What the Devil? A fans rant

The current 24 man roster of the New Jersey Devils has a collective salary of $43,579,929, more than $4.5 million over the $39 million salary-cap. Now, I fully understand that we are merely in the beginning stages of capology, and that there is much learning to be done by us fans about how it works. So how exactly is it that the Devils continue to bounce along playing in NHL games, seemingly unpunished? What is going on?First off, lets take a look at the numbers. New Jersey’s current payroll according to www.nhlpa.com:

Last Name

First Name



Compensation 05/06

Brodeur Martin Goal New Jersey Devils $5,237,238.00

Brown Sean Defence New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

Brylin Sergei Centre New Jersey Devils $1,520,000.00

Clemmensen Scott Goal New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

Elias Patrik Right Wing New Jersey Devils $4,180,000.00

Gionta Brian Right Wing New Jersey Devils $627,000.00

Gomez Scott Centre New Jersey Devils $2,204,000.00

Kozlov Viktor Centre New Jersey Devils $1,748,000.00

Langdon Darren Left Wing New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

Langenbrunner Jamie Right Wing New Jersey Devils $1,655,130.00

Madden John Centre New Jersey Devils $3,861,561.00

Malakhov Vladimir Defence New Jersey Devils $3,600,000.00

Marshall Grant Right Wing New Jersey Devils $760,000.00

Martin Paul Defence New Jersey Devils $502,000.00

Matvichuk Richard Defence New Jersey Devils $1,368,000.00

McGillis Daniel Defence New Jersey Devils $2,200,000.00

Mogilny Alexander Right Wing New Jersey Devils $3,500,000.00

Oliwa Krzysztof Left Wing New Jersey Devils $836,000.00

Pandolfo Jay Left Wing New Jersey Devils $836,000.00

Parise Zach Centre New Jersey Devils $703,000.00

Rafalski Brian Defence New Jersey Devils $4,200,000.00

Rasmussen Erik Centre New Jersey Devils $532,000.00

Rheaume Pascal Centre New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

White John Colin Defence New Jersey Devils $1,710,000.00

As already mentioned, that’s a total of $43,579,929. Even without Hep A victim Patrick Elias’ salary, current payroll would be $39,399,929 which is still a hair over the cap limit of $39 million. Something stinks. Here comes the fans rant…

Every other NHL club made sacrifices as to which players to buy out, which players to let go, which players to resign, and which ones to make a pitch for or be forced to ignore, all in the name of fiscal responsibility. For some reason, this doesn’t apply to the Devils. I have heard rumours that as long as the average from October 5, 2005 through April 18, 2006 is under the $39 million limit, then everything is ok. To me, that sounds like a load of bull. Why would the NHL give the Devils an October 1st deadline to get themselves under the cap if that’s the case? And with regards to that deadline, we have yet to see it enforced. What kind of credibility does the league have by allowing this gross violation of a “hard” cap to happen? I as a fan am quite irked by this. We lost a year of hockey over this “principle” of cost-certainty vs. free-market, only to see that it was all a farce. Another question we should be asking is directed not only at the league, but at the hockey media as well. Why are they not covering this? I for one have spent hours scouring the internet, tuning into sports radio and watching as much t.v. sports coverage as possible to see what the ramifications are for breaking the cap. I have found nothing. Since I have neither the access, nor the time, nor the desire to pour through the actual collective bargaining agreement to find out what punishment is required for New Jersey’s actions, I expect the sports media to have the answer, because really, what else do they have to do. Is it similar to the NFL, where fines are levied and possibly draft picks surrendered? I’m sorry to spoil the mood and euphoria of having hockey back, but we did lose a full year over differing ideology, and if this hard cap can’t be enforced, it was all for naught.

I’d really like to hear if anyone out there has managed to find out something I couldn’t, and if there are no answers out there to my question, I’d like to hear everyone’s reaction to this.

26 Responses to What the Devil? A fans rant

  1. TMLsundin says:

    Man.. READ the new damn CBA. You can be over the cap by 10% at any time.. but that also means for some period you must be atleast 10% under it. In the end you must not have spent out 39 million.

    When Elias returns they will have to make their moves because that hurts them a lot.. but being at 39.3 million is not illegal.. as long as for the same amount of time this season they only spend 38.7

  2. cementhead says:

    I never really put a lot of thought into this… I’m not sure I like it.

    Please correct me if I am wrong – but does this mean that if a team has no more than $35.1M on payroll for first half of season ($39M-10%), then for the second half they could increase to $42.9M ($39M+10%)?


    If a team spends no more than $35.1M they could, as playoffs approach, ramp up to $42.9M with “to-be” free agents and hit the playoffs with a team above payroll and face no penalty. Is this statement accurate? Anyone?

