Trades forced by the Salary Cap

With the end of the summer approaching so is training camp and more importantly the beginning of the season. The beginning of the season also marks the end of the window teams can be over the cap. Teams that are over the cap at the start of the season will be penalised. As of what the penalties are I have no clue since nobody has been penalised up to date. Five teams are over the cap and three are under.


Anaheim (over by 1.3 million)
Depending on what Teemu Selanne wants to do could greatly affect who gets traded. Being dangled accross the league is Mathieu Shneider (5.625). Now Shneider is getting old at 39 but only has one year left in his contract and is a very good PP specialist with a big cannon. He is now expendable if Scott Neidermayer is playing but in retrospect the Ducks only need to shed 1.3. If Selanne wishes to return then Shneider needs to be moved but if he choses to retire then the Ducks might be smart and keep Shneider and move one of O’Donnell, Pahlson or Rob Neidermeyer (my cap casualty would be O’Donnell).

My pick for a trading partner is Atlanta if they move Shneider. Its in the other conference and the Thrashers have plenty of cap space and very little quality defencemen. Not to mention Atlanta is UNDER the cap floor. When Enstrom and Hainsey are your best defencemen there is a problem. Shneider could be a good fit to teach youngsters like Enstrom and possibly Bogosian for one year. Waddell’s days as a GM are numbered in Atlanta and needs to start building a winner if he expects to have Kovalchuk re-sign with the team instead of taking the high road like Mr Hossa.

Calgary (over by 1.5)

This situation is a little simpler. The Flames have too many defencemen, especially with the arrival of Giordano who is probably a younger/cheaper replacement for some of their 5th/6th defencemen. Anders Eriksson, Rhett Warrener or if possibly Adrian Aucoin would be a good idea to trade. Aucoin is a 4 million cap hit so moving him might be a little hard. I say get rid of Eriksson and make it an all Canadian defence corp!

Chicago (over by 2.5)

Now I like the roster the way it is EXCEPT for their goaltending situation which is definatly the direct reason they are over the cap. Between Khabibulin (6.75) and Huet (5.625) they cost a collective amount of 12.375 which is far too much cap space, just over 20% of the teams cap.

Now Huet is signed for 4 years and is cheaper, possibly better. Khabibulin is more expensive but only has one year left. I think the choice is obvious. There have been rumors circulating in Canada about the need for a goaltender in Ottawa. They only have Gerber and Auld which is pretty weak for a “elite” team like Ottawa. So Gerber would most likely be coming back the other way along with a high pick or high quality prospect.

**”elite” in brackets because they have the talent in the season but flop around in the playoffs like a bunch of nancies. Hopefully they can put an end to the joke that is the Senators this season.

Philadelphia (over by 4.5)

The Flyers are over by alot of money BUT apparently Rathje (3.5) is out with a long term injury so his salary might not count against the cap. That leaves one million to shed. Now Hatcher is back from his injury so his salary will count fully against the cap unliek last year when he only cost the team half of the 3.5. Now subtract Glen Metropolit and Ossi Vaananen (both 1 million) and add Ryan Parent who should be ready for full time duty and they are under the cap.

As far as trying to aquire Sundin and remain under the cap thats an entire different situation that I wont get into…ill leave that to you all lol.

San Jose (over by 0.23)

The Sharks dont have much of a problem, they can probably not loose anyone and just save a couple bucks here and there by having players sent to the farm back and forth or something like that. Leave that to the accountants.

Washington (over by 2.25)

Building a team around superstar Alexander Ovechkin came at the expense of maximising the allowed cap and then some. The Capitals IMO should shed a couple veterans like possibly 1 or two of Pothier, Clark, Laich, Bradley come to mind and insert one or two of Alzner, Godfrey or Lepisto and then they fit under the cap and get younger.


Atlanta (under by 3)
Phoenix (under by 1.6)
Los Angeles (under by a whopping 12.9 million)

Atlantas solution is Shneider IMO and Phoenix’s solution would be to pickup any veteran that needs to be ousted from a team over the cap.

Los Angeles is in a bad situation and I dont believe they can get out of it unless they acquire Khabibulin and a couple more salaries. Now with that said smart people run hockey teams and lots of planning goes into these sort of things. I cant believe for one minute that the managers in LA didnt see this coming. It seems to me they plan on being under the cap for the season and take whatever penalty there is. My guess is forgoe the sharring of the profits from the rich teams.

On a side note I would love to see Toronto pickup some of these cap hits along with extra draft picks that are packaged with them and then just not play the guy and send em to the farm haha.

