Tag: salary cap issues

Scott Gomez

Montreal fans will have Scott Gomez to kick around no matter what


Montreal fans have been wishing for Scott Gomez to go away ever since he was acquired from the New York Rangers two summers ago. Habs fans’ dreams to have Gomez disappear into the AHL to help make his gigantic $7.357 million cap hit are apparently just pipe dreams.

Francois Gagnon reports (via Marc Antione Godin tweet) that Habs governor Geoff Molson has no intention of demoting Gomez to the AHL and giving the cap strapped Canadiens a break to help them acquire other more useful players.

Let’s just hope that Habs fans haven’t opted to get too sullen about this news. After all, the possibility of trading Gomez with his injury problems and lack of production are virtually impossible. Dumping him in the AHL might be their only recourse (aside from a very expensive buyout), but it appears that Molson is not going to just pile on the cash to pay for more players while one fails to produce.

For what it’s worth, Gomez’s contract runs out at the end of the 2013-14 season. It might be time to order up an extra tall Molson Canadian at Peel Pub after reading that.

Scott Gomez will miss at least a week with injury

Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins - Game Two

Most Montreal Canadiens fans believe that Scott Gomez fails to earn his ridiculous salary. That will be even less debatable during at least the next week, as the highly paid center is expected to miss at least that long with an upper body injury according to The Canadian Press.

TSN hints that Gomez is dealing with shoulder issues stemming from Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Habs head coach Jacques Martin said that the injury could keep Gomez out “a couple weeks or longer,” so Montreal might need to prepare for him to miss a considerable amount of time. It’s unclear if he’ll go on the injured reserve, which is a relevant question considering his $7.36 million salary cap hit.

Either way, it’s unlikely that Gomez will be missed much. He carried over his flat play from 2010-11 so far, as he only has one assist in six games.

Gomez bashing aside, the Canadiens are banged up and off to a tough start this season. They hope to get things on track against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, which could be a slightly tougher task with the return of winger Clarke MacArthur.

Blair Betts’ return to Philly affects more than their salary cap situation

Blair Betts

Blair Betts being returned to the Philadelphia Flyers is causing GM Paul Holmgren some headaches to deal with that he was hoping to get rid of by waiving him in the first place. With the Flyers being so close to the salary cap, the first thing Betts’ return does is put the Flyers over the cap.

The Flyers can solve that problem quickly by putting Ian Laperriere on long term injured reserve and getting his $1.167 million contract off the books. That much salary would be enough to get the Flyers back under the cap and it’s expected to be the move to come.

Of course, things aren’t quite that easy for Philly. Rookie Sean Couturier has started off his season looking like he fits right into the mix. His entry-level salary cap hit of $1.375 million only counts against the Flyers’ payroll if he stays in Philly for the season. The Flyers will have until after their ninth game of the season on October 26 against Montreal to figure that out.

If Couturier stays, the Flyers will have to make a move or two to get under the cap. Making things more awkward is that Betts’ contract is the 50th deal for the organization. NHL teams are limited to having just 50 contracts and staying at that 50 contract limit obviously makes things uncomfortable for GMs. Getting that flexibility to add a player is one most GMs prefer to have.

Paul Holmgren’s work to fix up the Flyers this offseason has been more than worthy of attention, but he’s got more work to do now.

Rangers waiving Sean Avery could screw up Dallas’ salary cap situation

Sean Avery

With the news today that the Rangers put excitable forward Sean Avery on waivers to send him on his way out of New York, the storylines are many. After all, anything that Avery does is put under the microscope and examined.

One aspect of his impending demotion to the AHL, should he go unclaimed that is, is how that move affects the salary cap. No, not the cap of the Rangers who will clear out his salary from their books one way or another, but rather on the his previous team that bought him out.

The Dallas Stars are close to the salary floor, according to CapGeek, and they’re still paying Sean Avery this season $1,937,500 to continue not playing hockey in Dallas. The Stars’ payroll is currently at $49,905,000. If Avery lands in the AHL, his salary cap hit not only comes off the Rangers’ books but the Stars as well. The quick math there shows that by Avery’s cap hit going away, the Stars’ payroll dips to just over $47.9 million, just under $400,000 under the salary floor.

Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika says the Stars are ready for this.

The Stars were originally under the impression that Sean Avery’s salary cap hit would remain no matter what happened, but they found out today that if Avery does go to the minors (the NY Rangers have placed him on waivers), that his $1.9 million would come off of their salary cap.

That could have them dancing perilously close to the salary cap floor of $48.3 million, but the Stars say they should be fine.

With the Stars’ roster virtually all set for now with 23 players, scraping up that extra money to reach the $48.3 million salary floor means having to potentially make a move that isn’t in the team’s best interests. The tough part here for Dallas is that they don’t necessarily have anyone making big money to bring up to swap out with a less-costly player for the bench.

Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk has been good about keeping costs down (obviously) while the team goes through an ownership and franchise sale mess, but now he’s going to have to get creative and find a way to shuffle money around to make it work better so the Stars can reach the salary floor.

Shaone Morrisonn eager to prove he can stay in Buffalo lineup

Shaone Morrisonn
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When Buffalo signed Shaone Morrisonn before last season as a free agent, he was brought in to give the Sabres a physical presence on their blue line and provide stability there. Instead, Morrisonn struggled a bit with injuries and didn’t quite fulfill what he’d hoped to do for the team.

After a wild offseason for the Sabres that saw owner Terry Pegula open up the vault and allow GM Darcy Regier to go wild and fill the team and their payroll up, Morrisonn sees a newcomer in Christian Ehrhoff join the team. He also sees younger guys like Mike Weber and Marc-Andre Gragnani step up late in the season and push for starting jobs on the blue line.

With the Sabres over the salary cap by more than $3.5 million according to CapGeek.com, Morrisonn and his $2.075 million cap hit this season could be bound for another city via trade or for Rochester and the AHL. Morrisonn is out to prove that he can still play well and make it worth the Sabres while to keep him around as he told Bill Hoppe of the Niagara Gazette.

“There’s going to be some competitiveness in training camp, and you’re going to have to earn a spot. I think that’s great.”

Has Morrisonn thought about playing in the AHL for the first time since the 2004-05 lockout?

“Anything can happen — trades, getting moved,” Morrisonn said. “We’re over the cap, obviously. They got to make some moves. But I can’t really focus on that. I got to just focus on playing on the ice and competing and showing them what I got, and that’s all I can control.”

Morrisonn, who arrived in town Wednesday, said he hasn’t spoken to Ruff or general manager Darcy Regier yet. Clearly, though, Morrisonn wasn’t expecting this situation when he signed with the Sabres last August.

“I’m a gritty defenseman,” Morrisonn said. “I’m not afraid get physical and use my body and use my wheels. That’s what they got me in (for) last year. It’s just exciting to be here. (We’ll) see what happens. I want to be a part of this.”

Morrisonn’s main competition in training camp, if his salary isn’t his biggest road block that is, would be 23 year-old Mike Weber. Weber plays a similar sort of game. He’s tough defensively, physical, and has a big shot from the point as well. Morrisonn will have to show that he’s capable of doing more than Weber and the other defensive-defensemen in camp to keep his job. With the Sabres needing to get under the cap, Morrisonn is going to have to do a lot of big things in a short amount of time.

At the very least, if Morrisonn can prove himself worthy of a starting job, he could draw interest from teams in need of a guy like him. While he wants to see things through in Buffalo, staying in the NHL would be preferable to being sent to the AHL in salary exile. The battle for him to stay in Buffalo’s lineup will be worth watching.