by PuckStopsHere on 02/28/15 at 04:38 PM ET
Yesterday I wrote about the David Clarkson/ Nathan Horton trade which is an LTIR fraud. Toronto is interested in Nathan Horton for no reason other than the fact they can keep him on the longterm injured reserve indefinitely as he never makes an attempt to return to the NHL. This is something that should not be allowed in the rules. A player developing an injury (or more often than not a longterm problem that can be exploited as such) should not allow a team to get out of the salary cap implications of a bad contract.
Neffernin does a good example of explaining why this is a fraud on the team's side with his hypothetical example:
Last year, Alfredsson signs a 5 year contract with Detroit at 2m/year instead of a 1 year @ 4m. He knows he doesn’t have 5 years left, potentially 2 left in him. He’s had recurring back issues, something easily leaned upon when going on LTIR. So instead of a year or two of a 4m cap hit, Detroit gets a cap hit of 2m instead. After Alfredsson retires…. erm goes LTIR, Detroit gets the 2m credited back to them (added on top of the cap amount) instead. During the time Alfredsson is playing, Detroit is getting a discount on the cap due to abusing LTIR.
This time the trade is not directly an LTIR fraud, but it was motivated by a failed attempt at it. This trade is Philadelphia's trading Kimmo Timonen to Chicago for a 2nd round draft pick.
Philadelphia has a history of placing players on LTIR (often for several years) to get out of contracts. Chris Pronger, Mike Rathje, Derian Hatcher and Ian Laperriere all spent at least the final season of their final contracts on the longterm injured reserve. Every one of these moves was required to get them below the salary cap.
This year they did the same with Kimmo Timonen. Timonen signed a one year contract extension with a $2 million base salary and several potential bonuses. Timonen was kept from playing due to blood clots. Given the facts that he is 39 years old and cannot fit into any longterm plans and that the Flyers are not in the playoff race, the Flyers were happy if he settled onto the LTIR this season and never returned. When it became clear that he was returning, they had no desire to give him a roster spot. They didn't want him to return. Their attempt to bury his contract on the LTIR wasn't going to work. As a result they traded him.
Chicago is a team that has a shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Chicago wants a player like Timonen and was willing to give up a second rounder. Philadelphia trades him because they get an asset in return. They didn't want him. They wanted him to go on the LTIR and never return. The fact he returned created the problem and forced his trade.
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