I have never seen a team get penalised yet regarding the salary cap but my bet is on Los Angeles being the first. Anyways if u read this far thanks for reading and Id love to hear your opinions!

43 Responses to Trades forced by the Salary Cap

  1. pezzz says:

    Calgary's situation is simple. Eriksson, Warrener and Nilson already cleared waivers. the Flames only have to send them down to the minors. that clears 5 millions.

    I think Chicago will try to move Robert Lang before Khabibulin and try to sing a free agent like Nagy or Parrish at 2 millions to add scoring depth.

    For Philly, Hatcher has still not returned from his injury. He'll start the year on the LTIR again. Him and Rathje make 7 millions. so they'll be under the cap to start the year.

    Washington will move one of Pothier, Poti and Nylander. Not Clark.

    Los Angeles will not trade for Khabibulin. they're 12 millions under the cap, but they still need to resign O'Sullivan and Stoll. My guess is (it's really a guess) they'll give 1 year, 8 millions to O'Sullivan with the guarantee he'll sign an extension with them next year around 5.5 millions or so. And LA only have 5 d-man signed to NHL contracts, so they need 2 more. that's another 1.5 millions at least. so let say 8 millions to O'Sullivan, 2.5 to Stoll and 1.5 for the 2 d-men, that makes 12 millions.

  2. KingCanada says:

    Hatcher HAS returned from injury, he played the end of the season AND in the playoffs, do ur hmwk plz.

    Poti is a possibility but i dont think there is a very big market for a sub par overpaid offensive defenceman who scored 2 goals last season but stranger things have happenned.  Nylander is getting old and only played half the season, not to mention he makes nearly 5 million…thats a tough sell.  Just because Clark is the captain doesnt mean he is untouchable.  Did u already forget that a couple seasons back the Caps traded Konawalchuk there longtime captain??  Clark is younger and cheaper but with that said he was also injured last season.

    I doubt they will give O'sullivan 8 million thats absurd.  I dont get why people are so high up on this kid.  He was drafted in 2003 and only has 27 goals in 126 games!  Seriously…u dont hand out cash like that only on potential.  Regardless of the unsigned players in LA they will still be short and will have to make a move or two.

    I dont understand ur resoning for trading Lang over Bhulin.  There is a bit of a market for goaltenders so Chicago couuld actually get something back for him.  Teams like LA and Ottawa especially are in dire need of a tender.  Who out there needs an aging 4 million dollar 37 year old Lang??

  3. leafy says:

    Look at all the teams that are over the cap.  Where are the fans of Philly, Washington, San Jose, Anaheim, Calgary, Chicago, etc….

    I want to know, what do YOU think of the salary cap?  Like it or hate it?

  4. leafy says:

    Goddamn salary cap….

  5. mojo19 says:

    Hahaha, personally I wish there were no salary cap. Or I wish it were set at $75 million. No team should have to spend over that.

  6. Kramer says:

    Salary cap my ass!  These trades are forced by a big conspiracy!  There's a lot of money riding on moving bodies around.  The bets are placed ahead of time in Vegas.  So bodies need to be moved to make those bets come into fruition.  The people moving those bodies around are the same people who have controlling interest in many of these NHL teams.  People wake up and see the big conspiracy!

  7. sundin_500 says:

    The penalty is all games that you are over/under the cap are forfeted(sp)?

  8. sundin_500 says:

    If your over the salary cap, foreit all your games, go 0-82, can you still get the first over all pick? because if you can that sounds like a pretty good plan lol. And i wouldnt bash atlanta for there best defender being Enstrom, he is amazing! Young, true, talented yes. Hopefullly he is amazing, because i got his rookie card off ebay for a dollar fifty 🙂

  9. sundin_500 says:

    haha, this conspiracy thing is getting a little old:P

  10. TheStryker says:

    To MTL for


  11. Kramer says:

    The conspiracy itself is old.

  12. Habroller says:

    Not interested.

    Carter is overrated, Higgins is underrated. We're not trading Halak to our rivals.

    But that's just my opinion.

  13. oilcountry88 says:

    are you Bob Gainey? lol

  14. KingCanada says:

    Thanks for clearing that up man.  That does sound like a plan haha BUT im sure it cant be that easy.  Id have to assume ud also be picking last or else teams would try this strategy.  Thats just my assumption.

