LAST EDITED ON 21-Jul-03 AT 03:17 AM (EDT)
I'm not sure I understand your reasoning on the supply/demand of players after contraction.
Assume there are 25 players per team on each of the 30 teams in the league. That's 750 players "of NHL quality". The number is actually higher due to injured players, top prospects, hold-outs, etc, but we'll go with 750 for now. Assume again that every team has 2 All-Star caliber players (could be more, could be less, but we'll average it out to 2), which gives us 60 All-Stars.
NHL players available: 25/team including:
Now contract 4 teams. The number of players available hasn't changes (though the number employed has). Those hockey players from Florida still want to play and still can play even though their team is gone.
Here's how the player distribution looks now:
NHL players available: 28.8/team including:
2.3 All-Stars per team
The supply of players has remained the same, the overall demand has decreased (total # of jobs) and the demand per team remains the same (you have limited roster space, by rule, and are still limited by what your owner can afford to pay).
Increased competition for jobs drives the asking price of labor down among lesser skilled players. High skill players will still command top dollar, for the most part, though.
The mistake is in using the curves too much. The demand for NHL players is constand, there is virtually no day-to-day fluctation in that market (outside of replacing injured players). The supply is generally increasing with population and is much, much larger than the demand (and would be even if players were paid CAD30,000 to play, just look in the minors). You have to base your estimations of supply and demand on quality available, not quantity available.
Even so, contracting teams decreases total demand and doesn't change the supply of players.
Edit: To use your candy bar analogy, you've got it backwards. Right now I take 29 of my friends, we go to Giant and we each buy 25 unique items of varying flavors and nutritional content based on our wants and needs. As the aisle contains exactly 750 items to begin with, it is picked clean when we are through. A month later we have all finished eating what we bought so we go back. 4 of my friends are losers and would rather hang out with their girlfriends than go to the store with me, so they ditch. The remaining 26 of us again buy 25 items each from the re-stocked aisle. As the aisle was re-stocked with the same number of items as before (750) and we don't change our buying habits, 100 items are left on the shelves, mostly the stewed beets, haggis, and artichoke hearts. No matter how much the store changes the price on the items in that aisle, though, we won't buy more as we can't (league roster restrictions). If there is a discount on stewed beets, I might buy some and eat them instead of turnips or spinach, but I'll still only have 25 items in the end. I won't buy haggis instead of my canned pears in heavy syrup, though, no matter how much the pears cost and how little the spinach costs. Now substitute Olie Kolzig for pears, Ivan Ciernik for spinach, Rick Berry for turnips, Joel Kwiatkowski for haggis and you'll have my version of the analogy.
Let's Go Caps!