Fan Fuel: NHL teams could be in trouble with a $60 million salary cap

January 3, 2013, 2:45 PM

BY ADAM DESLOGES – FAN FUEL BLOGGER

As the NHL and NHLPA continue to play musical chairs and calling each other’s bluff, we devoted hockey fans hang on their every word and internal meetings waiting for them to sign off on a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that will benefit and prosper both sides’ ledger books.

Here it is January 3, 2013, day 110 of the lockout, only three days removed from ringing in the New Year and what most hockey fans would like to see is the clock to strike midnight at the NHL/NHLPA offices and do one of two things: play hockey or don’t play hockey.

If the NHL dispute gets resolved and the league plays a shortened schedule a lot of teams will have some serious math magic to perform. Teams like Montreal, Vancouver, Tampa Bay just to name a few will have to cut, hide, or trim some major salaries from their payrolls. With the NHL wanting a cap of $60 million and the NHLPA wanting a cap of $65 million, players such as Scott Gomez, Roberto Luongo and Vincent Lecavalier may find themselves wearing different jerseys, playing in the minors or asking if you’d like to super-size that.

Personally I have my own beliefs, desires, wish, etc. where I would like to see some players go, but it’s not about me. It’s about you, our readers. What I want to know is where you would like to see players end up?

Cast your vote in the comments section below and have your say which players will be ancient history with their current team (all salaries for the 2012-13 season from capgeek.com):


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* Roberto Luongo/Vancouver Canucks – $6,714,000 salary; cap hit of $5,333.333

* Mike Komisarek/Toronto Maple Leafs – $3,500,000 salary; cap hit of $4,500,000

* Scott Gomez/Montreal Canadiens – $5,500,000 salary; cap hit of $7,357,143

* Vincent Lecavalier/Tampa Bay Lightning – $10,000,000 salary; cap hit of $7,727,273

* Brian Campbell/Florida Panthers – $7,142,875 salary; cap hit of $7,142,875

The truth is many players and teams will have to swallow some pride and do what’s best for the game. However you calculate it teams will have to figure out a way to stay under Mr. Bettman’s perceived $60 million ceiling.

For some teams, sending a player down to the minors is an option, but that option may expire in the new CBA. For a rich club like the New York Rangers mistakes are made and you’re left trying to figure out how to clean up the mess. The Rangers mistake came in the form of signing free agent Wade Redden.

When the Rangers signed Redden in 2008 to that ridiculous six-year $39 million contract with a cap hit of $6.5 million a year the pressure was on to perform. As the patience ran out on Redden’s performance, the Rangers found a loophole in the old CBA (2004-05). The loophole allowed the team to stick handle around and perform a Gretzky like play which saw Redden sent down in 2010 to their AHL affiliate the Connecticut Whale. Redden’s $6.5 million a year cap hit all of a sudden was wiped off their books.

Redden’s contract for the 2012-13 season is $5 million and playing in the minors will see him cash in on the total value of his contract. As it stands Redden has made $150,000 a year more than he would have if the Rangers kept him in the show.

Yes riding the bus, inhaling the fumes and maybe even having to carry your own equipment might be a “never going to happen” for most NHLers, but every two weeks a guy like Redden has nothing to complain about does he?

Adam Desloges has spent the majority of his life involved in hockey whether as a player, coach or referee. He has coached at all levels and divisions and has even coached in Graz, Austria. Adam has worked at numerous hockey camps including Vladislav Tretiak’s Elite School of Goaltending.

He has coached throughout Ontario, Edmonton and with Hockey Canada’s Under 17 Program of Excellence. Adam has coached and played with a number of today’s NHLers such as Steve Sullivan (Phoenix Coyotes), Evgeni Nabokov (New York Islanders) and Cam Ward (Carolina Hurricanes).

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