  15. sundin_500 says:

    yeah thats also what i assumed:P

  16. nordiques100 says:

    schneider is a no brainer. marchant is another reasonable possibility in anaheim. the habs would be smart to grab schneider. adding him to what they have could give them an old but strong top 4, arguably the best out east. markov, komi, hamrlik and schnieder. it would allow them to ease obyrne and not have to play bouillon so often.

    someone said this earlier, the flames already waived warrener, nilson and eriksson. they need to put them on re-entry waivers. if not claimed they can send them down. warrener would have some value around the league and it wouldnt be shocking to see him playing elsewhere by october.

    really only 3 teams have not established their goaltending situation: colorado, LA and tampa. i cant see any of them being able to land khabibulin or even bothering to show interest. unless a goalie goes down long term, the hawks appear stuck. one team to keep an eye on is the oilers. garon needs to prove he is a number 1 by doing what he did last year, this year as well. if he falters, look for edm to be interested in a goalie. they could send roloson back the other way to chicago. he makes about half of what khabibulin makes. the oil want a playoff appearance. they are good goaltending away from making it happen after their solid off season.

    as for the flyers, knuble is someone who might be moved. also, if gagne is still feeling the effects of the concussion or goes down again, the flyers will manage to save that way.

    speaking of concussions, pothier is suffering from post concussion syndrome. he could be out for good. that could be what will get the caps under the cap. the more likely thing is for them to trade nylander. with fedorov and backstrom, there is no need for nylander up the middle. he'll help a team with his skill for sure.

  17. HABSSTAR says:

    Salary cap rocks!  It makes my life complete to know that MLSE can't overspend to cover up management mistakes!  LOL!

  18. pezzz says:

    Hatcher got injured again during the early summer, and still is injured, so he'll start the year on the LITR. do your homeworks please.

    and you say there is a market for goaltenders, when there is NONE. If Khabibulin ever gets traded, it'll be in February at the trade deadline. Tallon already told the medias almost 10 times he won't trade Khabibulin. I guess that's clear. Lang, on the other hand, is believed on his way to Montreal. He's overpaid at 4 millions, but he will provide the Habs size as well as 50 points possibly. So he's clearly the odd man out. and LA doesn't want a goaltender, they are in a youth mouvement, and have Labarbera, Bernier and Ersberg to split the job. Ottawa is a possible destination for Khabibulin, but Gerber would have to go the other way.

  19. pezzz says:

    I guess there is no re-entry waivers during the summer, am I right about this? And they only have to put them on re-entry if they want to call them up no?

  20. leafy says:

    Careful what you wish for Habsrock.  In the long run, the salary cap comes back to bite EVERY team in the ass.  There's no escaping it.  Just like death.

    No team is safe, not even Detroit.  Just wait until July 2009.

  21. leafy says:

    Yeah, and now with the cap, we're forced to endure a painful 5-year rebuilding period.  I'll watch hockey, but I don't have to like it.

  22. KingCanada says:

    Sorry to sound like a jackass regarding Hatcher.  But anyways just cause the GM says Khabi wont be traded doesnt mean anything.  GMs rarely admit when they are actually shopping one of their players unless its blatantly obvious.  I just dont see the Hawks keeping that much salary for goaltending.  Khabi is much more marketable then Lang.

  23. nordiques100 says:

    not sure if there is a certain time frame where re-entry is in effect. i know for sure this will be happening around the end of camp, before the season begins.

    i believe they do the reentry so that they can send them down for sure and call them up again and if they do get claimed, a team that loses a player has 1/2 that players salary count against their cap.

    so if some team claimed warrener, theyd have to take on his 2 mil stipend. if he went on reentry and was claimed, that team would take 1 while the flames have to swallow 1 mil.

  24. kamullia says:

    I am sure these are estimates, probably highly accurate, but without being a member of the NHL central offices or the NHLPA and having the contracts in hand of each and every player it is not 100% accurate that these are the situations with each and every club you mention. Therefore, I have to ask, where did you obtain (source) these numbers you came up with? Do they include bonuses?

    I ask this, because bonuses do count against the cap, but there is a provision where you may exceed the cap by a certain amount, if the entire amount in excess comes in the form of bonuses. This in fact has already happened in the league, with the Detroit Red Wings being a club who took advantage of such provision. There’s a caveat to this, but it is not of interest since it only applies to future years, and since we are talking specifically about the upcoming season, I will save the typing. Bottom line is, you may exceed the salary cap in bonuses (up to a point).

    Also to keep in mind, is the fact that the last day of training camp is the deadline for being under the cap (or over it via the bonuses provision), and that day, a simple demotion to the minors takes care of taking someone off the cap hit, except for a provision for people who signed their multi-year contract when they were 35+ and are on the second or further year of such contract. Hence, most of these issues (strictly talking cap, not strategy) can be easily dealt with a demotion.

