ESPN.com Hockey Writer Chuck Gormley is reporting that General Manager George McPhee and the Vegas Golden Knights are indeed ready to make deals.
With the recent signing of former KHLer Vadim Shipachyov to a 2-year deal worth $9 million and an AAV of $4.5 million over that span his contract does include a $2 million signing bonus with the franchise.
After the Shipachyov signing McPhee has according to CapFriendly.com $65.8 million left to spend. This remaining cap space does not include Reid Duke contract as his is currently being reported as a 2-way deal ELC, if he makes the team out of training camp his salary of $770,000 cap hit per season over the next three years would be reflected.
Per NHL instructions McPhee has to spend to the cap floor which is being reported for this cap cycle at $49.5 million.
Another interesting thing to consider is the as of Friday of last week McPhee during his conference call with reporters confirmed that he has reached out to the Evgeni Dadonov camp regarding a potential deal with the Golden Knights.
“We’re not fooling around here,” McPhee said. “We hired an outstanding staff and we’re going to do the same thing with players — getting good, quality people — and build a winner. I don’t know what we’re going to look like, but what I’d like to have is a team that has everything — talent, depth, size, grit, speed, all of that. Can we do it all in Year One? I don’t know, but we’re going to try.” Per Chuck Gormley ESPN.com
Yesterday I did a piece on what TSN Hockey Analyst and Resident Insider Pierre LeBrun said on that the NHL and NHLPA are still in discussion on when it’s okay for Vegas to speak to those likely RFA’s and UFA’s that will be exposed in the NHL Expansion Draft.
Looking ahead McPhee will be a very busy guy in putting together the final pieces before their big day at the expansion draft.
In accordance to the league rules entering into the expansion there two options in protecting their players.
This protected list is as follows:
The league has given clubs two options in which their roster players are protected.
Option 1: Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender
Option 2: Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender
Below is the rules set by league that makes a player eligible for protection:
Eligible players with their current club must have an active “No Movement” clause when the expansion draft begins.
Players who are in their first and second year in the NHL along with unsigned draft choices are exempted from the selection process.
The good news for McPhee is that he’ll have options available in making deals, he called those “side deals”.
Going into next week McPhee will be working with his think group in the clubs pro scouting department and re-open the communication dialogue with his counterparts around the league in particular those from clubs within his division.
At the most recent GM Meetings that took place in Boca Raton, FL talk about the potential increase in the current salary cap from $73 million to $76 million was a matter of discussion.
If the cap does get a boost going into this season that would mean the largest increase that allows GM’s to spend since the $4.7 million jump that took place between the 2013-14 to 2014-15 seasons.
The issue here on the NHLPA side the escrow factor with the potential increase in cap space that would mean players would lose more of their salaries which TSN’s Hockey Analyst and Resident Insider Pierre LeBrun highlighted in today Leafs Lunch Radio Show.
Courtesy of The Hockey Writers on Escrow:
The CBA provides that exactly 50% of hockey related revenue must be paid to players. If the total amount of salary slated to be paid to players in any season ends up being more than 50% of revenue earned that year, then players are required to forfeit an appropriate portion of their salary so that the 50% mark is hit.
This forfeiture is standard practice when the salary cap is set “too high” such that, when the numbers are crunched at the end of the season, the accountants conclude that teams had “overspent”. And this is what has happened almost every season since the salary cap started a decade ago.
To avoid the possibility of sending full-salary cheques to players only to then require players to return some of that money after the season, the CBA includes an escrow concept, whereby a portion of all player salary is retained in an escrow fund. After the season, the accountants determine how much of the escrow fund should be paid to the players and how much should be returned to the owners.
This is what LeBrun made mentioned of today on Leafs Lunch.
The NHLPA currently has a five percent escalator clause that they are prepared to exercise if the cap does in fact get increased.
Moving ahead for McPhee if the cap stays stagnant for the 2017-18 season at $73 million he going to be very popular person over the course of the next several weeks,
“It’s been pretty quiet, but it’s starting to pick up,” he said. “After May 15 we’ll circle back and talk then.” Per Chuck Gormley ESPN.com