Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Pronger Considered A Player, Can He Also Be A Scout?

from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

Chris Pronger walks a fine line between working for the Flyers in a scouting capacity and sitting in on meetings with management, all the while being a dues-paying member of the NHLPA.

Such is the life of a former player, struck down by post-concussion syndrome, and living between two worlds -- permanently disabled player and club scouting.

“I have yet to be told what my duties are,” said Pronger, who still suffers from headaches from an ocular concussion, and likely will for the rest of his life.

“As still an active player and a dues-paying member of the [NHLPA] and all that, I know my role will be somewhat limited still in what I can and can’t do," Pronger said on Thursday at Flyers training camp.

Pronger is not an active player in the true sense. He can’t retire without harming the Flyers' salary infrastructure. Under the CBA, they would be stuck with his near-$4.9 million cap hit for the remaining four years of his contract without the ability to place him on LTIR.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Comments

Avatar

Philly is certainly trying to skirt the Salary Cap rules.  But I don’t think the NHL can do any more then glare at them.  They certainly don’t want to get in a fight with the P.A. over forcing a player to retire. 

For Philly its making the best of a bad situation:  They have to pay Pronger, but he can go on LTIR for cap relief.

For Pronger he is making big bucks to hang out with the team.  If he retires he leaves the Flyers in a bad situation. 

 

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 09/13/13 at 10:15 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Honestly?

The league should force the situation if everyone knows Pronger can’t play again.  Force Philly to eat the cap $$$, lose it for years, and let everyone just move on.

I really am not a fan of things like this where things get drug out years and years.  If there were one more year or something it’d be different, but 4 years is just plain Philly’s own fault.

And I hate, hate, HATE that teams continue to worm out of these long-term deals they signed in various ways.


That said, it seems fitting to me that this is Pronger’s end and that he gets to live with it the rest of his life.  Perhaps that sound cruel, but Pronger was a giant d*ck..  He was a dirty player who regularly delivered headhshots (remember what he did to Holmstrom in the playoffs that gave us Pronger Fizziks?) with no apologies.  Perhaps it’s fitting that that’s how his career gets to end now.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 10:23 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

HATE that teams continue to worm out of these long-term deals they signed in various ways.

They aren’t “worming” out of anything. The team is still on the hook for the salary they contracted to pay. He’s not cleared to play, so he’s not playing and getting paid as if he is playing. That’s the risk the team took when they signed him to a contract. It’s not like they’re paying him minimal money with large off -the-book salary while he plays on the ice; and that is really what all the salary regulation is about.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 09/13/13 at 10:31 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Perhaps it’s fitting that that’s how his career gets to end now.
Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 10:23 AM ET

Karma is, in fact, a bitch.

What makes the LTIR situation for Pronger all the harder to swallow, is that he plays for Philly, who’s owner, Ed Snider, has been a staunch Bettman supporter and helped to orchestrate the last two lockouts.  Yet he and Holmgren continue to find ways to skirt the rules that he cost us a season and a half of hockey to install.

Posted by Hootinani on 09/13/13 at 10:36 AM ET

Primis's avatar

They aren’t “worming” out of anything. The team is still on the hook for the salary they contracted to pay. He’s not cleared to play, so he’s not playing and getting paid as if he is playing. That’s the risk the team took when they signed him to a contract. It’s not like they’re paying him minimal money with large off -the-book salary while he plays on the ice; and that is really what all the salary regulation is about.

Posted by SnLO from the sub-great white north on 09/13/13 at 10:31 AM ET

They aren’t having to pay the penalty against the cap though.  So yes, it *IS* them worming out of it.

Philly signed Pronger to that long deal as a 35+ deal and at the time everyone said it was a stupid thing and high-risk.  Sticking Pronger on LTIR for 4 more years is a load of horsesh*t.  They should lose that cap space, period.  They signed the high-risk, long-term deal.

It’d be nice if NHL teams had to face actual consequences for these deals once instead of just always having an “out” of some sort.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 10:40 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

It’s not like they’re paying him minimal money with large off -the-book salary while he plays on the ice; and that is really what all the salary regulation is about.
Posted by SnLO from the sub-great white north on 09/13/13 at 10:31 AM ET

No, they signed a 35 year old player to a 7 year deal to circumvent the cap and lower his cap number with added years at low pay he never meant to play.  Then helped to lockout the players for half a season to get rid of contracts like this.

Posted by Hootinani on 09/13/13 at 10:46 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Perhaps it’s fitting that that’s how his career gets to end now.
Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 10:23 AM ET


Karma is, in fact, a bitch.

Look, I hated the guy, but I have a hard time feeling smug that he’s likely going to experience this pain for the rest of his life.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 09/13/13 at 10:51 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Look, I hated the guy, but I have a hard time feeling smug that he’s likely going to experience this pain for the rest of his life.
Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 09/13/13 at 10:51 AM ET

Not sure smug is the word you are looking for.  I don’t feel any happyness or self-fulfillment in the way his career has ended.  I’m just pointing out that after a long career full of intent to injure others, it seems to be coming back to him.

Posted by Hootinani on 09/13/13 at 11:16 AM ET

Avatar

No, they signed a 35 year old player to a 7 year deal to circumvent the cap and lower his cap number with added years at low pay he never meant to play.

