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06-11-2009, 01:56 PM
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LetangInTheSO
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Ignorant Question re: Wings & Cap

Hey all,

This question is as much for salary cap buffs as it is for Wings fans.

In short, my question is -- if a player retires, does his cap hit come off the books?

I ask this with regards to Zetterberg and Franzen. The two players are signed until they are 40 and 41 years old, respectively. Though playing to that age can and has been done, I doubt either of these players makes it to that age. Was this a deliberate move on behalf of both the players and the organization? I.e. - reduce their cap hit while they are actually playing (by offsetting their high salary with a very minimal salary during the latter years of the contract) and each player retires in their mid-late 30s?

If my interpretation is right, then Holland is even more of a genius than most give him credit for (which is already a ton). I just don't understand why it hasn't been discussed a lot by the media. Moreover, if my reasoning is correct, do you think there is any chance that the NHL will bring in some sort of stipulation to prevent teams from circumventing the cap (which is more or less what this is doing) in the future? Again -- it seems genius to me!

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06-11-2009, 02:08 PM
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Vatican Roulette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LetangInTheSO View Post
Hey all,

This question is as much for salary cap buffs as it is for Wings fans.

In short, my question is -- if a player retires, does his cap hit come off the books?

I ask this with regards to Zetterberg and Franzen. The two players are signed until they are 40 and 41 years old, respectively. Though playing to that age can and has been done, I doubt either of these players makes it to that age. Was this a deliberate move on behalf of both the players and the organization? I.e. - reduce their cap hit while they are actually playing (by offsetting their high salary with a very minimal salary during the latter years of the contract) and each player retires in their mid-late 30s?

If my interpretation is right, then Holland is even more of a genius than most give him credit for (which is already a ton). I just don't understand why it hasn't been discussed a lot by the media. Moreover, if my reasoning is correct, do you think there is any chance that the NHL will bring in some sort of stipulation to prevent teams from circumventing the cap (which is more or less what this is doing) in the future? Again -- it seems genius to me!

IIRC, if the player signs after(or he is) 35, then it still counts against the cap. If it's before, then it comes off. This applies to Lidstrom, Draper and Maltby(I think thats all they've got?).

Yes, the NHL will want to cut the loophole out, so get it while you can.

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06-11-2009, 02:55 PM
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jacK
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Vatican is right in that players that sign after the age of 35 are stuck on the books for the remainder of the deal pretty much regardless (trade or waiver pick-up by another team would be the only ways to clear them from our books.)
signed before 35, like Hank or Mule, as soon as they decide to retire we're off the hook for the remainder.
Lidstrom, Draper, and Osgood are the three we're stuck with, not Malts.

and btw, there actually was decent coverage when Hank signed, but when Franzen's deal was over 10 years, there was a lot of it, having to do w/ exactly your concern(s).

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06-11-2009, 03:03 PM
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sarcastro
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It comes off the cap for players under 35.

Anaheim has used this numerous times the past couple years with Selanne and Niedermayer. They pretend to be retired, but really they're just sitting out until their cap hit comes down to a level where the team can handle it.

I am guessing that if the Wings and the players they have been extending have some sort of gentleman's agreement that when it gets down to the end there, if the cap is still in place and the player is not earning the cap hit, that they will retire and get off the books.

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06-11-2009, 06:39 PM
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solo16
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Originally Posted by Vatican Roulette View Post
IIRC, if the player signs after(or he is) 35, then it still counts against the cap. If it's before, then it comes off. This applies to Lidstrom, Draper and Maltby(I think thats all they've got?).

Yes, the NHL will want to cut the loophole out, so get it while you can.
Its not really a loophole. Its more of an incentive for the players/teams to make longterm commitments. It is sorta a bonus for a sub 35 year old to stay with his team till he retires (likely at a low cap hit) given inflation. It discourages team shopping in late years and keeps old players cap hits down for fear they will retire.

So no its not a loophole but an incentive. I doubt it will be removed. To be honest I dont even think it hurts poor teams much. Merely it requires them to put more money upfront and more risk longterm. But between inflation and the growth market its almost guaranteed that the player will be worth more then his cap hit towards the end of the contract. (note i said towards not at the end). Obviously paying Zet 6M as a 40 year old could be a bit of a waste. Though in 10 years 6M will be closer to 2.5M today. Which is bad but not horrible.

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06-11-2009, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
It comes off the cap for players under 35.

Anaheim has used this numerous times the past couple years with Selanne and Niedermayer. They pretend to be retired, but really they're just sitting out until their cap hit comes down to a level where the team can handle it.

I am guessing that if the Wings and the players they have been extending have some sort of gentleman's agreement that when it gets down to the end there, if the cap is still in place and the player is not earning the cap hit, that they will retire and get off the books.

Niedermayer never filed retirement papers since Burke asked him to delay. The way Burke circumvented the cap was to suspend Niedermayer. Thus during the time that Nieds was out, his cap hit did not apply.

Selanne was a free agent. He just had to sign before the deadline for the season, and if he signed to annual amount, the pay would be prorated for the number of days he was actually active.

Otherwise, everyone has it right. No cap hit for an SPC signed before a player is 35 [regardless of the duration of the contract or if a portion of it is during the players' 35+ yrs of age] if the player retires.

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06-11-2009, 07:36 PM
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Fugu
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Originally Posted by solo16 View Post
Its not really a loophole. Its more of an incentive for the players/teams to make longterm commitments. It is sorta a bonus for a sub 35 year old to stay with his team till he retires (likely at a low cap hit) given inflation. It discourages team shopping in late years and keeps old players cap hits down for fear they will retire.

So no its not a loophole but an incentive. I doubt it will be removed. To be honest I dont even think it hurts poor teams much. Merely it requires them to put more money upfront and more risk longterm. But between inflation and the growth market its almost guaranteed that the player will be worth more then his cap hit towards the end of the contract. (note i said towards not at the end). Obviously paying Zet 6M as a 40 year old could be a bit of a waste. Though in 10 years 6M will be closer to 2.5M today. Which is bad but not horrible.
I disagree on the incentive part, solo. The point of the capped system, in addition to cost certainty, is to increase parity. If it can be used to hang on to players it makes if far more difficult to disperse talent around the NHL equitably.

Front-loading can be viewed as an incentive to players, enabling them to earn the majority of their pay in the earliest parts of their contracts, while the team benefits by being able to pay them more while realizing a much lower cap hit.

My feeling is that the commissioner does not like the 10+ yr contracts. Furthermore, insurers will only go out seven years.

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06-11-2009, 08:16 PM
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solo16
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I disagree on the incentive part, solo. The point of the capped system, in addition to cost certainty, is to increase parity. If it can be used to hang on to players it makes if far more difficult to disperse talent around the NHL equitably.

Front-loading can be viewed as an incentive to players, enabling them to earn the majority of their pay in the earliest parts of their contracts, while the team benefits by being able to pay them more while realizing a much lower cap hit.

My feeling is that the commissioner does not like the 10+ yr contracts. Furthermore, insurers will only go out seven years.
Time will tell. With inflation and the games theoretical neverending growth will be interesting to see how these contracts pan out.

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