While I was checking out the list of signed players and the salary obligations for each team, I was baffled by the New Jersey Devils list.
It appears that they have 17 players under contract and $43.48M in salary obligations. The salary cap is $44M. If all of that salary obligation is going against the cap, they have $520k left to sign a minimum of five players. That won't work because the league minimum in the NHL is $450k. I seriously need some help from someone who's more familiar with the CBA and/or the specific contracts some of these players are under.
For example, Hepatitis Boy is earning $7.5M this season as part of a seven-year, $42M contract. I can't remember how those work as far as cap obligations are concerned. I think a player has to be 35 or older before they start factoring in the average yearly salary. Elias is just 30, so I think they have to count the whole $7.5M towards the cap. Either way, they're in trouble.
The Devils were in a similar situation last summer as I repeatedly wrote. They got out of trouble by unloading Jeff Friesen at a bargain basement price , and also thanks to the fact that Hepatitis Boy wasn't getting paid while he was on the mend. This summer, it looks like they'll have to unload a couple of players or something. They seriously need to shed some of those salary commitments.
If I'm missing something about their salary commitments vis-a-vis their cap commitments, please let me know.
Speaking of Hepatitis Boy and his $42M contract, I have a question there as well. This summer, I've seen a bunch of players sign contracts in the 7- and 8-year neighborhood. Last summer, the Islanders offered Rick DiPietro a 15-year deal, but he refused it in part because of insurance issues. My understanding is that the NHL will only cover insurance through the first five years of a contract, and the player is on his own after that. Why would anyone, then, sign a deal for more than five seasons? I can only imagine that the premium on health insurance for a hockey player would be insanely expensive. Especially when 100% of it is out-of-pocket. Insanely expensive to the the point of making it pointless to have signed the contract.
My question there is if I'm missing something. Am I, perhaps, wrong about the five years thing? My other question is about the cap. How much of Jersey's $43.48M is going against the cap?
4 years ago