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.