It is going to be a weird trade deadline this year.

A quick overview of the new CBA, a lot of research and a little work with a calculator has turned up something very interesting which is going to make all of our lives very hard come trade deadline day when we try to figure out who we can sign or trade for money-wise.

Injury prone players may be more of a hamper than previously expected.First, I will start by copying the text right out of the CBA as it pertains to injuries. I will be making references to it. I apologize for the overwhelming legal jargon and all the bloody math and numbers but welcome to the new NHL:

(a) All Player Salary and Bonuses paid to Players on an NHL Active Roster, Injured Reserve or Non Roster that are Unfit to Play — being either injured or suffering from an illness — shall be counted against a Club’s Upper Limit, Actual Club Salary and Averaged Club Salary, as well as against the Players’ Share. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a Club shall be permitted to exceed the Upper Limit by virtue of the Bona-Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exception set forth in subsection (d) below.

(d) In the event that a Player…becomes unfit to play…such that the Club’s physician believes, in his or her opinion that the Player…will be unfit to play for at least (i) 24 calendar days and (ii) 10 NHL Regular Season games and such Club desires to replace such Player, the Club may add an additional Player or Players to its Active Roster, and the replacement salary and bonuses of such additional Player(s) may increase the Club’s Averaged Club Salary to an amount up to and excluding the Upper Limit, solely as, and to the extent and for the duration, set forth below.

(i) The Player Salary of the Player that has been deemed unfit-to-play shall continue to be counted toward the Club’s Averaged Club Salary as well as count against the Players’ Share…

(ii) The total replacement salary and bonuses for a Player or Players that have replaced an unfit-to-play player may not in the aggregate exceed the amount of the Player Salary and Bonuses of the unfit-to-play Player who the Club is replacing;

(iii) The replacement salary and bonuses for any Player(s) that replace(s) an unfit Player shall be added to the Club’s Averaged Club Salary until such time as the Club’s Average Salary reaches the Upper Limit. A Club may then exceed the Upper Limit due to the addition of replacement salary and bonuses of Players who have replaced an unfit-to-play Player…

Basically, what this is saying is that when a player gets put on the injured reserve list (injured more then 10 games) his salary still counts against the team average (Di). Then when the team decides to bring in a replacement player for the injured player, the replacement players salary ALSO counts against up to the cap, then he is “free” (Diii) until such time as the original player returns in which case you have to offload the replacement.

This screws things up for us come trade deadline time because it now takes a LOT of research to figure out who we can and can’t go for.

Let’s take the Philadelphia Flyers for example. Their salary equals ~$37M (I apologize for the approximate… I do not know if they are running 20 or 21 players. I am assuming 20). Currently they have 4 players on the IR and now Desjardins, let’s assume they replace them with league minimum call-ups at 1.25K per game they play (call them up one day and send them back down the next day, it costs you two days salary or 2.5k).

The following are worst case scenarios based off the injury report:

They will lose approximately 56 man-games for Desjardins.

They will lose approximately 20 man-games for Pitkanen.

They will lose approximately 3 man-games for Esche.

They will lose approximately 7 (and counting) man-games for Savage.

And unfortunately, they stand to lose 82 man-games from Keith Primeau.

All told this equals 168 man-games *2.5K per game = 0.42M additional against the cap.

0.42 Million = approximately 2 million less that they can add at the trade deadline (x4, due to the fact that 3/4 of the season has been played and you don’t pay the rent-a-player for them), and they are only just over 1/4 of the way through the season. I am not saying that number will quadruple, but it stands a good chance to at least double, if not come close to triple. Now instead of being able to bring in an $8M dollar player, you get to bring in a $2M dollar player and convince your fans your big plan to win the cup was to rent Dave Scatchard…

I hate to say this Philly fans, but these injuries are hurting you more than you know.

Also, I now officially have too much time on my hands.

Anywho, Scruffy out.


