|Savard deal no longer an issue||09.03.10 at 7:10 pm ET|
According to TSN, the NHL and NHLPA have finally agreed to a change in rules regarding players’ contracts. As part of the agreement, longterm deals that were under investigation by the league (including Marc Savard’s deal) will be grandfathered. The rules, which will be explained below, will apply to all contracts filed after Friday.
The report includes two stipulations. Though the gist of it is well-understood here, rewording it may only confuse some. Here’s an excerpt from Darren Dreger:
“First: For long-term contracts extending beyond the age of 40, the contract’s average annual value for the years up to and including 40, are calculated by dividing total value in those years by the number of years up to and including 40. Then for the years covering ages 41 and beyond, the cap charge in each year is equal to the value of the contract in that year.
For example, say a 35-year old player agrees to a 7-year deal that is set to expire when the player is 42 years old. The deal is set up as follows: $7.6 million for the first four years followed by $4 million in the fourth year, then two final seasons at $525,000. Under the terms of the new amendment you would add up the first five years of the contract (to the age of 40) and calculate the average: $34.4 million divided by five years equals $6.88 million. That number would now be the player’s cap hit over those first five years. His cap hit in the final two years of his deal would be the actual value of the contract in those seasons, therefore a cap hit of $525,000 for years six and seven of the deal.
Secondly, for long-term contracts that include years in which the player is 36, 37, 38, 39 and 40; the amount used for purposes of calculating his average annual value is a minimum of $1 million in each of those years (even if his actual compensation is less during those seasons).
As an example, a player signs the exact same seven-year deal discussed above, however the deal is signed at the age of 32 and is set to expire when the player reaches 39 years old. For that contract, the two seasons at $525,000 would remain, however they would be treated as years at $1 million for the purpose of calculating the appropriate cap charge.”
The second stipulation would have applied to Savard, whose deal runs until he is 39.
|Reported NHL/NHLPA agreement could end Marc Savard saga||at 2:46 pm ET|
According to a tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger, an agreement has been reached between the NHL and the NHLPA on a revision to the calculation of salary cap hits. As part of the settlement that has been agreed upon, the latest Ilya Kovalchuk contract proposal will be approved and, if previous reports prove consistent, so-called “retirement contracts” being investigated will be grandfathered.
Dreger tweets that the two sides are working to file the necessary paperwork on the revision by 5 p.m. Friday, the NHL’s deadline for the players’ association to accept their terms.
Previously, a player’s cap hit was calculated simply by dividing the contracts total money by the years of the deal. Teams found a loophole and capitalized on it by paying players big money up front and tacking on additional years for very little money. This meant a player would still get the high salaries they demanded while the team would have a managable cap hit.
Marc Savard‘s contact was viewed as such by the league, as the seven-year, $28.5 million pact paid far more up front than it did over the rest of its life (more than half the money is being paid out in the first two seasons, but his cap hit will be just $4.007 million).
The new rules will make it so that a player’s cap hit is calculated the same way as before, but with only years until the player’s 40th birthday counted. This prevents teams from dramatically lowering a highly paid player’s cap hit. For what it’s worth, Savard’s deal, which has been under investigation since December, would expire less than a month before his 40th birthday and would not be deemed illegal even by the new rules.
|Bruins release preseason roster||at 12:52 pm ET|
The Bruins have released the roster of players set to attend this season’s training camp, which starts with some captains practices next week before formally opening on September 17.
Here’s the list:
|Agent: Lawsuit coming if Savard’s deal with Bruins is nixed||09.02.10 at 1:01 pm ET|
Larry Kelly, the agent for Marc Savard, made the most notable noise from the Savard camp Thursday since news broke this month that the center’s contract with the Bruins was being investigated.
Savard signed a seven-year, $28.5 million extension with the Bruins in December, but its front-loaded nature has led to its investigation. The NHL is willing to grandfather such deals if the NHLPA agrees to a new way of calculating salary cap hits, but if the players association declines the terms, Savard’s deal could be voided.
That’s where Kelly comes in. Appearing on Team 1200 radio in Ottawa Thursday, the agent said that legal action would be taken against the NHL if such a scenario to play out. If the deal were to be voided, Savard would become a free agent to sign with any club. The problem is that the prime free agency has passed, and many teams have already made their plans for the coming season, thus not having the cap space to sign a top player. Thirteen teams have less than $4.007 (Savard’s anticipated cap hit this season) freed, so such a signing would be made difficult at this time.
“I haven’t heard anything from the league, but I feel the contract is fine. It was not rejected on its face. It was registered. I’m not expecting any major problem. If the league were to arbitrarily do something, it would be a very, very serious issue. Marc Savard had a very serious concussion last year. He came back in the playoffs to try and help his team. He was not anywhere near the player he had been. If Marc is without a contract and is a so-called free agent after missing the free agency period, you can imagine the lawsuit that would ensue,” Kelly said.
Kelly also expressed a desire for commissioner Gary Bettman to take the side of players more often.
“I’d really like to see a true commissioner-style , someone who has the best interest of the game in mind rather than the situation they have now. Bettman is [more like] the president of the league and he clearly is on the owners side on every issue. I really think it should be a commissioner. With a commissioner you have somebody who is totally independent and I think it would be a much less acrimonious situation,” Kelly said.
[Props to sportsnet.ca]
|Looks like Marc Savard’s deal should stick||at 12:48 pm ET|
Marc Savard was popular enough this offseason before it came to light that his seven-year, $28.5 million deal was under investigation by the NHL. The subject of trade rumors throughout the summer, there has been plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Bruins’ center, but it appears at least some of the confusion may be resolved.