How was signing him to a 35+ contract that wouldn’t come off the books if/when he retires supposed to circumvent the cap?

His deal is actually opposite of circumventing the cap.

Posted by Garth on 09/13/13 at 11:17 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

It’d be nice if NHL teams had to face actual consequences for these deals once instead of just always having an “out” of some sort.
Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 10:40 AM

They do have to face the consequence. They must still pay the contract unless he retires. Though I do agree the intent behind the signing was to contract him for years that he was not likely to be playing to lower the cap number. As was pointed out, that issue was addressed by the lock-out.

On your other point, teams should have an out for exceptional circumstances. Pronger would likely be playing this season if not for the injury so LTIR is perfectly reasonable and why it is there. In addition, an out that is not of the exceptional variety, a team can assign a player to an AHL affiliate (unless they handcuff themselves with a NMC). If a team can afford to have their AHL affiliate with an equal payroll to the 1st team, more power to them. Most teams don’t use this option though.

If teams didn’t have some sort of flexibility to manipulate their roster, it would not be long before a team could not ice enough players for a competitive contest regardless whether by injury or through cap penalty.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 09/13/13 at 11:18 AM ET

Avatar

Not sure smug is the word you are looking for.

I’m 100% sure it is.

Posted by Garth on 09/13/13 at 11:21 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

His deal is actually opposite of circumventing the cap.
Posted by Garth on 09/13/13 at 11:17 AM ET

Acutally, his contract is the definition of a back diving contract, which is cap circumvention.

Posted by Hootinani on 09/13/13 at 11:34 AM ET

Avatar

Didn’t the Devils lose a first rounder for complying with the CBA, but circumventing the “spirit” of the CBA? I just want to know when is it that the letter of the CBA matters and when only the spirit of the deal matters.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 09/13/13 at 12:28 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Even if he never meant to play those years, they’d still count against the cap which at the time they signed him was still in the $40s. I still think this situations is a lot more palpable then the whole chicanery with Kovalchuk and the wink/wink I’m retiring from the NHL crap that saved NJ. I have no problem if any other team did this to someone they signed if they were injured on-ice like Pronger was. Also, remember by him still being on LTIR, the Flyers are required to cover everything else about his recovery, Pronger isn’t on the hook for that. If he were to retire tomorrow, he would lose whatever salary is left plus that coverage. Don’t think that isn’t important to the player also.

Oh and for you self righteous Red Wings fans, what about Zetterberg’s contract? Here’s his last few years:

SEASON   AHL $        NHL $    BONUSES   CAP HIT
2016-17 $7,500,000 $7,500,000 $0 — $6,083,333
2017-18 $7,000,000 $7,000,000 $0 — $6,083,333
2018-19 $3,350,000 $3,350,000 $0 — $6,083,333
2019-20 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $0 — $6,083,333
2020-21 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $0 — $6,083,333

He’d go on LTIR if a long-term, most likely career ending injury occurred over the rest of his contract, guarantee it.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 09/13/13 at 12:29 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Oh and for you self righteous Red Wings fans, what about Zetterberg’s contract? Here’s his last few years:

SEASON   AHL $      NHL $  BONUSES   CAP HIT
2016-17 $7,500,000 $7,500,000 $0 — $6,083,333
2017-18 $7,000,000 $7,000,000 $0 — $6,083,333
2018-19 $3,350,000 $3,350,000 $0 — $6,083,333
2019-20 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $0 — $6,083,333
2020-21 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $0 — $6,083,333

He’d go on LTIR if a long-term, most likely career ending injury occurred over the rest of his contract, guarantee it.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 09/13/13 at 12:29 PM ET

Shhh!  Quick, change the topic! Damn Canadian hockey journalists!

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 09/13/13 at 12:38 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

How was signing him to a 35+ contract that wouldn’t come off the books if/when he retires supposed to circumvent the cap?

If I remember correctly, Philadelphia thought that because he actually signed the deal before 35 that it wouldn’t count as a 35+ contract and were surprised when corrected on it.

- - -

All in all, any fix that forces them to stop flaunting the end-around to this rule is much worse for hockey and for the players than what Pronger is doing.

I don’t give two shits; it’s the Flyers’ money and the NHLPA isn’t forcing anything knowing full well that it’s also $12M+ more dollars Pronger’s getting paid against the set pot that is the players’ share, and that every time they give money back in escrow, a portion of that is because Pronger’s getting paid to do nothing.

It’s a shitty situation, but I’m not smart enough to think of a way to fix it without making it shittier.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/13/13 at 12:55 PM ET

Primis's avatar

My gripe is not with the contract term, or salary, or any of the other details.

My gripe is that they signed him to that deal and now are going to store him on LTIR for four years so they don’t have to deal with the cap consequences of the long-term deal because he got hurt and his career is now over, even though he counts asa 35+ contract.

It blows that they don’t have to face cap consequences, completely blows.  I have no problem with them paying him still or whatnot.  Purely a cap-related gripe.

Posted by Primis on 09/13/13 at 01:22 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Purely a cap-related gripe

well… he does count against the team 50-player-under-contract cap….  There is that.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 09/13/13 at 01:27 PM 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.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

image

image