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The Skinny on The Openers

"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Friday, February 07, 2014

No deal.


SO it looks like the Olympic Trade deadline has come and gone without anything being done of any consequence throughout the NHL.

Rosters are now frozen through the end of the Olympics and GMs will then have about 10 days before the window closes for good at 3pm ET on Wednesday, March 5th.

As the clock moves closer to the deadline, more teams may be able to take on contracts such as Thomas Vanek's.

Here's why:

According to capgeek, Vanek's contract carries a 4.9833m cap hit to the Isles.  (The remaining goes to the Sabres, partly for his time with the team this season (roughly 15%) and partly because of an arrangement in the deal that sent him to the Isles.)  That hit reflects the 169 days that remained in the NHL season when Vanek was acquired.

Had a team acquired Vanek today, they would have been responsible for 66 days of Vanek's cap hit, which is roughly $29,500 per day -- this equates to about $1.95m.

By waiting until deadline day, that drops to only 40 days, or roughly $1.18m.   Given that there are a number of teams operating near the cap this year (remember the cap decreased from last season) that difference may make it possible for more teams to get into the "Vanek sweepskates".

What could the Isles be looking at in return for a "Rent-a-Vanek"?

Look at what Pittsburgh gave up for JAROME IGINLA (a pure rental) last year:

1ST-ROUND PICK (2013)
F KENNETH AGOSTINO  (A Senior at Yale this season, he won a national championship a month after the trade)
F BEN HANOWSKI      (After finishing at St. Cloud State, he scored a goal for Calgary in 5 games last year; has gone 11-14-25 in the AHL this year)


Iginla was only 9-13-22 for Calgary at the time of the trade.   Only the NHL war room has kept Vanek from being a 20-goal scorer so far this season (19-29-48).

When the Isles moved Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin to the Blackhawks yesterday they did so in what was known as a "Retained Salary transaction".  Published reports indicate the Isles are sharing the costs with the Hawks 50-50 for the balance of the season.  Each team is allowed 3 retained salary transactions at any one time, so the Isles could retain half of Vanek's salary in a future deal which would perhaps yield a better player or a higher draft pick.  (Bouchard and Regin both are on 1-year contracts, so they will not affect the Isles beyond the end of this season)


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick
 

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