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What if a contract could be carved into pieces to facilitate a trade?

Feb 16, 2012, 5:23 PM EDT

David Poile

Interesting piece here by John Manasso of Fox Sports Tennessee that explores an idea Leafs GM Brian Burke has raised in the past – what if a team that trades a player could assume part of the player’s salary as an inducement to the acquiring team?

For example, let’s say the Blue Jackets are desperate to trade Jeff Carter and the Canucks are interested. Except the Canucks look at Carter’s contract and think it’s a little high given the term. The Jackets could offer to assume a third (or whatever) of the remaining contract and maybe the Canucks would go for it.

As Manasso points out, this happens all the time in baseball. (It’ll probably happen when the Yankees trade AJ Burnett.)

“I’d like to talk about that,” Nashville GM David Poile said. “I want to see what everybody thinks, but I probably have a little bit more time for that today that after we’ve now been through this many years of the CBA. I understand my first reaction is, ‘This is another win for the wealthiest teams,’ but I’m not necessarily sure that’s the case and actually I do see reasons to do this. Not on a regular basis, but on a one-time basis, maybe, yeah.”

Anyway, we won’t get too deep into it today. Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap. Hockey does. So it would be a little more complicated. However, it seems to be on the league’s radar.

“We have a managers meeting again in a month and I’m sure it’s going to be brought up again,” Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said. “If you’re telling me you heard David say that, he’s a pretty conservative guy. As we get closer to winding this CBA down, we all have open minds to different issues and that’s something I certainly have an open mind to this one.”

  1. odj810 - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    as long as the team taking on part of the contract has to have it count against the cap then yea why not.

  2. bigtganks - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Who’s the one that comes to mind with a deal like this?

    Scott Gomez? (I’m sure Habs fans would pay half his salary for him to leave than all of if for him to stay)

  3. AppealToReason - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I’ve always thought this would be a good idea, but more diligence would need to be done.

    Always thought too that maybe if a player gets traded then their cap hit readjusts to whats remaining on the contract. I guess maybe that would lower the value of the back half of front loaded deals to poorer teams, but maybe it wouldn’t in some strange way.

    Just ideas.

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