    As far as punishments, I do not know each and all of them, but some that are listed in the CBA against a club can be the following (and yes they can be combined as determined by the Commisioner):

    1. Up to $5M fine, and reduction of the next year’s salary cap by the same amount for the club. For example, the fine is $3M against the “Kansas City Dusties” during the present season, plus next year their cap upper limit (say $60M) is further adjusted by $3M less ($57M).
    2. Forfeiture of draft picks as determined by the Commisioner (including amount, placement, and years). Hence, as I read someone suggest a club can just forfeit all their games to try ensure best chances of coming up w/ the #1 pick in the lottery, well this rule takes care of it. You can end up 0-82 and still lose the #1 pick (and more and even for several years).
    3. Forfeiture of any game while the upper limit was exceeded.
    4. Annulment of player contracts. This is a biggie, imagine Ovechkin, Crosby, or Brodeur becoming Unrestricted Free Agents overnight. This one has some caveats to it, but still, the risk is very real.

    Individuals can also be punished and fined, such as Players, Club employees, and even Agents. Suspensions are all possible for any of them.

    Hope this helps clear up some of the fog out there.

  25. Kramer says:

    The Leafs are gonna make a move in the next few days.  Just remember you heard it from Kramer.

  26. cam7777 says:

    thanks for that, that was highly informitive.  are the punishments the same for a team severely under the cap, ie. the Los Angeles Kings?  BTW, that would be crazy if the Penguins managed to ***** everything up and have their entire roster of stud young guns be turned over to free agency.  Or Ovechkin…wow!  that's an insane punishment.

  27. mojo19 says:

    Henrik Zetterberg hitting the open market??? It could happen! Imagine the bids for that guy… I'd offer him 10$ per season long term

  28. HABSSTAR says:

    You wouldn't get him for ten bucks a season that's for sure!  LOL!

  29. HABSSTAR says:

    Honestly, the cap doesn't make it any harder to produce a winning team.  It might pinch a team here and there that has an embarassment of riches but all they need to do is realize it and trade a guy for some youngsters/draft picks/prospects to get under the cap and continue to re-stock the system. 

    What the salary cap has done is placed a premium on good drafting and development and good management.  Now I'm not just taking a jab at them here, but none of those are strong points for the leafs.  They always used gobs of money to cover up the fact. It's funny that there is no salary cap on management's pay.  So MLSE could offer stupid crazy contracts to easily secure a high end management team…which would address their biggest weakness….so actually the cap is taylor made for Toronto.  Forcing them to spend their gobs of cash where they need it!  

    I wouldn't worry about Detroit.  Knowing them if it gets tight you'll see some big name get traded…for a wealth of draft picks and prospects and they'll just end up drafting someone to replace him.  Just to rub all our noses in it they will probably do it with the 289th pick over all too!

  30. KingCanada says:

    Very good that answers alot of questions!  Bro are u a lawyer or something??  How do you know all this?

  31. kamullia says:

    The punishments are non-specific as to what rule/criteria has been violated, therefore if a team is under the cap, they could endure the same exact punishments. The CBA just lists the punishments possible without limiting them to a specific circumstance in most cases, therefore even if a club/player/agent figures out a way to weasel out and get around the rules, the Commissioner can simply determine that even if not under the specific rules, they were trying to circumvent the system and therefore their actions is punishable. In fact, the CBA puts all of these as a generic catch all called “Circumvention”. So the answer is yes, the same can be used against a team for going under the minimum of the cap, but it is all at the discretion of the NHL and the Commissioner, therefore I doubt that a team would get punished as severely for going under as a team that goes over.

  32. nordiques100 says:

    not ballboying at the US Open this year?

  33. kamullia says:

    OK, I am familiar with that site. Those numbers, do include bonuses, therefore to be more accurate you would need to figure out what are the bonuses for the players and if they are going over the cap by virtue of the bonuses rules.

    You might have to revise the entire premise because even over the cap, they might be OK by having gone over and therefore affect all the hypotheses.

  34. kamullia says:

    I happen to be versed in legalese, yes.

    As far as my knowledge, it is collective. I happen to have some connections to the Penguins, and the media around them, so when there is something I am not completely clear about from the CBA (which I have read, but not entirely) I ask them and typically they are kind enough to answer me their interpretations and pass on their own knowledge.

  35. KingCanada says:

    Regarding Kamulia's comment with the bonuses I figured I would take a look at which teams have players with bonus clauses.

    Bobby Ryan is making 850k per year PLUS 1.1 million in bonus.  Ryan still hasnt been counted against the cap since he has not officially made the team which means the Ducks will be further over the cap then previously stated by myself.  This makes the departure of Shneider all that more imminent.

