NHL Offseason: Taking a Look at the Flyers Salary Cap

Never one to make it easy on himself, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has a lot on his plate when it comes to the salary cap. | (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


By Tyler J. Altemose (@TJamesAltemose)

With the July 1 free agency date quickly approaching, I thought it might be fun to look into the Flyers’ offseason salary cap situation. Being the obvious masochist that I am, I sat down and crunched some numbers.

A bit of a disclaimer though—the offseason salary cap isn’t something widely calculated. In fact, I don’t know anyone that does calculate it. Even Cap Geek gives us a friendly notice when it says “Please note: CapGeek.com does not yet calculate the offseason cap. Our offseason cap estimates are a projection of opening-day cap space.”

Furthermore, I should remind you all that offseason cap calculation is the furthest thing from an exact science. Fortunately for us, Cap Geek neatly spells out all that is calculated in the off-season salary cap.

For the sake of calculating the salary cap, “offseason” is the period between July 1 and the last day of training camp. During this time the CBA allows for a 10% increase in the salary cap to help teams incur additional costs and to properly set their rosters.

Elliotte Friedman reported earlier today via Twitter that the salary cap for the 2012-13 season is to be set at $70.2 million. Adding in the 10% bonus, teams will be allowed to spend up to $77.22 million.

So what exactly gets calculated into the off-season salary cap? Five things:

  • All players signed to one-way contracts. This is regardless of where they played or if they even played at all.
  • All players signed to two-way contracts based on a proportion of days spent on an NHL roster.
  • All RFA’s given qualifying offers. The qualifying offer for a one-way contract counts in full. The qualifying offer for a two-way contract counts as a proportion of the time the RFA spent on an NHL roster in the previous season.
  • All players signed to an offer sheet. These players count against the cap of the team extending the offer sheet.
  • All buyouts.

The chart below shows a list of players signed to one-way contracts. Of note is Matt Walker. Even though he spent the majority of the season with the Adirondack Phantoms, his full hit counts against the off-season cap.

Next is all players signed to a two-way contract. Here, I’ve provided the cap hit, number of games spent with the team, and their cap cost. The latter is what counts toward the off-season cap. Of note here is Brayden Schenn. I didn’t include the bonus adjustment in a separate column as a space-saving measure; I just took it out of the cap cost. Just know that’s why it looks weird with the cap hit being as high as it is with his cap cost being so low. [For the record, his cap hit was $3,110,000, his cap cost was, $2,773,784, and his bonus adjustment was $1,420,000 for a grand total cap cost of $1,353,784.]

Finally, all players that were given qualifying offers are seen below. As Randy Miller noted about a week or so ago, all seven Flyers RFA’s were given qualifying offers. The only one-way offer goes to Jakub Voracek. The rest are two-way. That is why you see the “N/A” next to Mike Testwuide and Andrew Rowe. Neither spent even a single day on the Flyers roster, so none of them count toward the off-season the cap. The rest are adjusted accordingly. [I’ll have more on the qualifying offer subject in a later post.]

The offer sheet and buyout calculation is simple: $0. Why? Because the Flyers haven’t sent out any offer sheets and don’t have any buyouts. Ah, simplicity!

So at the end of the day the Flyers have $56,458,929 in one-way contracts, $40,058,008 in two-way contracts, and $3,443,436 in qualifying offers. That’s a grand total of $63,960,373. Subtract that from the available $77,220,000 beginning July 1 and the Flyers are left with a grand total of $13,259,627 in cap space for the offseason.

Of course, the $13.3 million figure is only an estimate. The qualifying offers are only valid until July 15. Furthermore, if any or all of those RFA’s are signed with bonuses (or even at a higher cap hit), that will adjust the Flyers cap situation.

But for now, Flyers fans at least have a (relatively) concrete figure to look at. And that’s got to count for something.

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