Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Buyer Beware: Old Guys = Major Risk

As neither side in the war to divide your dollar has released a full copy of the CBA, we've been running into hitches and clauses sort of as they happen.

Take, for instance, the case of Dave Andreychuk who was recently waived by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

TSN's Bob MacKenzie brings to light how Andreychuk's contract is going to hurt Tampa Bay, no matter if Dave plays for them or not.

One of the clauses in the new CBA that kind of flew under the radar for many was the one dealing with the signing of these veteran players. Without getting too complicated on you, the bottom line, as far as the salary cap is concerned, is that any team that signs a player 35 or older to a multi-year contract is going to use up valuable cap room to the end of the contract no matter what happens to the player. Even if he retires. Or is abducted by aliens. Really, it doesn't matter.

Take Andreychuk, for example. The Tampa Bay Lightning have decided he no longer fits into their plans. Andreychuk's salary this season is $800,000, but because he has a second year at a salary of $525,000, his cap figure for this season, or the average of the two, is $662,500. If he clears waivers Wednesday, and he will, he will be assigned to the minors so the remaining $330,000 owing him this year will be taken off the Bolts' cap figure for this season. That's because players in the minors don't count against the cap.

But, because of this previously unheralded CBA clause, Tampa will have Andreychuk's average salary of $662,500 count against next year's cap even though he's quite likely to retire at the end of the season.
Unbelievable! Doesn't it sound silly that the Bolts will have to 'pay' Andreychuk in cap space if he retires? Andreychuk will be sitting at home and Tampa Bay won't be paying him a dime, yet the Bolts will basically be 'paying' Andreychuk as $662,500 will essentially be 'lost'.

I see how this clause could protect NHL teams from making bad signings. In the 'Old NHL', it wasn't uncommon for some teams to overpay very old players and sign them to deals which forced them to pay for a player who was either extremely poor, or just eat their contract and release them. The perfect example was the Florida Panthers and Kirk Muller. Ugh...bad times, bad times.

This clause was also designed to prevent teams from loading up on players and using the 'spreading' affect to their advantage.

Say I signed Kirk Muller to a 2-year deal (If I ever did, I'd expect you to commit me to the finest mental institution in Canada). The first year pays him $1,000,000 and the second pays him $350,000. The average would be counted in the cap for year 1 @ $675,000, Kirk would be paid $1,000,000 (enticing him to sign for my club), and then when he retires before the second season, we'd be off the hook for the second $675,000 against our cap and Kirk can retire with bags of cash in his hands. Great, but the NHL closed that loophole and saw that players who are 35 and over might pull a fast one like this.

What shocks me is how New Jersey Devils GM Fat Lou Lamoriello got totally PWNED!!!!!11111 by this new clause in the CBA. We all know that Lou is one of the NHL's inside-circle boys, and he had intimate knowledge of the CBA throughout the negotiating process. If there was on GM that was expected to take advantage of the new CBA, Lou was at the top of the list.

It could be worse, though. It could be the New Jersey Devils, which no matter what happens with Mogilny and Malakhov -- aside from a trade, that is - are going to eat up $7.1 million in cap room next year for two players who quite likely will be retired. Mogilny's salary of $3.5 million and Malakhov's $3.6 million are going to put the Devils behind the salary cap eight ball next year, even if they're not actually paying them.
Is anyone going to trade for Mogilny and Malakhov at this point of their careers? Probably not. How did Lou not foresee that he'd be stuck with this huge dead weight that would soak up a lot of cap space? It's one thing to think Mogilny and Malakhov would be effective players for your team, but it's another to sign such players in a manner to kill your team's chances for next season.

there is no way to close all holes. dont count lou out yet. I am learning these things to as teams play it out.

IF what you said is correct, all that has to happen is a front loaded to be assigned and report to the minors in his later seasons.

again let us take super mario

he signs himself to a 10 year deal. 2 years at top dollar, 8 at league minimum

three years from now he assigns himself to the minors, were he permanently rehabs his vast and numerous injuries.

now would i be suprised if there suddenly turns out to be a play in europe clause come to light, etc

and can contracts even be re-negotiated?

what about buyout clauses?

we have certainly not heard the last of all this.

the entire average salary is the biggest problem in this whole thing. not sure what moron wanted it that way and insisted so much that the nhl has AT LEAST 4 esoteric rules to cover abusing the averages...

oh well
ok i read a few reports

"intention of assigning him to Springfield in the AHL once he clears those waivers but not requiring that he actually report. This enables David to continue being paid this season without having to actually play in the AHL."

so it is a complete farce :)

hey mario, dont retire you are simply a non reporting ahler for 6 years.

oh would you mind if that contract was a 2 way one for the last 6 years?

oh even BETTER, when rosters expand near the playoffs, you can play each year at no cap cost and play every playoffs!


um, Penquins would have to make the playoffs first.

But given the idiotic ideal floated about expanding the number of teams making the playoffs, it might happen.
but el sid is a GOD. a GOD i tells ya!

the pens are odds on favorites to win it all this year!!

go sid!!
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