: News Article:
Pronger's contract investigated
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09-03-2010, 12:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Originally Posted by
Actually the Pronger contract is not circumvention because it is not circumvention.
Circumvention occurs when the cap charge of a player's contract (the full salary divided by the number of years on the contract) is not paid in full. Thus the only real means of circumvention are retirement and LTIR.
Since you can't really fake LTIR, that leaves retirement, and if Pronger retires, nothing changes for his team except they need to fit another roster player in his place.
So yeah, Pronger's contract was never and could never be cap circumvention.
That's why the NHL's decision should not come as a shock.
While I strongly agree that the Pronger deal should not be revisited and deregistered I say that it is a circumvention of parts of the CBA. Where the Flyers look like they are not in the same category as the others is that the Flyers, as you state will not be let off the hook at a point where the player can no longer perform and does not to play any longer, looks at the relatively low capital going into his bank account and says, "Hell why bother? I'm hanging them up".
The Flyers still get the per year Cap break and Pronger still gets a big wad of money from the contract... And it may actually be a fair per year pay if he does tail off... There is also a strong chance that Pronger can go LTIR like Rathje and in a more comparable case, Hatcher... It may come to a point where his body can't take it any longer and how can medical experts demand a person has to play when his body cannot perform without pain? Many players play in pain in their younger and healthier years. If with two years left Pronger doesn't want to go through what a professional hockey player must do to play, he could probably be LTIR'd.
Where the circumvention comes into play is that an NHL team is not supposed to get a lower yearly Cap hit by manipulating the contract as they did... the only difference is that they are being held accountable due to his 35+ status... The Flyers could gain back the Cap space in the later years even if not by the LTIR by sweetening the pot in a deal where a team with an intended under Cap situation if they want to take on the Cap hit and low cash output and are given draft choices or prospects as kickers... They get Pronger to ride the press-box and pay low salary and get a 2nd and/or third pick or a couple decent AHL players for their trouble while the Flyers get a very low draft pick or an AHL player that the other team doesn't want and more importantly also get to replace Pronger with an almost $5M player... That to me is circumvention, but not as blatant as the other teams that can just let a player retire and pay him as a scout or give him a gold watch and shake his hand as he walks away to be with his wife and kids full time.
I would bet that the next CBA addresses Pronger type contracts also.
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