The National Hockey League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement is a document full of loopholes, caveats and awkward sub-clauses. Thanks to Micheal Ferland electing to go to salary arbitration – and the subsequent signing of Ferland to a new contract, avoiding an actual hearing – the Calgary Flames will have a second buyout window available to them.
The window opens up for 48 hours and begins three days after the deal is filed with the Central Registry; based on when the signing was formally announced (falling into Friday in terms of the league’s “business hours”), the window will likely open up on Monday, July 17 at 5 p.m. MT and close on Wednesday, July 19 at the same time.
But before you get too excited, the second buyout window carries with it some unique restrictions that you should know about.
There’s a second window…
Let’s go straight to the CBA for why there’s a window:
The gist: Because this is a player-elected salary arbitration case (as opposed to club-elected), the Flames automatically have the second buyout window available to them. But the second part of this excerpt is where the “fun” begins…
…but there are restrictions
Teams can only buy out players that (a) were on their reserve list as of the last trade deadline and (b) meet a minimum cap hit requirement that’s scaled to the growth of the average salary during the CBA period.
At the beginning of the CBA period, the minimum cap hit was scaled at $2.75 million. But since there’s no central resource listing the growth of the average salary, we turned to the folks over at Cap Friendly to give us the number:
This years minimum cap for second window buyouts is $3,209,029
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 14, 2017
There are nine Flames players with cap hits of $3,209,029 or more (and that were on the team’s reserve list as of the last trade deadline) – [new Flames Travis Hamonic and Mike Smith can’t be bought out]:
- Johnny Gaudreau ($6,750,000)
- Mark Giordano ($6,750,000)
- Sean Monahan ($6,375,000)
- Dougie Hamilton ($5,750,000)
- T.J. Brodie ($4,650,400)
- Troy Brouwer ($4,500,000)
- Michael Frolik ($4,300,000)
- Mikael Backlund ($3,575,000)
- Michael Stone ($3,500,000)
Just putting it out there
We’re not saying that the Flames are going to buy out Brouwer. They’re already paying three players (Lance Bouma, Ryan Murphy and Mason Raymond) just over $1.8 million against the cap to not play for them. It’s not likely that they’ll want to bust out another $1.5 million against the cap to pay a fourth player to not play for them, even if it’s a fourth liner making $4.5 million for another three seasons.
That said, buying out Brouwer would save them $3 million in cap space over each of the next three seasons. If you’re banging the Jaromir Jagr drum, this is probably the only chance to open up cap space to bring him in.