The sale of Cap Friendly will change his life

The sale of Cap Friendly will change his life
The sale of Cap Friendly will change his life

When Hart Levine, a certified professional accountant, launched PuckPedia shortly before the 2018 free agent market opened, the website was virtually deserted. “Among the visitors were me, a couple of friends and my parents,” he remembers with a laugh. Six years later, with the sale of CapFriendly, the way is now wide open. Levine’s life is about to change.

“I started by spontaneously calling agents as well as managers and former managers of the NHL,” says Levine. The funny thing is that people who familiarize themselves with our site today must think that Rome was built in a day, when that couldn’t be more wrong.

Traffic on PuckPedia, which will likely become the platform of choice for salary cap and collective bargaining agreement information, has exploded in recent days.

“The best way to illustrate it right now is that our numbers are similar to an opening day of the free agent market and, currently, nothing is happening in the world of hockey,” rejoices Levine. Traffic will only increase in the coming days and even more so when the alternative is no longer available.”

Life does things well, this is a dubious cliché, but it applies perfectly in this case.

“A few days before the announcement of the sale of CapFriendly, we had increased the capacity of our servers in order to be able to handle greater traffic and increase the fluidity of navigation. The timing was perfect,” notes Levine, who is based in California, where he is a major player in the financial sector.

It’s no secret that CapFriendly was a direct competitor that siphoned off a huge portion of traffic. Ultimately, both CapFriendly and PuckPedia emerge winners from this transaction.

“I’m happy for them,” Levine said. Looks like they landed a great deal and a fantastic opportunity to work with an NHL team. They can be proud of what they have accomplished. And from my side, it confirms the value of such an infrastructure.”

Everything will go very quickly

The excitement is palpable in the voice of Levine, who has received “thousands of emails, texts and private messages” from fans and individuals working in the world of hockey. Expect changes in the coming days. The situation is no longer the same.

“We already had a plan, but it has obviously just changed,” admits the main person involved. What our supporters will appreciate is how receptive we will be to proposals, to comments. By the way, I apologize. It’s difficult to respond to everyone, right away, at the moment, but I assure you that all messages are recorded and taken into consideration.

The most important item in the works is the general manager interface which will eventually go live, ideally by the end of June or beginning of July. This will allow Internet users to make transactions and build their favorite team to their liking while respecting the rules of the collective agreement to the letter.

“We already had an interface, but when we redesigned the site in March, we removed it to rework it,” says Levine. The goal is to offer a platform that will allow you to spend a lot of time on it if you wish, but also to be able to make one or two exchanges in a hurry. Also, it will be important to allow supporters to share their results, so that we can see the exchanges of others.

This will be the most important novelty, but certainly not the only one.

“Fans have asked us to include certain information such as lines or diagrams illustrating the teams’ depth at each position. We are capable of granting any wish expressed to us at this time. The challenge will be to establish an order of priority. The plan has certainly changed. We will go faster. We will be better. Fans will see creative and interesting additions. And they will see them appear quickly, little by little. We won’t wait to update everything at once. Updates will be frequent.

Levine is also excited to see supporters familiarize themselves with the intricacies that already make PuckPedia unique and set the website apart from CapFriendly, albeit in the shadow of its competitor (not for much longer). Because even if CapFriendly was considered the reference, PuckPedia offered new tools.

“I think of the list of agents on our site and our tool that calculates the value of draft picks [conçu par l’ancien directeur des statistiques avancées des Coyotes de l’Arizona Matt Perri]. We also organize the information in a different way, for example, by separating the statistics of the players according to the contract that was in force.

A quick glance at the PuckPedia home page allows us to see that Pat Brisson earns a very good living, with 55 contracts worth a total of 1.3 billion to his credit.

Bettman’s audacity

What we learned over the last few days is that the general managers of the Bettman circuit consult CapFriendly and PuckPedia as much as you and I; not all teams necessarily had their own internal database documenting the finances of other teams. The acquisition of CapFriendly by the Washington Capitals therefore makes perfect sense.

But Levine had no idea that a team would be willing to buy the entire website.

“CapFriendly had relationships with NHL teams and we have similar relationships with different teams,” Levine explains. I knew the teams were interested in the tools we offer, but I was surprised to see a team purchase the entire site.”

And what kind of offer would be necessary, say, for him to accept an offer from the NHL? The fans can rest easy, for now. The author of these lines carried out his own investigation and it appears at the moment that Levine has not received any concrete offers, information which he however did not want to confirm.

“You can never say never, but I believe it is important for the site to be in the public sphere,” insists Levine.

The latter shows more openness, however, to integrating its infrastructure into the National Hockey League website. However, it is known that the NHL is not keen on this type of content, which it considers confidential. Commissioner Gary Bettman even had the audacity to say in the past that fans had no interest in this kind of information…

“When I started PuckPedia, it was because as a supporter I wasn’t completely satisfied with what the public sphere was offering in terms of information,” Levine points out. So it’s really important to me that fans can have access to it. And if a partnership with the NHL makes this information more accessible and improves the experience for the sport I love, then all the better.

“Anything that would allow the infrastructure that I built to get more visibility, I am in favor of.”

The ball is in the NHL’s court. Again, don’t hold your breath.

“I have never been contacted by the NHL offices. Maybe that will change (laughs).”

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