15 Responses to It is going to be a weird trade deadline this year.

  1. robinson19 says:

    Aaaaaaauuuuughhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

  2. muckies says:

    Good article dude, i thgought the teams with long term injured players could ask for the injured players salary not to count against the Cap?

  3. ranford4life says:

    I just need a little clarification on your math here:

    0.42 Million = approximately 2 million less that they can add at the trade deadline (x4, due to the fact that 3/4 of the season has been played and you don’t pay the rent-a-player for them), and they are only just over 1/4 of the way through the season.

    What does this have anything to do with bringing in another player? Isn’t the $.42M in man-game cost already calculated for the whole season? Why did you multiply it by 4? Just seeking some clarification.

  4. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Divide by three and carry the one.

  5. zyphrit says:

    That isn’t what i heard about this. I heard the injuried player salary doesn’t count on the salary cap until he get back to play, so the team can “rent a player” but the difficulty come when the injuried player come back, then they will have to free up salary cap if they want him to come back.

  6. Scruffy05 says:

    That is why I posted the actual text of the CBA. The replacement player does, in fact, count against the cap, the only difference being you can still go over the cap limit.

    The problem arises from the fact that you cannot pay out more than $39M per season in salary. If a player is injured, you still have to pay him, they give you some leeway in saying that if you need to bring up a replacement, you now can pay over $39M per year but only to replace your injured player as long as your replacement player(s) average annual salary is equal to or less than your injured players.

  7. Scruffy05 says:

    It comes from the fact that the trade deadline is at approximately the 3/4 mark of the year and the rule is thatyou cannot pay out more than $39M. So if you pick up a player in the last year of his contract at the trade deadline who is worth $4M dollars, he has already been paid 3/4 of that salary, or $3M, leaving you only on the hook for $1M.

    Retrospectively, if you, at the trade deadline have $2M dollars room until the cap (@$37M), and you are only picking up the last quarter of any players contract, you can sign a player with 4 times that amount or $8M (technically only $7.8M this year.)

    So now it means that if you have to pay out another $0.5M throught the season, so you only have $1.5M to spend, that means now you can only bring in a $6M dollar player. However, the flyers are at that number now (estimated), and we are still early, meaning what they can sign will continue becoming much more limited.

  8. Flyer_Dman says:

    So the longer the Flyers wait to pick up a player the less they would have to pay him…so if they could pick up a mediocre player now or a very good player at the deadline..right?

  9. TheCoach says:

    I don’t think that’s entirely correct.

    According to the people at Team 1200 who get their information from John Muckler, Havlat’s remaining salary will no longer count against the cap. Therefore, approximately 2 million is off the books. His replacement makes 450K, so apparently Ottawa now has about 1.6 million more in cap room than they had before Havlat went out.

  10. Scruffy05 says:

    Exactly… his does not count against the cap and they can bring in a $2M replacement player.

    The salaries count against the “Average salary” but now you can go over the upper limit of the cap by the value of the replacement player.

  11. Mullet says:

    That Toronto Boston rumour has been reported at least 3 notable sources. CBS has reported it, Eklund has reported it, the other however has not been revealed. However, the deals are different from what the CBS said, the other two reported it would be Ken Klee, Nik Antropov and Justin Pogge for Glen Murray and either Nick Boynton or Hal Gill. However, other rumours have said the Leafs may need to switch Pogge with Colaiacovo if they want Gill or Boynton. However, I beleive this deal will happen very soon and the Leafs will be minus Klee, Antropov and Colaiacovo but plus Glen Murray and plus I would believe probably Hal Gill as he makes less than Boynton.

  12. Kamakaze says:

    OK, let me see if I get this right.

    If you have a player on IR, you still have to pay him, and his salary does still count against the cap, however, in such a situation, you are allowed to replace that player with another player of equal or lesser value. However, during the time the injured player is on IR, the salary of the replacement player, while it does count against the cap, is allowed to exceed the salary cap limit.

    Am I getting that right?

  13. Scruffy05 says:

    That is how I read it.