    Kane, Toews, Barker, Skille and Blunden all have SUBSTANTIAL bonuses.  While the first 2 are all but garanty of hitting there goals the last 3 arent garanty, with the last 2 not even garanteed a roster spot.  Chicago's situation could get tricky and I dont dare touch it but it might get them out of trouble if some of the kids under perform.

    Backstrom has some bonus but he is more likely then not going to be able to hit it so i dont think that will change their situation.

    All other teams have very minimal bonuses and it shouldnt alter their current situation.

  36. mojo19 says:

    hahaha, no he'll be the ball-man

  37. Kramer says:

    Those kids gave me a hard time.

  38. jonnygf40 says:

    The cap is awesome.  It keeps all teams relatively close to each other.  Look how close the playoff races were last year.  If each team only has a 15 million dollar gap to spend, it puts that much more pressure on drafting and spending money wisely.  

    All of the stupid spending this offseason is going to backfire.  I mean look at the spending that went on: Huet $5.65 million for 4 years (more money than Brodeur), Huselius $4.75 million for 4 years (scored 25 goals last year) and Umberger $3.75 million for 4 years (scored 13 goals last year), Rolston $5+ million for 4 years (for a guy that will be 40 years old at the end of this contract), Redden $6.5 million for 6 years (good defensemen, but will be 38 years old and making $6.5 million), Boyle $6.667 for 6 years (see Redden), Malone $4.5 million for a whopping 7 years (this guy had a good playoff, but 7 years?), all of these contracts in my mind are absolutely ridiculous.  None of these teams are thinking about the future, as all of these players are going to be in their late 30's if not in their 40's when they are still under contract.
    Some good signing: Corey Perry $5.325 million for 5 years, Mike Ribero $5 million for 5 years, Filppula $3 million for 5 years, PM Bouchard $4 million for 5 years, Green $5.25 million for 4 years, and Demitra $4 million for 2 years.  It makes much more sense giving younger players longer contracts, as they are just coming into their own and in the prime of their career.  Giving these long 4, 5, or 6 year contracts to older players simply makes so sense.
  39. kamullia says:

    You keep talking about reaching or not a bonus, but that only applies as to a paycheck, not the cap. The entire possible attainable bonus of a contract counts against the cap, whether attained or not.

    If the bonus is written into the contract, it counts against the cap, even if the player never attains any part of it.

    As to your take on Anaheim, you could be right on, but let’s not forget that simple demotions take care of cap issues, if we are talking strictly cap. There are waivers to clear and strategies to keep, but the bottom line is that there are some creative ways of staying under the cap. Lou Lamoriello showed this in the first two seasons after the new CBA by being very creative on how he traded, what he traded for, and who he demoted and kept on the team.

    It is to the point where some teams have created new positions for staff in order for them to deal with just the cap issues and give detailed possible options to the managers so that they can formulate strategies. Different teams have called them by different names and titles, but in most are unofficially referred to as “capologists”. In the end, I think most teams will have them, whether doubling as something else or strictly working on this, or even just as consultants (perhaps temporary), but the cap situations will merit just as much for most, if not all.

  40. HABSSTAR says:

    Bonuses count against the cap this year unless the CBA is extended by the NHLPA.  It should be resolved before the seasons starts but if they refuse to extend it then all the bonuses count!  OUCH!

  41. kamullia says:

    I don’t quite follow what you are trying to say.

    Bonuses have counted against the cap since the latest CBA because it is written as such in the CBA. Therefore, if you extend the CBA, the bonuses will continue to count.

    However, if the CBA is not extended, then a new set of rules will have to apply and it is not a sure thing that bonuses would be included as part of a cap in a new agreement, let alone that the cap will be part of it. Hence, not extending the CBA might mean the end of bonuses counting, but that is just a possibility.

    Therefore, in a nutshell: Bonuses have been counting against the cap in the CBA since it’s introduction, not just this year. If you extend the CBA, the bonuses will continue to count. If you do not extend the CBA, they might or might not continue to count.

    I honestly did not understand what message you were trying to convey but it almost seemed to me you were saying the opposite of how things stand. I just wanted to make sure you do understand how things actually are at the present time.

  42. HABSSTAR says:

    Sorry that wasn't very clear was it? 

    Ok, before you could defer some of the bonuses to next year's cap hit so teams could actually run over the cap with bonuses. 

    But if they don't extend the agreement to next year then they can't defer any of the bonuses, which could leave some teams in a lurch at the end of the season.  I'm not sure how the situation would be handled if a team runs over the cap under these conditions.   

    TSN had a write up on it a couple of months back. 

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