Here’s the deal with retaining salary in trades


More details of the NHL’s new CBA were unearthed on Monday, with a big one — teams gaining the right to retain salary in trades — getting plenty of reaction across the league.

The rule, as according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

A club cannot absorb more than 50 percent of the players’ annual cap hit/salary in any trade. Any NHL club can only have up to three contracts on their payroll in which the contract was traded away under the retaining salary proviso.

Also, only up to 15 percent of your upper limit cap amount can be used up by the money you have retained in trades.

Take, for example, San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, who has two years remaining on his four-year, $27.6 million deal — he’s owed $6.9 million in salary annually and carries a $6.9 million cap hit.

Now, say the Sharks want to trade him to Montreal. (NOTE: Marleau has a no movement clause. ANOTHER NOTE: Montreal is mentioned solely for example purposes.)

The new rule would allow San Jose to absorb $3.45 million in both salary and cap hit to facilitate the deal, leaving Montreal to pay the remaining $3.45 million.

Pretty interesting, huh?

The key part is it’ll allow much more flexibility when it comes to flipping players, especially guys with big price tags.

In the case of Marleau (who’s been the subject of trade rumors for a while), one sticking point has always been his contract — he has the NHL’s 23rd-highest cap hit for 2013-14, a hefty chunk of change that potential suitors would have a tough time swallowing.

Chop the incoming cap hit in half, though, and the deal suddenly becomes much easier to stomach.

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.