  14. mmatras says:

    Although I do appreciate the effort, I am sorry to inform you that you have it wrong. You took a very straight-forward wording of the CBA (though not in lay terms) and tried to ‘summarize it’ in a way that was clearly quite confusing for everyone who read it, because…it was wrong. How on earth could you have thought that any of what you said made sense when two of your sentences in your scenario are

    a) Their [Flyers] salary equals ~$37M [and the cap is 39M]

    b) Now instead of being able to bring in an $8M dollar player, you get to bring in a $2M dollar player.

    How do you reconcile those two comments? There are no 8M players in the new CBA other than those who’s contracts are held over from the old CBA. If you had an 8M player get hurt, you could replace him with an 8M or less player: It is clear in point (d,ii): (ii) “The total replacement salary and bonuses for a Player or Players that have replaced an unfit-to-play player may not in the aggregate exceed the amount of the Player Salary and Bonuses of the unfit-to-play Player who the Club is replacing.” Remember that point (d,ii) must be read in reference to point (a): ” a Club shall be permitted to exceed the Upper Limit by virtue of the Bona-Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exception set forth in subsection (d) below.”

    The following is directly from the NHL website:

    CLUB PAYROLLS

    What will be the range of Club payrolls?

    The payroll range in Year One (2005-06) of the CBA will be $21.5 million (U.S.) at the lower limit and $39 million (U.S.) at the upper limit. A Club’s payroll will include all salaries, signing bonuses and performance bonuses paid to players. Except in the case of bona fide long-term injury (injuries that sideline a player for a minimum of 24 days and 10 games) to one or more of a club’s players, Club payrolls will never be permitted to be below the minimum or in excess of the maximum. Clubs at or near the upper limit that have players who incur a bona fide long-term injury will be entitled to replace up to the full value of the injured player’s NHL salary (even if such salary would result in the club’s team salary exceeding the upper limit). The “replacement salary” will not count against the club’s upper limit but will count against the League-wide players’ share. Upon return of the injured player, the team must come into immediate compliance with the requirements of the payroll range. (Source: http://www.nhl.com/nhlhq/cba/)

    You will see from a closer and more attentive reading of the parts of the CBA you referenced above that this appropriate summary in lay terms is in fact accurate, and not yours.

    So, in effect, the injury does not “free up cap space,” rather, it does count against cap space (and player shares of revenues). And yes, the replacement players’ salary will therefore push the team over the upper-cap-limit. BUT, the team is allowed to still replace the injured player and exceed the upper-cap-limit SO LONG AS the replacement player’s value (measured in salary) does not exceed that of the player who he is replacing.

    For example, if Forsberg goes down long-term, the Flyers can replace him with a player of equal value which puts them over the cap, but in-line with the rules. As soon as Forsberg is able to play, the team must IMMEDIATLEY bring their salary back within the upper-limit. The Flyers CANNOT treat Forsberg’s injury as ‘freeing up’ cap space, thereby theoritcally replacing him and that cap room with two other quality palyers at thalf the price. Such a scenario cearly offers teams the cahnce to ‘upgrade’ other parts of their roster and exceed the cap limit as a result of one player being on IR. If, a 1 Mill. player is hurt, but a team has 4 Mill. in cap space, they could add any player so long as he is not over 4 mill.. The same injured player on a team with only .5 mill in space, would only be able to replaced the injured player with one player worth no more than 1 mill (the amount equal to the replaced player)

    In Conclusion: One player injured long term is able to be replaced by one player, who’s salary counts against the upper-limit, and who’s salaray may exceed that of the replaced palyer if and only if the addition of the replacement player’s salary does not put the team over the upper-cap-limit. Otherwise, in the event that the new total-team-salary exceeds the upper-cap-limit, the replacement player’s salary must be limited to that of the replaced player’s salary.

    I hope this cleared up any confusion out there. In the event of a long term IR placement, the math is really not hard, nor dependent on ‘man-games.’

    Cheers All

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