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Cap Circumvention Watch: Bruins Rookie Signs Endorsement Deal With Arena Sponsor PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Matthew Coller   
Friday, 12 November 2010 23:12

Boston Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin signed an endorsement deal with Dunkin' Donuts this week. The company plans to use Seguin as the “centerpiece of the company's 'Caught Cold' promotion.” There is no word whether the 19-year-old forward actually drinks coffee, and we're not looking into it, but there is something fishy about Segin's deal.

Several months ago, Denver Post writer Terry Frei wrote that GM's could use endorsement deals as a way to circumvent the league's salary cap. Here's what he wrote:

I was told to look out for how long it took NHL executives to figure out new ways how to not necessarily circumvent or violate the cap, but to at least find imaginative ways to 'massage' it. I’ve always thought the biggest potential for a loophole was if teams found ways to line up extra income for players. Example: Colorado signs an unrestricted free agent for a 'reasonable' deal, and all of a sudden he signs a huge endorsement deal with the soft drink company whose name is on the Denver arena, on the alleged basis that having him playing in the Pepsi Center enhances the value of the naming rights. Or he signs a Wal Mart* endorsement deal. “

As you can see, Dunkin' Donuts is clearly a sponsor at TD Garden, where the Bruins play. Frei said in the article that we've yet to see this type of deal. Maybe we haven't been looking closely enough into players' endorsements and if they are being used to circumvent to salary cap.

According to CapGeek, the Bruins currently have $0 of cap space.

*Frei is referencing the Avs/Nuggets/Rapids/Pepsi Center/Dick's Sporting Goods Park (and Rams) are controlled by the Kroenke family, and Mrs. Ann Kroenke is one of the Waltons.

Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be followed on Twitter

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Comments (4)Add Comment
written by Weesh, November 15, 2010
There is word of whether or not Seguin drinks coffee. You'd know this if you actually read the press release. He's quoted.
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written by Written With Insight, November 16, 2010
This is probably the worst case you could ever use as support for salary cap circumvention. Seguin is under an ELC and is at the max possible + bonuses. The DD deal is a straight up player sponsorship deal that comes with a bright star face in New England (see Papelbon). To think that it's more than that is asinine.

Before posting witch hunt articles please make sure you understand the, "business of hockey" because this article is a joke.
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written by Matt Coller, November 16, 2010
Terry Frei was told by an NFL GM to watch for these deals as they are a way the team put more money in a player's pocket and avoid having it count against the salary cap. I pointed out that this instance matched the criteria. Terry Frei then sited my research on his blog at the Denver Post.
So, you don't have to believe that the Bruins did this to circumvent the cap, but you certainly can't accuse me of going on a "witch hunt" or making things up. In fact, if you'd like to accuse someone of that, I'd suggest going after Terry or the NFL GM who was his source.
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written by Chris, November 17, 2010
The argument only makes sense if there is some sort of the evidence that the team asked him to forfeit reaching for a bonus and take this endorsement instead. Even then, it's a stretch, since the NHLPA has voted every year of the current CBA to exclude entry-level contract bonuses from the cap.
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