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What The Wings May Do To Get Cap Compliant

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

If Emmerton clears at noon on Monday, he will be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Either way, the move opens a roster spot and shaves $533,000 off the cap.

General manager Ken Holland said center Darren Helm (back) will be placed on long-term injured reserve on Monday. That clears another roster spot and gives the club $2.125 million in cap relief.

The Red Wings currently have 26 players and are approximately $2.4 million over the cap. They have until 3 p.m. Monday to reduce their roster to 23 players.

Right wing Patrick Eaves (sprained MCL and ankle) and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson (groin) will start the season on injured reserve. The club will determine on Monday whether it's long-term or short-term.

Clubs receive cap relief if a player goes on long-term IR (minimum 10 games and 24 days). Short-term IR (minimum seven days) does not provide cap relief, it only creates a roster spot.

If Eaves and Gustavsson both go on short-term IR, the Red Wings will need to make another move to clear some salary because Gustavsson's $1.5 million will still be on the cap, along with his replacement, Petr Mrazek's $790,000 salary.

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WARNING: very long post regarding the Red Wings’ cap situation forthcoming.

Based on my understanding (which could be wrong, because this is very confusing and I’ve spent the better part of the last few hours trying to figure it out) of the way the system works, the following two things are true:

1) The Wings need to get down to 23 roster players BEFORE LTIR is invoked, meaning that (unless there’s a trade coming imminently) the Red Wings will have no choice but to send Nyquist and DeKeyser down temporarily, at least in a paper transaction.

2) If LTIR is used at the beginning of a season for a team that’s already over the cap, that team gets no cap relief apart from the portion they’re already over. They are considered to have “already replaced” their injured player and are considered exactly at the cap, meaning no callups can be made.

So, the obvious question is: does waiving Emmerton and demoting Nyquist and DeKeyser for a day get the Wings under the cap so that they can put some guys on LTIR and then call both players back up?

The answer is, “I’m not sure.”

According to capgeek’s calculator, waiving Emmerton and sending Nike and DeKeyser to GR still leaves the Red Wings $430,000 over the cap.

This is a result of how capgeek estimates the bonus cushion. In calculating Detroit’s available space, $850,000 of DeKeyser’s $1.35 million cap hit was already being ignored and folded into the bonus cushion, so sending him down, in effect, only nets Detroit $500k in space. The $1.35m comes off the books, but the $850k in allowance does too.

Unfortunately, my understanding of the CBA confirms that this is the correct way to look at the situation. According to the CBA, missed performance bonuses provide dollar-for-dollar relief in the year that they were missed only.

So, if DeKeyser misses all his bonuses this year, even though he makes $925k (his base salary), he only counts $500k against the cap this year. This is so that his total “real life” payments and his total cap cost over his contract even out. In that scenario, this is how it would break down at the end of this year:

REAL PAYOUT: $925k in 2013, $925k in 2014, TOTAL: $1.85m
CAP HIT: $1.35m in 2013, $500k in 2014, TOTAL: $1.85m

Even if I’m wrong about how bonuses are calculated and sending DeKeyser down nets the team $925k in savings (i.e. his full salary minus performance bonuses), there’s still the question of whether or not it gets the team under the cap, because I’m not sure whether sending Nyquist down clears $925k or $950k. Nyquist is on a 1-way deal, so even though he’s eligible to be sent down without clearing waivers, The portion of his salary over the $925k still might have to count against the cap (just as it would if, say, Tootoo was sent down). As far as I know, waiver eligibility has nothing to do with whether or not the Wade Redden rule is in effect.

$25k might not seem like a lot, but it really could be the difference between being $5k over or $20k under, depending on how the rules work for DeKeyser.

———————

In summary: I really really hope I’m wrong here, or that I’m missing something obvious, and all this research has been for nothing. Because from what I can see I suspect the Wings really really screwed this one up and really needed to waive an extra player by today’s deadline.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 09/29/13 at 02:17 PM ET

SK77's avatar

In summary: I really really hope I’m wrong here, or that I’m missing something obvious, and all this research has been for nothing. Because from what I can see I suspect the Wings really really screwed this one up and really needed to waive an extra player by today’s deadline.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 09/29/13 at 03:17 PM ET

Uhhhmmmm .... personally I think I’ll defer to the Wings’ Brain Trust on this one.

Posted by SK77 on 09/29/13 at 03:51 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.