The title of this article sounds like some sort of ski or snowboard movie, possibly starring a young Keanu Reeves or Christian Slater. However, I’m of course talking about teams like the Devils and Canucks and Flyers who have successfully or not so successfully (looking at you, Holmgren) circumvented the NHL’s salary cap.
There are a few different ideas out there to prevent teams from circumventing the cap. I figured since it’s the topic du jour, I’d throw out my own suggestion (which might already be an idea out there)….
What about calculating the cap hit in separate parts, using age 35 as the division for the cap hits? There would be a cap hit calculated for salary paid when the player is less than 35 years old, and another cap hit calculated for salary paid when the player is 35+. In addition, there would need to be some sort of cap on the number of years you can sign a player for, after age 35 (to prevent teams from circumventing that 35+ portion of the cap).
So for example, a player age 30 signs a contract for 10 years, broken down like so:
Years 1-5: $9M, 8M, 8M, 8M, 7M. Years 6-10: $4M, $4M, $4M, $2M, $1M
The cap hit from age 30-34 would be $8M per season (9+8+8+8+7 / 5).
The cap hit from age 35-39 would be $3M per season (4+4+4+2+1).
The idea is based on the thought that a player retiring early shouldn’t be allowed to reduce the value of overall cap hit. So using 35 as sort of a ballpark age at which most players will play until, it forces teams to face the full cap hit for that under 35 age, and allows them a more relaxed cap hit for a player on the decline.
Thoughts? Would it work? Is there a reason it wouldn’t? Just throwing some other random ideas out there.
One of the other ideas going out there is just simply based on capping the max number of years you can sign a player to (say to 5). This can be based on age as well, perhaps on a sliding scale depending on how old the player is, or if they are signing with their current team. Any other ideas out there?