The players are indeed guaranteed 57% of the share of HRR. Not more and not less. (from the CBA itself: The dollar amount represented by the Players' Share in a League Year (i.e., Leaguewide Player Compensation) shall equal (i.e., shall never exceed nor be less than) the Applicable Percentage of HRR, as calculated pursuant to this Article 50). Escrow isn't about clawing money from the players it's the mechanism in which they are guaranteed their share.
I don't think that is correct - but if it is, Weber, Suter, and Parise are hated men! Although their individual escrow amounts would be eye-opening... Unless bonuses are not included, I assume the 57% has to be calculated off of the collective cap hit... no?
One thing is clear in this thread, there are many posters that don't understand escrow. It is nothing more than a mechanism to ensure that the players get exactly 57% of the HRR.
They could wait until the end of the season, calculate the revenues, and then give each player their actual revenue-adjusted amount. But it seems that most players like to receive regular paychecks, so they have to hold-back 12-20% to ensure that the players don't owe money at the end of the year.
That doesn't make sense, for example if the League revenues grow by more than 12% in a year, Escrow is only going to return the money paid in by the players, nothing more. If the revenues grow by a significant amount, the players get less than their share because growth > escrow.
Escrow only ensures players do not get more than their share, which is what its done 2 out 7 seasons. Escrow cannot ensure players do not get less than their share unless owners are topping it up and somehow distributing "revenue bonuses" to every player. This means that, in 5 out of 7 seasons where players got all of their escrow money back, they either didn't get their 57% or the owners kicked in more money to the players (or, possibly and miraculously, the total of all contracts signed by 30 teams added up to exactly 57% in 5 out of 7 years).
I used http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/ ... ries/team/
this page, which shows "actual salary", which ranged from $71 million to $29 million. I added all the teams (to the nearest million, so some margin of error) and got $1.697 billion. League revenues were $3.3 billion. This means the players got 51.4% of revenues in salary.
One pointed out how the Islanders get their actual salary so low is by having tons of rookies' potential bonuses count fully against the cap instead of deferring. If the bonus ends up not being paid it still counted against the cap.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that escrow functions to give players more money than their contract value if league revenues skyrocket, or that players have gotten their 57% in the 5 years they got all of their escrow money back.