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Why Can Teams Circumvent The Cap Floor But Not The Cap Ceiling?

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Old
02-11-2013, 04:11 PM
  #1
TheRightWay
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Why Can Teams Circumvent The Cap Floor But Not The Cap Ceiling?

Forgive me if this has already been discussed. I did some searching but found nothing.

The Devils got punished for attempting to circumvent the salary cap with the Kovalchuk deal. Whether you agreed with it or not, that was the precedent set by Bettman and the NHL; circumvention was more or less on par with cheating and would be punished.

The Islanders trade for Tim Thomas. The entire world knows that Thomas is not playing this season and perhaps never again. It's unlikely that Thomas would report to the Islanders and even if he did, the trade makes no sense from a personnel standpoint. Nabokov and Dipietro are being paid pretty significantly and Poulin and Nilsson in Bridgeport both have AHL experience in case of an injury. With all of the holes the Islanders have and reluctance to spend for many players, it makes little sense to move a potential 2nd round pick for a 38 year old goaltender who would make a lot of money while the team is in the middle of a rebuild.

Obviously, the reality is that there isn't an expectation of Thomas reporting, and this was simply a move to get above the cap floor without actually having to pay anyone. My question is, why is this allowed given the precedent set by the Kovalchuk situation? Why is it okay for the Islanders to blatantly circumvent the cap floor but when another team circumvents the cap ceiling in an arguably less blatant Bettman feels the need to intervene and penalize the team?

Again, this is not about whether Bettman was right to penalize the Devils, or whether the Islanders should be allowed to do what they did when looking at it in a vacuum. This is a question of consistency in enforcement of the Salary Cap. The cap floor isn't there just for ***** and giggles. It serves a purpose and was intentionally put in place to preserve that purpose. So why isn't it enforced the way the ceiling is?

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02-11-2013, 04:15 PM
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jpchabby
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I think it's a good point you're making.

But I really mind less if a team "cheats" to get to the cap floor than if a team cheats to get more impact players who would in the end make them have more chances of winning than others.

I don't really know why though...

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02-11-2013, 04:15 PM
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HockeyThoughts
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Penalizing the Devils was the ludicrous and unnecessary disciplinary act I have witnessed in years.

You have countless other teams handing out ridiculous retirement contracts (Luongo, Lecavalier, Zetterberg, Franzen, Richards, Carter..etc) and they arbitrarily choose the Devils to punish?

Now they have to forfeit their 1st round pick for signing an NHL superstar to a lifelong contract while every other team gets off scottfree.

I'm not even a Devils fan, or anything close but it really pisses me off.

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02-11-2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyThoughts View Post
Penalizing the Devils was the ludicrous and unnecessary disciplinary act I have witnessed in years.

You have countless other teams handing out ridiculous retirement contracts (Luongo, Lecavalier, Zetterberg, Franzen, Richards, Carter..etc) and they arbitrarily choose the Devils to punish?

Now they have to forfeit their 1st round pick for signing an NHL superstar to a lifelong contract while every other team gets off scottfree.

I'm not even a Devils fan, or anything close but it really pisses me off.
Join the bandwagon. We have been preaching it for years

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02-11-2013, 04:27 PM
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Vikke
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It's a salary floor, not a cap floor.

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02-11-2013, 04:29 PM
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Kane One
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It's probably because the NHL doesn't care if you don't spend to the salary floor. They just don't want you going over the ceiling. If anyone should complain about the Thomas situation, it should be the PA.

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02-11-2013, 04:30 PM
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QuadrupleDeke
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Originally Posted by Vikke View Post
It's a salary floor, not a cap floor.
It's a cap floor. You can get away with paying less salary as long as you have at least that much cap hit, as the Islanders are doing with Tim Thomas.

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02-11-2013, 04:40 PM
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TheRightWay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker McDonald View Post
It's probably because the NHL doesn't care if you don't spend to the salary floor. They just don't want you going over the ceiling. If anyone should complain about the Thomas situation, it should be the PA.
Again, but it exists for a reason. There's a reason the salary cap floor was put in place. Why have it if nobody cares about it?

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02-11-2013, 04:41 PM
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TheRightWay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyThoughts View Post
Penalizing the Devils was the ludicrous and unnecessary disciplinary act I have witnessed in years.

You have countless other teams handing out ridiculous retirement contracts (Luongo, Lecavalier, Zetterberg, Franzen, Richards, Carter..etc) and they arbitrarily choose the Devils to punish?

Now they have to forfeit their 1st round pick for signing an NHL superstar to a lifelong contract while every other team gets off scottfree.

I'm not even a Devils fan, or anything close but it really pisses me off.
I'm not saying I agree with this or disagree with this. Again, what was done was done there. My question isn't about whether that was fair to the Devils. My question is, given the precedent set with the Kovalchuk situation, exactly why is it okay for a team such as the Islanders to blatantly circumvent the salary cap?

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02-11-2013, 04:45 PM
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Doctor No
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadrupleDeke View Post
It's a cap floor. You can get away with paying less salary as long as you have at least that much cap hit, as the Islanders are doing with Tim Thomas.
Cap = ceiling. Floor = floor.

It's like "jumbo shrimp".

(More to the point, it's a salary floor, not a cap floor).

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02-11-2013, 04:45 PM
  #11
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I do not see why any of the factions would complain.

NHLPA - Boston has more cap space to spend real dollars on their membership. The Islanders were not going to use that space.

