Lindros Contract to Count Against Cap
If the Toronto Maple Leafs want to seal fate and bring in Eric Lindros, it is going to cost them money and cap room.
According to the Toronto Star, Lindros will not qualify for the special injury bonus that pertains to players 35 or over or with 400 games experience and who were injured for over 100 days in the last season of play. Lindros does not qualify because he did not have enough time off. According to the article he was 18 days short. He would have qualified had the Rangers made the playoffs.
Now, Lindros and the Leafs will have to come up with a deal that will eventually eat up cap space. The talk was a deal for 1.6 Million with the special “Allison” bonuses but since now he does not qualify, negotiations will have to change. This is why there is rumoured to be other teams now interested in the services of Lindros and who have significantly more cap room than the 7.25 million they currently have (post Khavanov numbers).
Lindros has made it no secret his desire to play at “home” in front of family and friends. Toronto would offer him the big stage that would allow him to showcase a big comeback. It will be interesting to see how things work out. If he doesnt sign now with Toronto, he will never play for the Leafs. But he probably still wants to be paid a pretty penny. That is where it becomes a problem. The Leafs cannot afford to pay him alot based on risk. nor can they afford to lock him up long term and put a noose around the salary cap. With 8 concussions it surely seems he is one hit away from retirement.
Everything will depend on what is most important to Eric. His desire to fulfill his dream to be a Leaf or more money.
With the signing of Alex Khavanov, the Leafs shape up like this:
Payroll: 31.9 Million for 19 Players.
Ed Belfour ($4.6 million),
Mikael Tellqvist ($450,000).
Bryan McCabe ($3.5 million)
Tomas Kaberle ($2.28 million)
Ken Klee ($1.9 million)
Aki Berg* ($1.1 million)
Karel Pilar* ($450,000)
Alex Khavanov ($1.25 Million)
Mats Sundin (earning $6.8 million; $6.3 million against cap)
Darcy Tucker ($1.6 million)
Jeff O’Neill ($1.5 million)
Nik Antropov* ($1 million)
Tie Domi ($1.25 million)
Jason Allison, ($1.5 million)
Matt Stajan ($805,000)
Wade Belak* ($798,000)
Chad Kilger ($475,000)
Alex Ponikarovsky ($450,000)
Nathan Perrott* ($450,000)
The possibility of youngsters Carlo Coliacovo (800K) and/or Kyle Wellwood (700K) and/or Alex Steen (720K) making the club along with any of their other prospects will bump the payroll up and eliminate the remaining 4 roster spots that are open. Getting Lindros would fill a huge need of another top 6 forward but they better not hinder themselves in terms of cap space for future seasons. The same goes for Anson Carter who would fill a need but should only be had for a certain price and for 1 year for that matter. the leafs cannot take up cap room and hurt their chances when the free agent age falls to 29, 28 and eventually 27 over the next few years.
This is going to be very interesting to see how it plays out. As a Leaf fan, I am rooting for them to get Eric as I think it would be great for the team, the fans, and the League.