.  Using the term in a story about your rebuilding team is a cheap-and-easy way to gets some legs out of a story, even if your team isn't in the same galaxy as the Detroit Red Wings.  While the Red Wings system has been successful, especially since the lockout, there is another franchise that should be held as the gold standard for every other team in the midst of a tear-down or a rebuild.

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via www.sportslogos.net

SB Nation's Oilers vs Predators coverage

On the Forecheck

The Falconer from Bird Watcher Anonymous took a look at cap efficiency since the lockout and found that, during the regular season, Nashville leads the pack:

So which teams have gotten the most for their money?  The Nashville Predators not only lead this list but have a huge margin over the #2 team. David Poile is simply a master at contending on a small budget (doing it again this year after a rough start).

Since the lockout, Nashville is 6th overall in regular season points and 29th in payroll.  Contrast that with Edmonton.  The Oilers are 27th in regular season points and 9th in payroll.  As magnificently efficient as David Poile has been, Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini have been masterfully awful.  Though Poile's work hasn't translated to playoff success yet, he's doing more than any other general manager in the NHL. 

The Preds have used four starting goalies in that timeframe and J.P. Dumont has been their leading scorer.  Paul Kariya, the closest thing that Nashville has had to a "superstar" during this time left via free agency.  Budding superstar Alexander Radulov walked away from the team for the KHL, leaving them without a dynamic goal scorer.  That void has been filled by Patric Hornqvist, a one-time sixth round draft choice, who leads the team in goals this year with 23.  In fact, Nashville currently has twelve roster players that were drafted by the Preds, including Hornqvist, Olympic defensemen Ryan Suter and Shea Weber, and star goaltender Pekka Rinne.  Nashville has had success in the draft though they haven't had a lottery pick since David Legwand in 1998.

The chart below shows Nashville's lead on the rest of the NHL - the next most efficient team, the Sharks, have spent $30 million more than the Predators over five seasons, the equivalent of Patrick Marleau.  The Predators have spent $43.7 million below the cap during that timeframe, or $8.7 million per season, the equivalent Brad Richards with nearly $1 million left over.

 

Team

Total Salary (MM)

Points/Salary

NSH

203.4

2.54

SJS

231.1

2.47

DET

246.9

2.3

BUF

226.7

2.29

NJD

237.4

2.21

WSH

213.4

2.2

DAL

231.9

2.13

OTT

237.7

2.08

PIT

224.2

2.08

PHX

201

2.05

CAR

226

2.05

VAN

237.4

2.05

MIN

225.6

2.04

ANA

240.8

2.02

CGY

239.3

2

MTL

237.4

1.92

NYR

241.3

1.91

COL

234.3

1.91

FLA

221.4

1.88

LAK

219.4

1.81

ATL

226.7

1.81

CBJ

213.5

1.79

CHI

242.9

1.76

PHI

243.6

1.74

NYI

212.2

1.74

STL

222.7

1.68

BOS

253.2

1.67

TBL

232.1

1.65

TOR

241.4

1.59

EDM

238.6

1.55

 

For a team that can spend to the cap, they should model their roster build after the Predators and use the excess for those short-term players afforded by a team that can spend to the cap.

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