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How the Flyers can maximize their salary cap space


Irishjim
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http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2014/7/3/5865615/flyers-salary-cap-pronger-ltir

 

It's a common misconception at this point. But no, the Flyers don't have to shed any salary right now. They can stand pat, even add more players, and still be compliant with the salary cap.

 

Philadelphia Flyers fans know the story by now.

Chris Pronger, despite likely never playing again, will count against the Flyers' salary cap during the offseason. The only relief the Flyers can get from his $4.941 million cap hit is by placing him on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). It's at this point, though, that many fans and media alike overlook a key detail.

I've read it on Twitter and in news articles numerous times ... "the Flyers must wait until Day 1 of the regular season before placing Pronger on LTIR," or something to that effect. The truth is the Flyers do not have to wait until the first day of the regular season to place Pronger on LTIR. Which means they do not have to shed any cap space in order to become cap compliant.

As always, the devil is in the details.

The Flyers have two options when it comes to LTIR; use it on the last day of training camp, or use it on the first day of the regular season. The timing is the key difference.

As always, I encourage everyone to head on over to Capgeek and give their FAQ on the topic a read. They have some great real life scenarios. From Capgeek:

OPTION 1: Build the injured player into their opening-day roster and have that roster fit as close to the upper limit as possible without exceeding it, then place the player on LTIR.

...

OPTION 2: Put the injured player on LTIR on the final day of training camp and, including the injured player's annual average salary or cap hit, build a roster that exceeds the upper limit by an amount that is as close as possible to the injured player's annual average salary.

 

The Collective Bargaining Agreement even has a subsection under LTIR called "Prior to Opening Day Illustrations". That, in and of itself, is pretty clear that the Flyers don't have to wait until the first day of the season to utilize LTIR.

In Section 50.10(d) of the CBA, it gives four specific illustrations as to how to use LTIR prior to opening day. The key one is illustration No. 4. I'm not going to copy the entire thing as I don't want to inundate you with examples and I'd rather save it for a Flyers-specific example at the end. However, the key text from that illustration is as follows (emphasis mine):

A Player who has an SPC with an Averaged Amount of $2.0 million becomes unfit to play on the last day of Training Camp, and on the same day, his Club exercises the Bona-Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exception on such Player.

The difference between using it on the last day of camp versus on the first day of the season comes down to roster construction and maximizing what you get out of LTIR.

 

 

Placing a player on LTIR on Day 1 of the regular season

We'll start with the most commonly known scenario. In order for the Flyers to take advantage of LTIR on Day 1 of the season, they must first become cap compliant. (You can't get to Day 1 of the season unless you're under the cap, after all.)

For the sake of my example, I'm going to use some made up round numbers without straying too far from the Flyers' reality.

Just prior to the start of the season the Flyers are about $1.2 million over the cap. They decide to demote Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ($600k) and they decide to waive (who clears) and subsequently demote Zac Rinaldo ($750k) as well.

Now the Flyers are under the cap by $150k.

Night falls and morning comes and we're at Day 1 of the regular season. The Flyers now place Pronger and his $4.941 million on LTIR. However, LTIR does not give space in excess of any cap space they may already have. So that means the Flyers don't have $5.091 in allotted space (4.941 + 0.150). They have $4.791 (4.941 - 0.150).

So it would actually behoove the Flyers to be as close to the salary cap as they can possibly be before they use LTIR in this scenario.

If they were to demote Jay Rosehill instead of Zac Rinaldo, they would be under the cap by $75k (as opposed to $150k above). When they place Pronger on LTIR the next day, they now have an alloted 4.866 in space (4.941 - 0.075).

The key takeaway is to be as close to the salary cap as they can possibly be, without going over, so that when they utilize LTIR the next day, they get to take advantage of as much of it as they can. LTIR is not in addition to any cap space a team already has. So they better spend it.

Placing a player on LTIR the day before the regular season

The Flyers could also opt to place Pronger on LTIR the day before the season starts if they wanted. Using the same number as above, let's say the Flyers opt to not send down anyone. Instead they decide to place Pronger on LTIR while they are $1.2 million over the cap.

The Flyers are then deemed to have already replaced Pronger and they will not see any additional LTIR advantage beyond that $1.2 million.

