NHL participation in Olympics complicates capping situations
While the general sentiment surrounding the NHL’s return to the Olympics at the 2022 Winter Games is uplifting, it is not without drawbacks. The regular season’s momentum will be halted, participating players will face risk of injury and COVID-19, and non-participating players will feel cold during the 19-day hiatus. Another issue is the extended period for the regular season and the effect it has on salary cap spending. As Noted By cap resource PuckPedia, the length of the 2021-22 regular season is expected to be 200 days while the typical season is around 186 days. That extra 14 days or so decreases the value of daily heading achievements, making it more difficult for teams to accumulate heading space during the regular season. In another year of flat capping, this could cause problems for some teams near the capping cap.
While the salary cap and individual salaries are often viewed in aggregate throughout the season, maintaining the cap is actually a series of daily calculations. The cap is calculated each day by the wages on the active list as the value of each cap number divided by the total number of days in the season. As a result, in a longer season, each daily cap expense is worth less than in a normal year. Where that comes into play is with cap-based demotions. Each year, a number of teams close to the maximum limit are opening up additional space by removing salary from the active roster in the form of reassignment of players exempted from waivers or who have otherwise granted waivers to the AHL. It can simply be paper transactions outside of the day, extended demotions during foster care, or sometimes waivers and burial of higher wages among minors. However, during a longer season, these maneuvers are less effective as the daily gain from demoting a player will be lower.
The daily salary cap calculations are only for teams with a salary cap, so the nine teams currently expected to start the season using a long-term injury pool are not as concerned about this situation. The daily toll also affects teams with sufficient space far less, and there are currently a dozen teams that are $ 7 million or more below the cap, with at least nine or 10 expected to stay in. this fork. However, for the Maple Leafs, Flames, Penguins, Flyers, Capitals, Bruins, Panthers, Blues, Avalanche, Kings, Canucks and Wild, this lower daily spending cap is not. unimportant. A team like Toronto, which is currently breaking the salary cap with a projected roster that includes just one player exempt from the waiver, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, may see their only source of further relief diminish. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who currently only have $ 122,000 of ceiling space with a projected roster that only contains Radim Zohorna’s minimum contract as a waiver exemption, are in the same boat.
Fortunately, PuckPedia points out that the same source of distress from the cap might provide relief as well. During the Olympic break, teams that can safely demote players will almost certainly do so. These 19 days without the cap will help offset the reduction in the number of daily visits over the remainder of the season. It could also keep these players fresh from the AHL action during this time.