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NHL's Parity Measured

Bettman was right. The salary cap provides cost certainty for owners and parity for competition which gives birth to more stable franchises and perpetual hope for all fans. My team has a chance, right?

Now, more than ever, fans are seeing the results of Bettman's architecture. One measure of parity is the change, year over year, of playoff appearances. How many teams make the playoffs that did not the previous year?

The graph below shows the year over year change for "new playoff appearances". The trend line shows a clear trend upward toward 8 ( of 16 teams that make the playoffs each year).

Before the lockout in 2004-05 (which established the salary cap era), the average number of "new playoff appearances" each year was under 4 (between 1992 and 2004). After the cap was established in 2005 to 2018, the average number of new appearances is almost 5.5.

Post 2005 Lockout (enter salary cap era)

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