Now, this isn't the smartest idea because in the above scenario the Flyers would get to spend an additional $4.866 million; whereas in this scenario they are only spending that extra $1.2 million.

What would actually make more sense would be if the Flyers opted to add additional salary to the books (be it via signing or recalls) so they can exceed the cap by as close to $4.941 (Pronger's number) as they can get.

Since I'm living in idealism here, let's say that tomorrow the Flyers sign Peter Mueller for $3.741 million. They are now exactly $4.941 million over the cap. On the last day of training camp they can now put Pronger on LTIR. They are deemed to have already replaced him and now they've taken full advantage of Pronger's LTIR allotment while never once having to reduce their salary cap below the Upper Limit.

Putting a bow on it

The moral of the story is that the Flyers don't need to get under the cap and they don't need to wait until the season starts to put Pronger on LTIR. That doesn't mean that they don't have to be smart about how they ultimately end up cap compliant.

If the Flyers opt to get under the salary cap and then place Pronger on LTIR,  they better make sure they are just barely under the cap by as little as humanly possible so that they can maximize Pronger's LTIR allotment.

If the Flyers opt to just place Pronger on LTIR before the start of the season, they better make sure they spend some more money (or recall more players) and get as close to $4.941 million over the cap as is humanly possible so that they can maximize Pronger's LTIR allotment.

So if you're hanging your hat on the Flyers doing something, like trading Vincent Lecavalier, soon just because they "have" to in order to get under the cap ... well, no they don't.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is about the best I can come up with pre-opening night, and it requires that a player (other than Pronger) be on regular IR to get around the 23 man roster limit.  Otherwise, the best I can do is 4.5 million, and that risks waiving Rinaldo. Puts the Flyers within about $5,000 of Pronger's full cap hit:

 

CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
CapGeek Armchair GM Roster

FORWARDS
Brayden Schenn ($2.500m) / Claude Giroux ($8.275m) / Jakub Voracek ($4.250m)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ($0.600m) / Vincent Lecavalier ($4.500m) / Wayne Simmonds ($3.975m)
R.J. Umberger ($4.600m) / Sean Couturier ($1.750m) / Matt Read ($3.625m)
Zac Rinaldo ($0.750m) / Michael Raffl ($1.100m) / Petr Straka ($0.925m)
Jay Rosehill ($0.675m) /
DEFENSEMEN
Mark Streit ($5.250m) / Andrew MacDonald ($5.000m)
Chris Pronger ($4.941m) / Braydon Coburn ($4.500m)
Luke Schenn ($3.600m) / Nicklas Grossmann ($3.500m)
Kimmo Timonen ($2.000m) / Nick Schultz ($1.250m)
Shayne Gostisbehere ($0.925m) /
GOALTENDERS
Steve Mason ($4.100m)
Ray Emery ($1.000m)
BUYOUTS
Daniel Briere ($0.000m)
Ilya Bryzgalov ($0.000m)
BONUS OVERAGE
$345,000
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $73,936,429; BONUSES: $1,995,833
CAP SPACE (24-man roster): -$4,936,429

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Amazing. Thank you.

Personally at this point I say hold into VLC rather than take a crap deal that eats too much salary. because I feel like his value will be higher by December or the deadline. Someone will take him. He'll we sold Mezaros to the bruins last year. Someone will want Vinny.

Of course he could blow out his back again and we'll just be screwed, but that's the risk of the new cap era I guess (it's also the reason I think the fluctuating cap is legally problematic if any GM or president had the balls to make a challenge).

http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2014/7/3/5865615/flyers-salary-cap-pronger-ltir

It's a common misconception at this point. But no, the Flyers don't have to shed any salary right now. They can stand pat, even add more players, and still be compliant with the salary cap.

Philadelphia Flyers fans know the story by now.

Chris Pronger, despite likely never playing again, will count against the Flyers' salary cap during the offseason. The only relief the Flyers can get from his $4.941 million cap hit is by placing him on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). It's at this point, though, that many fans and media alike overlook a key detail.

I've read it on Twitter and in news articles numerous times ... "the Flyers must wait until Day 1 of the regular season before placing Pronger on LTIR," or something to that effect. The truth is the Flyers do not have to wait until the first day of the regular season to place Pronger on LTIR. Which means they do not have to shed any cap space in order to become cap compliant.

