The National Hockey League (NHL) is one of the four major sports in North America. Following the lockout of 2004-2005, the league felt it was necessary to introduce a team salary cap which prevents teams from spending a certain dollar amount on player salaries. As a young player enters free agency, general managers must negotiate an efficient contract which keeps the team under the salary cap in addition to paying the player the necessary money for his talent. The purpose of this study is to analyze NHL player's first and second year productiveness to find the true worth of these players as they enter free agency and long-term contracts. To accomplish this, results were found using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Fixed Effects Models regression along with the collection of players' first and second year NHL season between 2005 and 2009. Furthermore, this thesis believes that NHL players increase productivity from their first to second year. If young NHL players do increase their production from season to season, it may prove beneficial to teams and general managers as they will be able to build a cost-efficient team due to contracts that are suitable to each player's ability.
The National Football League (NFL) generates millions of dollars each year and as player salaries increase, more attention is being paid to how team management allocates their budget. Long-term contracts insure that a franchise has access to a player for many years but also open the door to the possibility of shirking. This work attempts to measure the existence of shirking in the NFL and study the effects that contracts have on player performance. I study the prevalence of shirking at a multitude of different positions by analyzing performance and contract data for different players. Finally, I provide recommendations for how teams can use the data in this study to maximize their potential to win.