    (still trying to figure out this sal cap thing)

    Also – how do playoffs count for sal cap? Just as reg season? Anyone know?

  3. habsoverserver says:

    Give them a week or two to fix it. I’m sure they will trade someone or send someone to the minors.

  4. d0rd says:

    ” I have neither the access, nor the time, nor the desire to pour through the actual collective bargaining agreement…”

    I’ve heard rumours to the effect of what you are saying, but haven’t found anything concrete to back it up.

    While I really don’t have any desire to read the actual CBA, if you could provide me a link, i’d be thrilled to do a quick search to back up these rumours.

    But I still don’t think that’s the case because ever CBA primer i’ve read (or short FAQ’s) state IMMEDIATE compliance to the cap. No going under whatsoever, and going over only in the case of long term injury, ie 24 days or 10 games, or if the whole season is lost for a player, that they can replace at full price even if they go over….but nothing about averaging out to 39 million.

  5. d0rd says:

    I don’t think anyone put much thought into it. Something triggered upstairs when I was watching the Devils-Pens game…did a couple days of internet searching…nothing.

    I too don’t like it. Just wrong.

  6. d0rd says:

    NHL gave the Devils an October 1st deadline to fix it. Why should the Devils be given preference over, say, the Canadiens? The rules should apply to everyone the same. Just my take.

  7. JeffBurnz09 says:

    I think the only simple way to explain it is that you can’t pay out more than 39 million in player salary over the season. Players are paid every month, so with trades and such monthly salary can differ month to month.

    As for playoffs…players arn’t paid for playoffs, so if a team took on a big name for the playoffs I assume they’d only have to pay his final pay cheque for March/April and his salary won’t count in the playoffs…if they’re over the cap, they’d have to move him before the start of the next season…

  8. tannerpeake says:

    i have also heard the 10% allowance. everyone had the October 1st deadline i believe, since that is when they had to finalize their rosters. technically, they are under the 10% margin, but they are only hurting themselves, since they will not be able to make as many beneficial moves near the trade deadline if they use their buffer now. basically as i understand it, the 39 mil cap is for the year. teams who spend less early in the season to be able to move prospects for higher priced talent near the trade deadline.

    not saying thats right to be able to do or not, but some people were complaining about the trade deadline being “boring” this year. well, it may not be after all. i look at it as some GMs working the system to their advantage.

    also, i believe playoffs do not count towards the cap. if i remember right, players dont get paid for playoffs, except for possible bonuses and such in their contracts. their salaries are paid out in full during the regular season.

  9. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Just to make sure I follow….a team can spend 39 million total during the season…so a team can have contracts adding up to over 39 million, just so long as at the end of the year, the team has not spend more than 39 million on players…with monthly contracts a team can take on more salary at the end of the year if they spend under the cap at the start, or start off over and dump salary to get down….just as long as at the end of the year the montly salary paid out to players who played for your team is no higher than 39 million…

    that’s how it works?

    because that seems kind of complicated. Is that how every league uses the cap? I thought it was going to be a set number at 39 million and at no time during the year could play contracts add up to over that number.

    what happens if a team finishes the year, goes to the playoffs, and then they add up the numbers and figure out they were over the cap?

  10. tannerpeake says:

    your first paragraph explains it pretty well, at least as far as i understand it. not too sure how other leagues use the cap, hockey is really the only sport i follow closely. if they are, its actually kind of clever, now that i think about it. because most teams will spend up to or near to the cap. so if they want say a new top 4 d man, they have to unload a top 2 winger, for example. basically they have to shed the salary they are taking on. but under this system, if they save up for later in the season and realize they need a better d man, just sign a free agent or trade a spare or draft pick or whatever for him. youve got space ready to improve your team where you need it.

    as far as punishment or restrictions, i havent been able to find anything about exceeding the cap. im still looking and will post up if and when i know.

  11. TMLsundin says:

    Yes, that is correct.. you can do that. It has come straight from Bill Daly and Bob Goodenow’s mouth on Leafs Lunch and other radio programs.

    So there is room for some significant acquisistions on deadline day.. but it will still be a lot smaller than it used to be.

  12. TMLsundin says:

    Well if a team is actually stupid enough to have an accountant that *****s up his math, then they will be heavily fined and will lost draft picks in accordance to the CBA, I’m not positive on the exact penalty however.

    NJ is in complinace with the CBA, but they will have to cut their salary to 38.6 and keep it there for the same amount of time sometimes this season. Elias is a whole other story.. that is a significant salary that either has to be traded, or NJ has to trade someone, or a package of guys to get rid of that 4.18M that is going to be healthy at christmas.

