Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Admitting I was wrong about the CBA…is a good thing

Wow. I had made a big assumption in suggesting that players waived and sent to the AHL to bury their cap hits, like Wade Redden, are paid by the players’ share of revenues, which would count against players’ escrow withholdings (like LTIR exemptions for season-ending injuries), and after a series of corrections from Kdb2009, the CBA waters got so murky that I decided to email the NHLPA to clarify the situation. 

NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon confirms that, instead of coming out of the players’ share, and I quote:

Salaries paid to players on one-way contracts who are not in the NHL (i.e. Huet, Redden) are not included in the salaries that are used to determine the Players’ share of the overall HRR.

I was wrong, and I’m more than OK with that.  The CBA’s so damn complicated that it took legalese experts and the NHLPA to clarify the concept that money paid to waived players on one-way deals are just part of the team’s total payroll (as opposed to their cap-limited payroll), and now we know how it works, and that as it turns out, it’s the LTIR that’s the biggest contributor to escrow, outweighing “lifetime contracts’” buried cap hits.  I’d rather look like an idiot (nothing new there) and figure out the truth of the matter so that our discussions further trying to figure out how the CBA actually affects teams and players as both sides prepare to discuss their respectively sticky wickets heading toward its expiration in 2012—because both sides need to come to the table informed and hammer out a CBA they can live with without a lockout for the sakes of those paying their salaries, a.k.a. fans, as well as themselves. 

Now somebody get me a napkin…I’ve got a sunny-side up egg hanging off my forehead.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Thank you so much for following up with this and posting the clarification.  I was also working off an incorrect assumption.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/30/10 at 06:01 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Doesn’t this actually make it WORSE from a player perspective? Are these player still paying into escrow even though they don’t get to play at the NHL level because their club was stupid enough to give them too much money?

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/30/10 at 06:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Yes, Nathan.  The players who are demoted to the AHL are still paying into escrow despite the fact that they’re not playing in the NHL to begin with.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/30/10 at 06:13 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It makes it worse from a single player’s prospective who is demoted, but it also makes it slightly better for all of the players who have to pay a bigger share of escrow because of the players who are getting paid more than their cap hit.

I wouldn’t mind a total SPC salary cap, where there’s only a certain amount a team can pay EVERYBODY under contract, regardless of whether they’re in the minors, Europe, or the NHL.

BUT, I will readily admit that I have not thought all the ramifications of such a system through.  Seems like that would add a lot of complexity to cap situation dealings and could possibly cause a team run by a guy with no forethought whatsoever and injury issues to be unable to ice a full NHL squad for cap reasons.  Forcing clubs to have to forfeit NHL games, even if it is because of their own mind-blowing stupidity is bad for the league.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/30/10 at 06:34 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Another consideration of a total SPC salary cap is what it would do to the nature of affiliations between NHL and AHL squads.  Right now, it’s the NHL squad’s HRRs that are taken to calculate the players’ share.  They’d have to figure in the AHL affiliate’s HRRs into the mix if they’re going to count minor league players’ pay into one ultimate salary cap / players’ share.

I’ll readily admit to not knowing shit about how the business of AHL affiliation with NHL squads is set up.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/30/10 at 06:50 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Well wow, part two: player agent Rand Simon emailed me to let us know that players in the AHL do NOT pay escrow, even if they’re on one-way deals.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/30/10 at 07:03 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

This is turning into a crash course in the complexities of the CBA, isn’t it?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/30/10 at 07:07 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Well hell, it’s only been around five years.  tongue laugh

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/30/10 at 07:09 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Geez, George, if you can’t get a simple thing like whether or not the salaries of players waived and sent to the AHL to bury their cap hits are paid by the players’ share of revenues vis-à-vis counting against players’ escrow withholdings ala LTIR exemptions for season-ending injuries, well, I’m not sure you’re ready to be a reporter.

Oh, wait, you’re not a reporter. You’re a fan-blogger – which explains why you actually corrected yourself instead of trying to hide your original assumption. Gosh, this is so refreshing, and mildly disturbing at the same time. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/30/10 at 07:30 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Wow.  First, you get the clarification from the NHLPA and now you get a player’s agent to yet add another crinkle to the whole discussion.  It only enriches the conversation.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 09/30/10 at 07:44 PM ET

Chet's avatar

these vagaries and loopholes will probably be negotiated out of the next CBA, no? what the players should want:

- there can be no more Huet/Redden “burying” of cap-unfriendly contracts by management. i have no idea what the solution would be, aside from giving teams only the option to buy these players out.

(what’s strange about this is that chicago seemingly loaned huet primarily because of cap problems, while new york has a player on their hands who is not only cap unfriendly, but also isn’t trusted to play in the NHL for the team.)

- escrow calculated only from player salaries that count against the cap, since other management “mistakes” should be paid for by management, not players

this begs the question. would redden (or any other player under a new CBA) rather suffer a net monetary loss by being bought out and maybe latching on with another team for at or near the league minimum?

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 09/30/10 at 07:46 PM ET

calquake's avatar

All this and now bacon is going to cost more.  What is the world coming to?

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 09/30/10 at 08:44 PM ET


Well wow, part two: player agent Rand Simon emailed me to let us know that players in the AHL do NOT pay escrow, even if they’re on one-way deals.

So..in essence…Wade Redden was given a raise to play in the AHL…

Posted by Garth on 09/30/10 at 11:06 PM ET


Now if Redden is in the AHL on an NHL contract that does not pay into escrow do AHL games played count towards the benefits he receives from the NHLPA pension fund?

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/01/10 at 10:14 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com