This morning over at Puck Daddy, Mr. Wyshynski brought to light something I was unaware of. Apparently, it’s possible to circumvent the cap twice on one deal.
Three years ago, Daniel Alfredsson – an elite NHL player and captain of the Ottawa Senators – signed a three year deal. Actually, check that – it was a three year deal masquerading as four years, so the Sens could drop a year on the end that would pay him $1 million to drastically bring down his cap hit. Presumably, neither Alfie nor the Sens thought he’d be returning to play that final season (that, or they thought ahead about the whole double circumvention move).
That last year (or years, in the case of some recent deals) of the contract is a little shady, and as most hockey people would agree. For example, the other years on that deal he made $7M, $7M, and $4.5M, a total cap hit of $6.166M. With the “circumvention year,” his cap hit is a comfy $4.875M.
So to steal a point from Wysh, if Daniel Alfredsson were to return, he’d train all summer and abuse his body for another NHL season to make slightly less than Bobby Butler?
Presenting loophole #2.
Alfredsson could sign a contract extension, as anyone within a year of the end of their current deal has the right to do. Remember, when you sign a new contract, you can get a signing bonus. THUS: Daniel Alfredsson could sign a contract for a year or two that he doesn’t intend to play a second under, the Sens can chuck him an extra three mill or so, and voila – they’ve enjoyed a low cap hit for a player a few years, and now he’ll still be paid well, and still be a low cap hit.
Here’s the key points from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, likely explaining it better than me:
The 40-year-old Brodeur sniffed around the market, but agreed to sign a two-year, $9-million deal with the Devils Monday morning. Whitney, a UFA who spent last season in Phoenix, got a similar deal with the Stars.
Not only would an extension ensure Alfredsson doesn’t go anywhere as a UFA, the Senators could include a signing bonus so that Alfredsson gets a bump from the $1-million salary he’s supposed to collect 2012-13.
I mean, that’s just good work right there. I’m not even mad, I’m impressed.