As always, the devil is in the details.

The Flyers have two options when it comes to LTIR; use it on the last day of training camp, or use it on the first day of the regular season. The timing is the key difference.

As always, I encourage everyone to head on over to Capgeek and give their FAQ on the topic a read. They have some great real life scenarios. From Capgeek:

OPTION 1: Build the injured player into their opening-day roster and have that roster fit as close to the upper limit as possible without exceeding it, then place the player on LTIR.

...

OPTION 2: Put the injured player on LTIR on the final day of training camp and, including the injured player's annual average salary or cap hit, build a roster that exceeds the upper limit by an amount that is as close as possible to the injured player's annual average salary.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement even has a subsection under LTIR called "Prior to Opening Day Illustrations". That, in and of itself, is pretty clear that the Flyers don't have to wait until the first day of the season to utilize LTIR.

In Section 50.10(d) of the CBA, it gives four specific illustrations as to how to use LTIR prior to opening day. The key one is illustration No. 4. I'm not going to copy the entire thing as I don't want to inundate you with examples and I'd rather save it for a Flyers-specific example at the end. However, the key text from that illustration is as follows (emphasis mine):

A Player who has an SPC with an Averaged Amount of $2.0 million becomes unfit to play on the last day of Training Camp, and on the same day, his Club exercises the Bona-Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exception on such Player.

The difference between using it on the last day of camp versus on the first day of the season comes down to roster construction and maximizing what you get out of LTIR.

Placing a player on LTIR on Day 1 of the regular season

We'll start with the most commonly known scenario. In order for the Flyers to take advantage of LTIR on Day 1 of the season, they must first become cap compliant. (You can't get to Day 1 of the season unless you're under the cap, after all.)

For the sake of my example, I'm going to use some made up round numbers without straying too far from the Flyers' reality.

Just prior to the start of the season the Flyers are about $1.2 million over the cap. They decide to demote Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ($600k) and they decide to waive (who clears) and subsequently demote Zac Rinaldo ($750k) as well.

Now the Flyers are under the cap by $150k.

Night falls and morning comes and we're at Day 1 of the regular season. The Flyers now place Pronger and his $4.941 million on LTIR. However, LTIR does not give space in excess of any cap space they may already have. So that means the Flyers don't have $5.091 in allotted space (4.941 + 0.150). They have $4.791 (4.941 - 0.150).

So it would actually behoove the Flyers to be as close to the salary cap as they can possibly be before they use LTIR in this scenario.

If they were to demote Jay Rosehill instead of Zac Rinaldo, they would be under the cap by $75k (as opposed to $150k above). When they place Pronger on LTIR the next day, they now have an alloted 4.866 in space (4.941 - 0.075).

The key takeaway is to be as close to the salary cap as they can possibly be, without going over, so that when they utilize LTIR the next day, they get to take advantage of as much of it as they can. LTIR is not in addition to any cap space a team already has. So they better spend it. Placing a player on LTIR the day before the regular season

The Flyers could also opt to place Pronger on LTIR the day before the season starts if they wanted. Using the same number as above, let's say the Flyers opt to not send down anyone. Instead they decide to place Pronger on LTIR while they are $1.2 million over the cap.

The Flyers are then deemed to have already replaced Pronger and they will not see any additional LTIR advantage beyond that $1.2 million.

Now, this isn't the smartest idea because in the above scenario the Flyers would get to spend an additional $4.866 million; whereas in this scenario they are only spending that extra $1.2 million.

What would actually make more sense would be if the Flyers opted to add additional salary to the books (be it via signing or recalls) so they can exceed the cap by as close to $4.941 (Pronger's number) as they can get.

Since I'm living in idealism here, let's say that tomorrow the Flyers sign Peter Mueller for $3.741 million. They are now exactly $4.941 million over the cap. On the last day of training camp they can now put Pronger on LTIR. They are deemed to have already replaced him and now they've taken full advantage of Pronger's LTIR allotment while never once having to reduce their salary cap below the Upper Limit. Putting a bow on it

The moral of the story is that the Flyers don't need to get under the cap and they don't need to wait until the season starts to put Pronger on LTIR. That doesn't mean that they don't have to be smart about how they ultimately end up cap compliant.

