Apparently, there are some teams that are not too happy with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lighting for using the “loop hole” on three teams working together to get around salary cap issues and add players of high value to teams with no cap space. While it’s not actually a loop hole, and well within the rules of the CBA, some teams have addressed concerns with the NHL that this is salary cap circumvention.
The NHL isn’t buying.
According to Pierre LeBrun, who addressed the topic during a recent TSN Insider Trading segment, the NHL was paying attention to the deals that were being made and they have no issues with them at all. LeBrun explained:
They know very well what is going on with these deals. Toronto did it a year ago, by the way. Certainly now with the flat cap, it’s become a much bigger deal. The David Savard deal, the Nick Foligno trade, and Mattias Janmark on deadline day, all needed a third team to help with the cap space. The Sharks and the Red Wings, the teams involved, all got draft picks for being that cap space broker.
He goes on to say that some team executives aren’t comfortable with what took place with all the salary retention. But, LeBrun said the league is not concerned because no money left the system and it’s all being accounted for somewhere. “As far as the league is concerned, there is no money outside the system, all the cap money is accounted for and, at the end of the day, a hockey asset was acquired by that team so they’re okay with it,” LeBrun notes.
This Isn’t New, Just Really Obvious Now
The issue isn’t so much that these types of deals are happening. Perhaps it’s more that the moves are blatantly in your face when a player like Foligno goes from making $5.5 million to $1.375 on the cap. He went from second-highest paid player on the Columbus Blue Jackets roster, to the 10th-highest on Toronto’s.
Again, this isn’t illegal, but some teams are upset that they either A) didn’t have the foresight to think of doing such a deal or B) are just mad that a team like the Maple Leafs continued to make noise during the trade deadline when most teams figured they were well out of contention.
If I’m these teams… I’d be more concerned with the idea that Frederik Andersen is being left out of the lineup until the playoffs, when he might have been ready to return prior to that. His being held out gave the Leafs the cap space they did have to make these moves in the first place.
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