There is something foul in Philadelphia far beyond the goaltending fiasco that has become the focal point of the NHL's most disappointing team.
We're not there on a day-to-day basis, so we can't claim first-hand knowledge, but when two league GMs were asked what they perceived to be the problem, neither hesitated.
"Pronger," each said, referring to Chris Pronger, the defenseman who has a reputation for splitting locker rooms as well as heads.
If GM Paul Holmgren manages to keep his job, it won't be because of the acquisition of Pronger, who next season begins a seven-year, over-35 contract extension at an annual cap hit of $4.9 million that runs through 2016-17.
Well, at least until the next amnesty buyout period.
As Pronger was 34 when he signed the extension, the Flyers were unaware that it would be considered an over-35 contract. But as Pronger turned 35 this year, on the final season of his pre-existing contract, the CBA clause kicked in.
If Holmgren gets kicked out, that will be part of the reason.
Do we really need another thread with Larry's ********?
edit: Its not on Homer only, I'm sure everyone on management was on board for the contrat, 35 years old clause or not. He'll just end up on LTIR, worst case scenario. The Flyers have done this before... They can ship out the contrat if Pronger retires too. Lots of teams would take it, just to meet the floor.
Now, nobody in the game expects Pronger to fulfill the terms of this contract. With Pronger earning $33.4 million of the $34.45 million in the first five years of the deal, it’s a virtual certainty Pronger will retire after the 2014-15 season.
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Flyers would be on the hook for the entire $4.92 million cap hit for each of the next seven seasons regardless of whether Pronger retires or not, because the contract kicks in after Pronger turns 35 (he turns 35 this October). But there is speculation the Flyers believe that since Pronger actually signed the extension prior to turning 35, they might not have to absorb the cap hit if he retires.
“I don’t believe that and I don’t know who’s creating that notion out there,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told TheHockeyNews.com. “We signed Chris Pronger to a seven-year contract. As with any long-term contract, there are ramifications that come along with it, both negative and positive and we’re prepared to deal with those ramifications.”
Since Pronger signed the contract on Tuesday at age 34, you could interpret it to mean any unfulfilled years would not count against the cap because the contract was signed before he turned 35.
But NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told CSNPhilly.com that all the monies will count against the Flyers’ cap. In a separate interview with HNIC, Daly explained that the relevant date on the contract is June 30, 2010, when Pronger’s deal becomes effective. At that point, Pronger would have already turned 35.
Did the Flyers misinterpret Section 50.2 as to Pronger’s age?
“I don’t know what there is to misinterpret – we signed the contract,” Holmgren replied.
Holmgren also said that contrary to rumors, the Flyers have no intention of petitioning the league over potential cap dollars.
“The Flyers are not doing anything,” Holmgren said. “We filed the contract. Once it comes back, we’ll see if it’s accepted. Both parties wanted to sign this contract and his agent [Pat Morris] was willing to work with us on the cap number. It is what it is. No one ever mentioned him not playing out the contract.”
Flyers assistant general manager Barry Hanrahan, the club’s cap specialist, said earlier that the club was aware of implications of future monies against the cap should Pronger retire early.
“Chris thinks he can play the full seven years and we expect he will play seven years,” Hanrahan said.
Why do retired dollars count against the salary cap? Because, the league explained, it is a deterrent from clubs signing players to long-term deals to reduce their cap number even though the likelihood an older player would play out the deal is remote.
“The only people talking about this are [media],” Holmgren said.
Has the league completed their investigation? I know they talked about this one, Luongo's and maybe a couple of others.
I also believe Homer misinterpreted the rule. This team needs a capologist more than it needs a GM.
The last I saw was at the Board of Governors meetings in California back in December. Bettman's quote was "But there wasn't any more detail on that because it doesn't pay to comment on an ongoing investigation. When you get to the punch line and you know what the answer is, then there's something to talk about."