If the Flyers opt to get under the salary cap and then place Pronger on LTIR, they better make sure they are just barely under the cap by as little as humanly possible so that they can maximize Pronger's LTIR allotment.

If the Flyers opt to just place Pronger on LTIR before the start of the season, they better make sure they spend some more money (or recall more players) and get as close to $4.941 million over the cap as is humanly possible so that they can maximize Pronger's LTIR allotment.

So if you're hanging your hat on the Flyers doing something, like trading Vincent Lecavalier, soon just because they "have" to in order to get under the cap ... well, no they don't.

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This is about the best I can come up with pre-opening night, and it requires that a player (other than Pronger) be on regular IR to get around the 23 man roster limit.  Otherwise, the best I can do is 4.5 million, and that risks waiving Rinaldo. Puts the Flyers within about $5,000 of Pronger's full cap hit:

 

CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER

CapGeek Armchair GM Roster

FORWARDS

Brayden Schenn ($2.500m) / Claude Giroux ($8.275m) / Jakub Voracek ($4.250m)

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ($0.600m) / Vincent Lecavalier ($4.500m) / Wayne Simmonds ($3.975m)

R.J. Umberger ($4.600m) / Sean Couturier ($1.750m) / Matt Read ($3.625m)

Zac Rinaldo ($0.750m) / Michael Raffl ($1.100m) / Petr Straka ($0.925m)

Jay Rosehill ($0.675m) /

DEFENSEMEN

Mark Streit ($5.250m) / Andrew MacDonald ($5.000m)

Chris Pronger ($4.941m) / Braydon Coburn ($4.500m)

Luke Schenn ($3.600m) / Nicklas Grossmann ($3.500m)

Kimmo Timonen ($2.000m) / Nick Schultz ($1.250m)

Shayne Gostisbehere ($0.925m) /

GOALTENDERS

Steve Mason ($4.100m)

Ray Emery ($1.000m)

BUYOUTS

Daniel Briere ($0.000m)

Ilya Bryzgalov ($0.000m)

BONUS OVERAGE

$345,000

------

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)

(estimations for 2014-15)

SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $73,936,429; BONUSES: $1,995,833

CAP SPACE (24-man roster): -$4,936,429

 

 

Not bad i'd swap out some cheaper waiver exempt options like Ollie for Ghost and Vandevelde instead of Straka would do it.........right???

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@OccamsRazor  Ahhh, yes. The trade deadline. Where seemingly sane men go crazy for a 24 hour period. I swear some of them must wake up like somebody who drank a couple pints of Whiskey, did I *really* make that trade?!?! "Honey, didn't I tell you to take away the phone if I start to fall asleep??".....LOL!

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@OccamsRazor  Ahhh, yes. The trade deadline. Where seemingly sane men go crazy for a 24 hour period. I swear some of them must wake up like somebody who drank a couple pints of Whiskey, did I *really* make that trade?!?! "Honey, didn't I tell you to take away the phone if I start to fall asleep??".....LOL!

 

 

I'd prefer to keep him injuries happen during the season even if it's to the Flyers and to another team. Either way i keep him no way am i paying any of his salary to play for someone else.

 

I think he has more value than any of the 3 guys the Preds signed. Vinny is only owed 3.65mill per year over the length of his deal that isn't that bad. His cap hit is kind of high but it could be of value to teams needing to get to the floor. 

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@OccamsRazor 

 

 

 

Does anyone have a comprehensive list of teams that are struggling to get to the cap floor?  Those would be the real teams to watch.

 

 Ya know, I think we are getting closer and closer to Vinny being in a trade position. Some prime reasons being...There is no longer any 20 goal scorers left in UFA status, so if you want to just add goals to your teams offense, the only present option is the trade route. This is where some good old fashioned patience will work wonders. The way I see it, as soon as a few injuries take place, VLC will get moved, he is a cheaper option trade wise than a lot of the well established centers that are rumored to be on the market.

 

 Just a few examples, if Turris was to get hurt for the Sens, they would have no option but to get on the phones and find a veteran presence replacement...ditto with the Sabres if Hodgsen ever went down.

