I thought the 35+ rule meant that, if you shipped a player that fell into that category to the minors, he was bought out, or he retired before the contract expired, then you were still stuck with the full cap hit? The only way out of the contract was to trade it.
If buyouts of these contracts still count against the cap, how does that change the rule?
Buyouts count against the cap now only insofar as a regular buyout would count against the cap. This means that you can get out of these contracts. Used to be there was no way out besides injury. You could buyout a 35+ deal, but only to save money.
I don't see why Philly wouldn't buyout Pronger. Every team wants to save money, especially when you're talking millions of dollars. Everyone knows his career is over and he hasn't announced it yet because the team would lose the LTIR exemption and be struck with his cap hit for the remaining years of his deal, plus he'd lose out on the money of the contract. If they could work out a deal (which I'm sure they could do if they wanted), it's highly beneficial for Philly to do it.
Pronger might want that money - he is entitled to it. The Flyers would never buy him out with a regular buyout, leaving dead cap space there for at least 6 years. The Rangers convinced Drury they needed a regular buyout on his deal and he acquiesced, but that's because they would've been in big trouble if he hadn't (they would've had to buy out Redden instead). I don't see the Flyers being in similar straits. They left Hatcher and Rathje on their cap for ages under the old setup.
As far as the Rags are concerned, they are in cap hell in the coming years because of the cap decrease and the number of players they have to re-sign. I was just using them as a generic example. However, it doesn't stop another big spending team with cap room (Toronto, Detroit, etc.) from doing what I said, which is notoriously bad for the Devils considering Lou's practices/beliefs on FA.
Lou's beliefs on FA are that age is a number and I'd be shocked if he hasn't signed the most 35+ deals in the league. Malakhov, Mogilny, Rolston, Brodeur, Hedberg, Salvador. That's 6. Lou knows all about signing people for too many years. You're endangering your cap bank if an old player like that gets hurt (because you can't buy him out since he's IR'd, so he has to sit there eating away at your potential trade deadline cap room, something which will actually matter again next year), plus you're jamming up your cap with a buyout even if you do get it.
Edited by Triumph, 06 March 2013 - 06:09 PM.