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Rangers, Wild and Sabres might sweat potential cap changes the most

Aug 20, 2012, 10:40 PM EDT

Glen Sather Getty Images

Earlier tonight, PHT took a look at Craig Custance’s report (subscription required) that a new CBA could punish teams for signing salary cap-circumventing contracts.

In this hypothetical scenario, teams that handed out contracts that included huge signing bonuses, stashed expensive players in the minors or paid players significantly more in certain years would suffer the most.

Custance points to three teams who would be especially concerned if the owners got their way with a drastically altered salary cap: the Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers.

Buffalo: Would be $18.76 million above a proposed cap ceiling of $54M.

  • Tyler Myers‘ $12 million salary would account for 22 percent of a tweaked salary cap next season, according to Custance.

Minnesota: Would be $16.37M above $54M.

  • Custance points out that Zach Parise and Ryan Suter‘s mammoth first-years would be slightly alleviated by the fact that Mikko Koivu‘s own substantial contract is back-loaded instead of front-loaded.

Rangers: Would be $13.1M above $54M.

  • Custance assumes that New York would need to buy out Chris Drury and Wade Redden.
  • Like Myers, Custance points out that Brad Richards will make a Myers-like $12M.

Those are the three outlooks that Custance shared, but teams like the Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers probably won’t be too thrilled about punishments for big signing bonuses, either.

It’s crucial to note that such a system is only (allegedly) being discussed and there are plenty of ways to ease “offending” teams into a given scenario.

Still, it looks like it will be tougher to exploit loopholes in future summers.

(Again, H/T to George Malik.)

  1. lordfletcher - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    I may just have to focus 100% on football and worry about the NHL later. All of the CBA and salary cap talk is exhausting

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:24 AM

      Agreed. Every time I finally grasp one piece of the CBA, there’s 10 more questions I have. I mean, how does Boston not factor in to this whole situation? They have even less salary cap space than the Wild. Sigh…oh well.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:22 AM

        Because they have $4m for Thomas and $5-ish for Savard that can come off the books once the season starts.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        Thomas’ $4 million can NOT come off the books for the Bruins unless his rights are traded, doesn’t matter if he holds out, retires he signed a 35+ contract which means his cap hit sticks.

        As for the Bruins not being over but the Wild are…the Wild would be dinged $14 million each for the twins because of their signing bonuses, I’m guessing the Bruins have little to none of those since they only became popular in the last year.

  2. danphipps01 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Yeah, them, and about twenty other teams. Seriously, a $54m cap would wreak havoc across more than half the League as the GMs madly tried to trade players, only to realize they’re all selling and no-one’s buying. A large number of teams simply couldn’t get under that cap without bleeding their rosters white.

    • danphipps01 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:23 AM

      Also: dear God, you mean the Koivu contract is at its best value NOW? It gets WORSE from here? They’re going to be paying the man fourteen million dollars to centre their third line by the time it finally ends. Not even kidding, in 2017-18, his salary is $9.18 million dollars with $3.78m in salary bonuses on the side.

    • claysbar - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:05 AM

      There would only be 7 teams that would be under that cap. Even Philly with LTIR on Pronger and Mezaros (approx. 9 mill) would be over and still would need to bring up a 7th D-man. Even if you assume that there is a significant player salary rollback, there might still only be half the league that would be under it. Insane if this is how it pans out.

  3. phillyphever - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    “Those are the three outlooks that Custance shared, but teams like the Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers probably won’t be too thrilled about punishments for big signing bonuses, either.”

    Not our problem that Nashville decided the match the offer. As for us with the signing bonuses: eh, at least Homer isn’t gonna go crazy with contract offers in FA if that happens.

    • danphipps01 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Considering how thin your D-line looks without him, actually, yeah, it kind of IS your problem that they matched. You REALLY could use Weber on that mutilated blueline.

  4. mikeyhigs - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    If this happens, Gary Bettman and the NHL will prove to be clueless dolts. How could you possibly punish teams who played by the rules by changing the rules? It would be pretty simple to grandfather these contracs into the new CBA. If the NHL had considered the potential loopholes in the first place, teams couldn’t have taken advantage.

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