More Cap Compliancy Craziness

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has kept the Flyers at the peak of the Upper Limit. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

By: Tyler J. Altemose (@HockeyGuyTy)

The Flyers are a team that perennially operate toward the very top of the NHL’s upper limit. Given the various complexities within the CBA, it can make for very confusing situations.

One such situation was being discussed between myself and Eric, a contributing writer for Broad Street Hockey. He wrote an article discussing the issue of suspensions and its effect on a team’s cap, and within the thread for that article inquired about whether a team is allowed to put a player on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) prior to the start of the season.

I did some investigating and to the best of my knowledge this is how the Flyers’ cap situation would work with respect to Ian Laperriere being on LTIR.

The first place I looked was Section 50.9, which deals with timing in relation to calculating a team’s averaged salary. Remember, a team’s “cap hit” is calculated on a daily basis. Here’s a quick math refresher for how that works.

Each team gets a daily deposit from the league of $347,568 which is calculated by taking the upper limit ($64,300,000) and dividing it by the number of NHL days (185 for the 2011-12 season). A team’s averaged club salary is determined by taking each player’s cap hit, dividing it by the number of NHL days, and adding those numbers all together. Take the daily deposit, subtract the averaged club salary, and the remainder is your “banked” cap space. That banked cap space has to be used up before LTIR even comes into the equation.

Since the Flyers won’t have any of this banked cap space because the season hasn’t started and Laperriere’s replacement(s) will likely put the team over the Upper Limit, I investigated just how the Flyers can work things out with the league to get that cap “relief” starting with day one.

(For the record, teams cannot place a player on LTIR prior to the first day of the regular season.)

Therefore, since these things are calculated on a daily basis, I looked at how the timing works. 50.9(a)(i) dictates a 5:00pm (New York time) daily deadline:

For any Player who is on a Club’s Active Roster, Injured Reserve, Injured Non Roster or Non Roster … such Player shall receive his Player Salary and Bonuses for that day, and such Player Salary and Bonuses shall be included in the calculation of the Club’s Actual Club Salary and Averaged Club Salary for that day.

Now since Laperriere’s cap hit still counts while on LTIR, this section simply establishes that for day one of the NHL the Flyers have to do what they can by 5:00pm New York time. Next, I take a look at how the Flyers have to give the NHL notice of their intent to put Lappy on LTIR and what can be done about his replacements.

I referenced 50.10(d)(i) which dictates the procedure for informing the league of the intent to place a player on LTIR. It reads as follows:

A Club seeking to exercise the Bona-Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exception must simultaneously so notify Central Registry and the NHLPA, in writing, before any Player replacing an unfit-to-play player shall be permitted to play with the Club.

So, taking into consideration the deadline set forth in 50.9(a)(i) and the formality set forth in 50.10(d)(i), the Flyers could theoretically notify the league, in writing, before 5:00pm New York time on day one of the NHL season of their intent to put Laperriere on LTIR. If by so informing the league of their replacement(s) for Laperriere by the deadline as well, they should be able to avoid a tricky cap situation.

The question of who replaces Lappy in the lineup is the subject of another article. But as far as I can tell, the Flyers may once again be able to escape yet another sticky situation.

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