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Not bad i'd swap out some cheaper waiver exempt options like Ollie for Ghost and Vandevelde instead of Straka would do it.........right???

 

OR, this roster is meant solely to maximize their available space going into the season, not necessarily be the look for the season. If you remove Straka and Ghost's 925,000 each (1.85 million) for 1.15 million of Vandevelde and Lauridsen, you permanently lose the ability to use that 650,000 difference for the season. After day one, you can return Ghost and Straka to the minors and put out the roster you really want, and you will have that extra money available to you going forward. I was wrong though, nobody needs to be on IR, Pronger is player 24, not 25.

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OR, this roster is meant solely to maximize their available space going into the season, not necessarily be the look for the season. If you remove Straka and Ghost's 925,000 each (1.85 million) for 1.15 million of Vandevelde and Lauridsen, you permanently lose the ability to use that 650,000 difference for the season. After day one, you can return Ghost and Straka to the minors and put out the roster you really want, and you will have that extra money available to you going forward. I was wrong though, nobody needs to be on IR, Pronger is player 24, not 25.

 

 

  This should be the first real tangible evidence that we get regarding Hextall and his cap management skills. If you can get it right on a message board, Hexy pulling in millions as a NHL GM had *better* get this one right, huh? There is simply no excuse for permanently losing that 650,000 that is ripe for the picking, provided Hexy can finaggle things properly in and round day one. This just *has* to get done the right way.

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  This should be the first real tangible evidence that we get regarding Hextall and his cap management skills. If you can get it right on a message board, Hexy pulling in millions as a NHL GM had *better* get this one right, huh? There is simply no excuse for permanently losing that 650,000 that is ripe for the picking, provided Hexy can finaggle things properly in and round day one. This just *has* to get done the right way.

 

Well, I'm available to help out. I don't love my job so much that I would pass up a capologist position with the Flyers.

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Well, I'm available to help out. I don't love my job so much that I would pass up a capologist position with the Flyers.

 

 Ha, well it sounds like you are well on your way. You have a gift for simplifying complex matters and making them very easy to understand. The lay men of the world thank you....LOL!

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@AJgoal  Totally off topic, but I was always curious, how many Flyer fans are in New Jersey?  Is there a substantial amount....are they the second favourites next to the Devils?  How many Flyer fans percentage wise....10%....or is that to much?  I was thinking there might be a lot New Jersey natives that liked the Flyers before the Devils moved in from Colorado via Kansas City.

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I'd hazard a guess that south of Trenton, it's mostly Flyers fans, with the percentage increasing significantly into Burlington County and south. Devils fans seem to be mostly confined to North Jersey, and as you go east they mingle with Rangers and Islanders fans.

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I'd hazard a guess that south of Trenton, it's mostly Flyers fans, with the percentage increasing significantly into Burlington County and south. Devils fans seem to be mostly confined to North Jersey, and as you go east they mingle with Rangers and Islanders fans.

 

 Thanks, kinda what I figured. Must be weird living in a fairly big city that literally supports 4 different NHL teams. I don't think there is another dynamic like that in any other North America city.

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Thank goodness someone else read the CBA and interpreted it correctly. People have been so crazy about getting BELOW the cap BEFORE the season the last few years that we lost sight of what seemingly is a better business pracitce of spending more prior and replacing pronger with more people than we need. It may hamstring us a bit when injury time comes up mid-season, but at least we can LTIR those players and bring up quality youngins to put a band aid on it. Thanks for the insight to the masses.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welp, my guess is with Timonen injured and Del Zotto on the roster now, VandeVelde and Akeson start with the big club. After the first day, they'll shuffle personnel around to get the right mix, having maximized their cap flexibility. They can then put Timonen on LTIR whenever they want to.

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Welp, my guess is with Timonen injured and Del Zotto on the roster now, VandeVelde and Akeson start with the big club. After the first day, they'll shuffle personnel around to get the right mix, having maximized their cap flexibility. They can then put Timonen on LTIR whenever they want to.

 

 I agree with the first part, but why wait to put Kimo on LTIR? Getting Kimo on IR as quickly as possible should be part and parcel to maximizing cap flexibility....no?

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