• Incentives

    by Tyler Dellow • July 5, 2009 • Uncategorized • 9 Comments

    For those who aren’t aware, frequent commenter speeds has kicked his old site back into gear. It’s got some great stuff, including this point that I hadn’t thought of:

    I am generally against the idea of signing a 36 year old player to a 4 year deal to begin with, but particularly in this case with Edmonton tight to the cap and Khabibulin, in my mind, not a clearly better option than Biron who doesn’t have the same 35+ contract issue. For a non cap team like NYI this risk doesn’t exist, since dead cap space doesn’t hurt them; if anything, a retirement by Roloson next summer is desirable if they don’t want to spend to the cap floor in 2010/11 since they could charge 2.5 mil against next season’s cap without having to spend a cent.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how a complicated CBA screws with motivations and what not. The fact that players who are above the age of 35 are worth a lot more to teams that aren’t interested in spending to the cap is something that I hadn’t considered. It’s an excellent point though.

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    9 Responses to Incentives

    1. July 5, 2009 at

      If Khabi retires, what’s to stop us trading his contract to the “Islanders”? Potentially helps both teams for the reasons Speeds suggests.

    2. lowetide
      July 5, 2009 at

      I’m wondering if the NHL’s new “working for the clampdown” rules might make it more difficult for the Oilers to trade this contract, say two years down the road.

      I know contracts have been dealt in the past to offload salaries and ease the cap (I believe it was Lou in NJ, imagine that), but Toronto was punished with a lost draft pick this spring for something similar.

      Or am I mis-remembering?

    3. Baroque
      July 5, 2009 at

      I think the lost draft pick to Toronto was for signing Jonas Frogren – there was some question about whether he should have been counted as a defected player or not, or something, and how much he could be paid or how is should be structured.

      At least that was the official reason, anyway. :-)

    4. July 5, 2009 at

      Baroque is correct – the Leafs were fined $500K and penalized a fourth round draft pick for the Frogren contract.

      The NHL ruled against the contract in the fall but the NHLPA greived that ruling and Frogren was allowed to play while the case was being reviewed. Seven months later, the Leafs got stung for paying Frogren bonus money to buy out his euro contract.

      Back to the topic at hand, there seems to be a lot of discussion of creatively moving contracts to cap-constrained teams for picks, moving late-stage front-loaded contracts to help teams get to the cap floor, and dealing contracts of players 35+ who are about to retire, but other than the one deal between NJ and SJ can anyone recall such a transaction actually being made?

    5. Joe
      July 5, 2009 at

      This is something I’ve always maintained as making those 12 year contracts into desirable trade bait at the end of the deals. When you have crappy teams out there that just want to spend to the floor, if they can get a free 6M cap hit and only have to pay the player 2M of that, they’re getting free cap hit to the floor, for 1/3 of the money. Highly desirable for a team that is tanking it or just trying to save some money. Plus, for taking that contract off the hands of a franchise who wants to spend to the cap, but has this terrible deal on the books, you get a draft pick or something for taking it off their hands.

    6. mclea
      July 5, 2009 at

      Joe pretty much nails it. 5 years from now you’re going to have guys with cap hits of 5M+, but real cash outlays of a 1M, and these contracts will be shuffled from teams who consider the salary cap a constraint to teams who consider spending money a constraint.

      You’ll basically have two different definitions of value in the NHL, which should result in some pretty interesting dynamics.

    7. David Staples
      July 5, 2009 at

      LT — Was “clamdown” a Clash reference? Good song. Great band.

    8. Baroque
      July 5, 2009 at

      “You’ll basically have two different definitions of value in the NHL, which should result in some pretty interesting dynamics.”

      I can see teams dividing into two separate groups based on whether they want the most player for their dollar or the maximum cap hit for the dollar.

      Interesting and will probably be quite odd, too.

    9. lowetide
      July 6, 2009 at

      David Staples: Yes. It’s been running around my brain lately because of the opening line: “What are we gonna do now?”

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