Thursday, July 21, 2005

NY Post: Lidstrom CAN renegotiate

From Mark Everson of the New York Post:
"The six-year deal will cut existing contracts 24 percent, install unannounced testing for performance-enhancing drugs twice a year per player, enable teams to take players to arbitration, and eventually lower the age of unrestricted free agency to 27, or seven years' service. It will allow a buyout period, starting Saturday, for teams to shed players at two-thirds salary, which won't count toward the cap. Almost all team and individual bonuses are banned, with entry-level, signing and roster bonuses exempt. In addition, players over 35 and those returning from injury can have certain performance bonuses. The entry-level cap drops to $850G per year, and those deals will be three-way — meaning they can be sent to the ECHL as well as the AHL. Trades cannot include cash as part of the transactions, and contract renegotiations are only permitted in the final year of a deal."
The Wings have three key players in the final year of a deal: Nick Lidstrom, Manny Legace, and Brendan Shanahan. If this is true, the Wings will be able to free up a considerable amount of money, even offering long term contracts as incentives to the trio. Another rumor that's been mentioned relates to how a player's cap number is figured. It's said that the NHL will consider the cap number to be the average salary over the years of a contract. So if the Wings signed Lidstrom to a contract extension of two years, $10 million, the cap figure would be counted as 10+7.6 = 17.6 / 3 = $5.87 million per season. This would free up $1.73 million next season - enough to help sign free agents when added to the projected $5-6 million they already will have to spend on the market (beyond re-signing our guys). UPDATE 7/22 12:15 pm According to TSN, the rumor about averaging salaries is true:
"The average salary from an entire contract is what will count against the salary cap and not the actual salary from that very season. So a deal that starts at $4 million, then goes to $5 million and ends up at $6 million counts as $5 million a year against the cap."
But how does that affect the Wings? If this rule applies to contract extensions, Lidstrom's salary would be averaged over next season plus the extension seasons. To recap, Lidstrom signed a 2 year, $20 million contract last April, but, since the cancelled season's money doesn't apply, it would only include next season's $7.6 million post-rollback. So, if the Wings signed Lidstrom to a 2-year, $10 million extension, the numbers add like this: $10M (extension) + $7.6M (2005-2006) = $17.6M / 3 = $5.87 million per season counted towards cap. This quote from TSN makes me think contract extensions won't be averaged with existing contracts:
"Teams will not be allowed to re-structure existing player contracts in an attempt to fit a big salary under the cap."
Is a contract extension considered re-structuring an existing player contract?


At 7/22/2005 08:48:00 AM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

Whew! That's a relief!

If it's true...

At 7/22/2005 09:53:00 AM, Blogger Brian List said...

Right now I'm taking it as too good to be true and wonder why it hasn't been leaked by other media outlets as well...I guess we'll find out tonight (or whenever the CBA is released to the public).

I'm getting anxious for this afternoon already! Wings get #1 pick!

At 7/22/2005 05:08:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

Can contracts be extended when it's not the end of the last year of the contract?

At 7/22/2005 07:10:00 PM, Blogger Brian List said...

"Player contracts will not be renegotiated (upward or downward) during their term. Extensions may be negotiated but only in the final year of the contract and only if such extension is for an amount that can be accommodated in a Club's upper limit for the current year or as computed for future years."

Ok saw that, but I still don't see anything, reading through the CBA bullet points, that salaries are averaged over the terms of a this renegotiation business is worthless then. And what about this:

"Clubs will have a one-time opportunity, during a six-day period, to exercise buy-outs of existing player contracts. Amounts paid to players pursuant to these compliance buy-outs will not be counted against a club's upper limit or the League-wide players' share. Clubs that choose to exercise compliance buy-outs must pay the buy-out amount over the remaining term of the contract."

Doesn't say we can't reacquire a bought out player...has anyone found the full text of the CBA yet?

At 7/22/2005 07:54:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

You can't reaquire a bought out player, not for a year, anyway:

"Can such a player, who is bought out pursuant to this procedure, be re-signed by the Club that bought him out?

A player that has been bought out during the compliance buy-out period cannot rejoin his old Club during the 2005-06 season."


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