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NHL looking at ways to stop teams from cheating the system

Published March 26, 2022 at 9:48

Have you ever looked at how the National Hockey League handles things such as the salary cap and thought they should be different? Or have you ever felt at the very least that the hard cap they use in hockey should be raised to allow a more competitive balance and less cap circumvention? Which almost every NHL team uses now to ice a better, more complete team during the playoffs where the salary cap is non-existent?

According to Gord Miller and Pierre Lebrun of TSN, changes to the cap, at least in the playoffs, could be coming soon. This issue will be discussed at this year's General Managers meeting.

Since it's on the agenda for the NHL GMs meeting, I'll propose this again: During the regular season, a team's NHL roster (23 players max) must be under the cap. That wouldn't work in the playoffs with expanded rosters. My proposal? The game roster (20) has to be under the cap.

This allows teams to keep as many extra players around as they want during the playoffs, but their game roster must be cap compliant.

We all know the issue the NHL faces with a hard cap, teams trying to accrue more cap space for the playoffs by exploiting long term injured reserve during the season and immediately having those players play game one of the playoffs, every year where there are no cap rule. This means teams can ice a lineup that would be 20 million over the cap in the regular season(see Tampa most recently and Pittsburgh and Chicago before them)

One proposed change to the playoff cap rule is that with expanded rosters, a team can carry as many extra players as they want but they have to ice a lineup under the current 81.5 million cap during any playoff game.

I believe this is in fact one of the ideas the some of the GMs have. That the on -ice, game day playoff lineup is cap-compliant. So you dress a max $81.5 M lineup even though you may be carrying $90 M in players.
So a hybrid solution

In earnest, this hybrid solution of having as many players as you want on the roster but having to comply with a game day salary cap is a step in the right direction. Why does the NHL still need to use a hard salary cap in today's game? They could decide if they want to remove the hard line and copy the NBA's luxury tax system.

Opinion: This is yet another sign that the NHL is behind the times when it comes to issues like these, and not scrapping the salary cap altogether is born out of stubbornness more than anything else.
March 26   |   158 answers
NHL looking at ways to stop teams from cheating the system

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