    They will have one problem.. trying to get a team to give them something for Elias, or Madden, or Rafalski when they have to deal one of them (and it likely will be one of those 3)

  13. NjDEVSFN says:

    Dude your math is off, its only $39.4 WITHOUT Elias’ salary.

    Add Elias and its $43.579.

    You wasted a whole argument when Elias’ salary doesnt count until he comes back.

    The Devils will not be allowed to include Elias unless their total payroll plus Elias = $42.9mil

  14. Flanker_Leader says:

    as far as i can tell, it’s the total amount of money the team has spent over the regular season so the devils are safe since they havn’t reached 39mil total yet.

    now, should they at the end of the season have surpassed the 39mil mark, what is supposed to happen is they get a big fine AND their next year’s cap is lowered accordingly compared to every other team. i’m willing to bet there is no set rule if such a case happens – it will likely be dealt with a punishment considered ‘appropriate’ by bettman and his cronies, like suspensions are. repeat offenders will be delt with very harshly. it’s probrably a good idea to do it this way to make it impossible for any loopholes that would show up sooner or later in ‘set rules’.

  15. SabresFan220 says:

    Well at least the Devils were forced into trading away Friesen to the Caps as a salary cap move. I just wonder who gets moved after Elias does return and his salary gets counted into their cap number. Keep in mind they’ll be required to be under the cap at some point during this season because they are slightly over it even without Elias’s salary.

  16. jimi_ray says:

    Guy, you should fully understand what you are talking about before going on a fan rant. First of all Elias doesnt count because he has a non hockey related injury. I hope you new that already. Second certain players have 2 way contracts..when those players are sent to the minors their contracts are reduced…that is how the Devils are under the cap. As long as they dont dress 39million they are fine. Yes they will have to dump the 4 plus million when Elias returns. But until then quit the fan rant and just enjoy the game of hockey…No rules are being bent or broken here.

  17. Hackstall says:

    I have been trying to READ the damn CBA for some time. However I have not been able to find a copy. Would someone kindly point me to an actual copy and not one of those paraphrase FAQ things pu out to the press?

  18. Kamakaze says:

    Brown Sean Defense New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

    Clemmensen Scott Goal New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

    Langdon Darren Left Wing New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

    Oliwa Krzysztof Left Wing New Jersey Devils $836,000.00

    Rheaume Pascal Centre New Jersey Devils $450,000.00

    All of them “probably” have two way contracts, and in fact, I believe Brown and Langdon are actually in the minor system. Clemmensen will probably be sent down, as will Rheaume at some point. That’s close to $2-3 mil. in moveable salary, aside from Elias’ $4 mil.

    Devil’s will probably move Kozlov, he is the clumsiest player on their roster, and the one with the least chemistry with the team. That or a defenseman.

  19. mcpickl says:

    everybody had til October 1st. not just the Devils.

  20. Damian78 says:

    If your that concerned about Give Freaking Lou a call and ask. Go to the Official website and email them. Elias doesn’t count because he is on injured reserve, Friesen got traded and when Elias is back someone else or multiple players are going to get traded. Get over it.

  21. jimbojones123 says:

    I just wanna see Brodour’s wife again — um — nevermind.

  22. RaGsHoCkEy88 says:

    ha….guys i can actually ask larry robinson if u want because he lives in the luxury apartment building i work at during the season…i found out the devils pay for that too. ive seen him and said hi to him a couple of times. and he saw my hockey sweatshirt and he put his arm around me and said GOOD GUY!! he was getting his mail…i actually see him alot

  23. jimbojones123 says:

    the hockey guys are easily the most accesible of all the sports —

    it least it wasn’t a baseball guy —

  24. Ace_Bailey says:

    It’s no wonder people are leaving the site, the few are ruining it for the many by replying with hostility to an issue that needs to be understood. By putting up this article it helps all of us understand the CBA through question and response, or the dialectic process and I’m sure many of us just learned a thing or two about the CBA through the good responses here. It’s a real shame the few are destroying the community for the many. Excellent job and kudos to all of you who enjoy bringing down the site!

  25. chairguy says:

    tsn.ca shows that they only have 22 on their roster which gives them a total salary (w/o elias) of $38343929 though they’ll have to trade or waive a few to get under when elias comes back

  26. rojoke says:

    In addition to the fact that we’re only a week into the season and all the other responses, the player’s actual salary for this season isn’t used to calculate the cap figure. It’s the player’s average salary that counts. So, a player could earn $4 million in the current year of a 4-year, $20 million contract, but the amount for said player that would count against the cap is $5 million.

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