TB - Lecavalier
I'm beyond disappointed to see this happen.
I don't know much about the negotiations... what kind of nonsense is it that the new CBA reduced the salary cap but doesn't allow teams to restructure deals they made based on the old salary cap?
Or do I have my facts wrong?
I don't think there's a team out there that didn't know the salary cap was going down under the new CBA. It had been rumoured for years and realistically if your team signs a player to a stupid contract (paying a guythat much for that long a term when he's in his thirties is pretty stupid).
Restructuring a deal under the new cap would mean the player would make less money. Is that legal? When you sign a contract aren't you legally, never mind the sub-rules imposed by the NHL itself, obligated to meet the expectations of that contract? Both the player and the organization?
If the player stops playing before the terms of the contract are up (i.e. retires) then he is or is not paid, depending on how the contract is worded, but the team is still charged an amount towards the cap. The league did this to prevent teams from creating all sorts of stupid ass backloaded contracts which simply circumvent the salary cap. Were this not in place, teams like Philadelphia (no brains) or Toronto (bottomless pockets) could simply backload all the contracts they want and be a gazillion miles over the cap. How would that be fair to the other teams in the league that can't afford to do that? It's not and realistically you'd do immense damage to the league. I think you could expect the league to contract to about ten teams or less if you let them go freewheeling for salaries that are backloaded, maybe more.
That's not to say that Vinny will be out of TB for long: he'll sign a one year deal somewhere and then re-sign for a lesser amount to end his career with the Lightning. He's said as much. So he gets paid out the buyout amount plus he'll resign for probably $4+ million somewhere for a year while his family stays in TB. Then he'll re-sign a more realistic contract with TB to end his career there.
Now explain to me why I should feel remotely bad about this. Lecavalier is getting paid out two thirds of the 37 million dollars owed to him. He'll sign for about $4 mill more with someone, then will sign with TB again for a more realistic term.
Here's the math:
Payout 2013: 32.667 million
Probably 2013-14 salary: 4 million
Re-sign with Lightning for three more years with Lightning: 3 years, likely around $3 milliion per year average salary, total 9 million.
Wah! Poor Vinny.
Wah! Poor Tampa Bay.
Vinny's up in money but plays one less year at the front end for the Lightning, still playing out his twilight years there and actually has to play a few less years (4 vs. 7) but ends up about $8 million ahead.
I think I can miss my family for a year for that kind of coin.
Tampa Bay on the other hand is out $32+ million dollars for signing a player to an idiotic contract in the first place. At the same time they free up $7 million dollars in cap space allowing them to sign other players while Vinny is off playing in Toronto/Florida/Philly. They also get a year to look at their roster and plan for his return with a cap hit of only about $3 million dollars.
So tell me what the negative effect overall of the new CBA was on the Lightning and Lecavalier?