According to a report from Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the NHL has notified that the NHLPA that it will “grandfather” back-loaded contracts, including the most recent Ilya Kovalchuk proposal, under the condition that the cap hit is is calculated slightly differently for future deals. Currently, a player’s cap hit is determined by dividing total money by total years. This has led to some clever maneuvering by NHL teams, who have simply inked players to front-loaded contracts that have addition years tacked on at very little cost. This means the player gets the big money they want while the teams face a more manageable cap hit.
Count Savard among the group of players to sign such deals, as he makes more than half his deal’s money in the first two seasons of his contract. The NHL is proposing that from now on, cap hits do not factor in salaries of seasons in which the player is 40 years old. This prevents such contracts from getting out of hand, though it is worth noting that Savard, 33 and born in July, will be 39 when his deal expires.
The players union has until 5 p.m. Friday to accept the terms, according to the report.
|A productive offseason appears over||09.01.10 at 12:26 am ET|
There are some pretty big similarities and differences that come to mind when looking at how the Bruins entered training camp last season vs. how they will do so this month (September 17). The biggest similarity isn’t too hard to find, as the team is coming off a Game 7 defeat in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second time in as many years.
Some things, though, are just the opposite of what they were a year ago. Last season, the biggest question regarded what would happen to the team’s hotshot youngster in Phil Kessel. Five days into camp, Kessel was a Maple Leaf and a much richer man. This season, with Tyler Seguin, the team enters camp with the excitement that surrounds a new young star (refraining from overusing “wunderkind”).
Last year, it was calculating whether the offense would still be elite without Kessel (it wasn’t). This season, it’s a matter of how much better it becomes with Seguin and Nathan Horton.
Last year carried the excitement of a re-signed Vezina winner in Tim Thomas. This year, the team will enter camp with a goalie who was forced to hear his name in trade speculation.
The Bruins have made the moves and non-moves that they’ve made and haven’t made, and now it appears they are ready to go for camp. General manager Peter Chiarelli caught up with Matt Kalman of the Bruins Blog (always a good read) Tuesday and said that the squad you see now is likely the one you’ll see in just over two weeks.
“I’m happy where we’re at,” Chiarelli told Kalman. I know there’s been some stuff in the summer with Tim [Thomas] and Marc [Savard], and that has blown by, and we’ve got those two players on our roster, we’ve got some young blood coming and that’s where we’re at.”
The question now is whether the team has done enough to consider themselves a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference given their offseason. Here are a few of the positives:
- Tuukka Rask is a year older and led the league last season in GAA and save percentage while splitting time with Thomas.
- Horton may be in the best situation he’s been in thus far in his career.
- The roster looks strong enough to perhaps be considered favorites in the Northeast division.
- The team could be a puck-moving blueliner away from having the defensive group it needs.
- It may not get the same attention as the Tom Brady situation, but Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and Mark Stuart are among those entering the final year of their contracts. This means 2010-11 could be the final season with the current core of players, which certainly includes Chara and Bergeron.
- The salary cap is going to be a headache that could last into the season. If a move isn’t made before the season, expect speculation to continue until the team makes a move or Marco Sturm returns.
Is this a team that will go to an offensive extreme for the third year in a row (second in the league in scoring in 2008-09, dead last a year ago)? Very unlikely. Will the offense, when put in front of a good defense and top goaltending duo, be good enough to still make them one of the more difficult teams to face next season? There isn’t much that would suggest the contrary. This is a team that finished sixth in the East in the regular season. There’s plenty to improve on, but it seems they’ve done plenty to do so.
The guess would have to be that the Bruins will be a better team September 17 than they were after dealing Kessel away last September. Whether it’s good enough remains to be seen, but any buzz surrounding this club as it gears up for a new season seems warranted.
|Report: Savard still on trade block||08.30.10 at 11:40 pm ET|
According to an ESPN report from James Murphy, the Bruins are “actively shopping” center Marc Savard despite this month’s news that his contract has been under investigation by the NHL.
“The investigation by the NHL definitely made teams back off from their interest in Savard, but the team is still open to trading him and trying to,” a source told Murphy.
The report adds that talks with teams have been “hampered” by a lack of cap space among teams throughout the league. Savard’s deal, a seven-year pact worth $28.5 million total, carries an annual cap hit of $4.007 million. The deal has been under investigation due to it’s being front-loaded salary-wise in an effort to water down the cap hit. Half of the deal’s money is paid out over the first two years, meaning extra years at less money make for more of a team-friendly deal.
The Bruins are just more than $3 million over the leagues $59.4 million salary cap, but will be given relief of $3.5 million as long as Marco Sturm is out. Once he returns, the team will need to make a move, and Savard as been viewed as a candidate to go.
The center hasn’t made any comments on the situation thus far to anyone around these parts, though he did tell the Ottawa Sun that he hasn’t liked the context in which his name has been brought up this summer.
“I was really focused on staying [in Boston] the rest of my career,” Savard told the paper. “To hear all this stuff this summer bothered me inside more than anything else.”
The cap situation and the arrival of second overall draft pick in center Tyler Seguin have been the primary perceived motivation factors for the team to move Savard, though one might question whether the league’s worst offense from a year ago can afford subtracting one of its best players.
In 41 games last season, Savard had 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points. His regular season was cut short by a hit to the head from Penguins’ forward Matt Cooke on March 7.
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