NHL- Islanders now retain more real money, makes the books of both the Islanders and the NHL look better without the liability of them having to spend more real dollars. The owners in general already got their 50/50 split regardless of who spends and who doesn't.

Islanders themselves, Owner less salary liability, increase franchise value.

Boston themselves, they have one less contract and more cap space.

The other teams/owners, they will look to use this or similar loopholes in the future to benefit them. There is always going to be teams who are looking for cap space and other teams looking to spend less real money.

I guess I just don't see who would complain. Not that is it not a direct contradiction to what the NHL/NHLPA is/was trying to portray to the public, but unless there are real money implications or it sets a precedent that one of the factions does not like, it is what it is, in this case, best ignored.

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02-11-2013, 04:48 PM
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its ok for big market teams, not teams like the Devils

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02-11-2013, 04:50 PM
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You can circumvent the ceiling. For example, if teams had backloaded contracts for players then a rich team can take on a player with a "higher" salary than cap space.

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02-11-2013, 04:50 PM
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I think in part it's because the Islanders are doing it to be able to ice a "worse" team than they should be able to otherwise, and should they succeed, I would hope that their is backlash from the fans of the team. Whereas in the Devils situation, they were trying to be better than they would have been, and should they succeed, I would expect them to be rewarded by the fans (longer playoff runs, willing to accept higher prices, etc).

Basically, I think that the fans of the Islander have (some) power to "punish" the franchise for doing what it's doing, whereas the Devils could only be punished by the league.

Really though, it's shady. I don't like either of them.

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02-11-2013, 04:53 PM
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Good point, I don't mind the Thomas trade on the whole but the precedent is there.

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02-11-2013, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker McDonald View Post
It's probably because the NHL doesn't care if you don't spend to the salary floor. They just don't want you going over the ceiling. If anyone should complain about the Thomas situation, it should be the PA.
Ding Ding Ding.

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Originally Posted by TheRightWay View Post
Again, but it exists for a reason. There's a reason the salary cap floor was put in place. Why have it if nobody cares about it?
The CBA is collectively bargained, the PA wants it in so that some owners cannot skew the money distribution and pull down the mean salary. The League hands out the penalties, the PA doesn't.

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02-11-2013, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rella17 View Post
its ok for big market teams, not teams like the Devils
yeah those big market teams really like to circumvent the floor.

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02-11-2013, 04:58 PM
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Like others have said, circumventing the cap gives teams an unfair advantage. Circumventing the floor just pisses off the PA, so who cares.

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02-11-2013, 05:02 PM
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OP is totally correct and when I first saw that deal on my phone I had to double-take and make sure I was reading it correctly.

This to me looks like a buddy-buddy deal with the ownership or GM's of the teams here. It makes things easier on both teams but the only reason why is because the Isles are mismanaged on purpose. You've got to wonder if there is a tax write-off here involved somehow.

IMO the NHL would be fully justified in nixing this deal.

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02-11-2013, 05:05 PM
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Would you say that stashing players in the AHL (ie Wade Redden) was circumventing the cap? He was available to the Rangers if they needed him.

Front-loading contracts such as Kovalchuk's would also be considered cap circumvention as nobody expected him to play out the life of that initial contract. (not the current one)

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02-11-2013, 05:05 PM
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Kane One
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRightWay View Post
Again, but it exists for a reason. There's a reason the salary cap floor was put in place. Why have it if nobody cares about it?
The NHL doesn't give a **** if it's there or not. The PA wants it. It's the unions job to make sure that it's being enforced. If they want to file a complaint, they can, but just because it's there doesn't mean the NHL should make sure teams are following it. And even still, the Islanders did not break any rules. Why will the NHL want to get involved with one of their own members when they didn't even clearly break a rule that they don't want in the first place?

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02-11-2013, 05:09 PM
  #22
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Your entire premise is flawed.

"Why Can Teams Circumvent The Cap Floor But Not The Cap Ceiling?"

Team ARE (well were) able to circumvent the cap ceiling. As the 2nd post mentioned, you have players like Hossa, Zetterberg, Luongo, etc. whose cap hits are all much lower than the player's salary and overall worth. These teams are essentially circumventing the cap ceiling due to these now illegal front loaded deals. These cap circumventing contracts are the only reason some teams are not above the cap. It's no different than the Thomas situation IMO, just opposite.

If NYI were to abuse this little trick and say do similar trades a few more times to really lower their salary, THEN I would agree that the NHL should step in and punish them a la New Jersey (although I do think NJ was punished too hard).

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02-11-2013, 05:11 PM
  #23
Kane One
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I find it funny that the PA didn't see this coming.. It was pretty clear that the Bruins may do this, and they didn't do anything about it? They could have easily negotiated to prevent this from happening during the CBA talks and most likely, the NHL would have agreed to it.

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02-11-2013, 05:11 PM
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Drunkspleen
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The obvious answer would be, cheating to the cap floor helps struggling teams stay afloat, so the NHL is never going to crack down on it without impetus from the NHLPA.

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02-11-2013, 05:16 PM
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Gooch
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Arent the Islanders still paying Thomas's salary? If so they're still expending money on a player contract to reach the floor and not really circumventing it as it's probably more of a sound fiscal move to do rather than foolishly splurge on a player that doesnt deserve it. They have a young core and they're going to need that future cap space to lock them up, the money will get spent eventually.

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