Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Money well spent

From the Journal (via All Oil... All the Time):

The Oilers decided not to bring in another forward -- probably Patrick Thoresen -- when they sent Marc Pouliot to Springfield, which means they only have 12 healthy forwards to go with six defencemen and two goalies. That's the bare minimum to field a lineup -- 20 guys. It's economics, because the Oilers have more than $48 million on their salary cap.

"We don't want to use it up," said GM Kevin Lowe. "We have some room, but not that much because Fernie (Fernando Pisani) is still on the cap. We just can't have excess players around. It's not like we're down around, say, $42 million or $43 million."

Translation: "We just can't have anything more than the bare minimum of players around. It's not like I spent this off-season doing something other than cramming $9.65-million in cap space into the nearest sewer grate in a fit of pique by handing an unproven, wheezing fatwad a 400% raise and signing an oft-injured chaos defender who we didn't need like TOTAL FUCKING MORON."

Ahh. Can I just say that a four-year extension was not long enough? I want Kevin Lowe to be my GM until one of us dies.

Meanwhile, Scarlett raises an interesting point in the above-linked post: doesn't Pisani's salary not count against the cap, given that the CBA states players with long-term injuries (out a minimum of 24 days and 10 games) are exempt? Fifteen games in and Pisani hasn't played a one, so where is this lesson in economics coming from, exactly?

Are we missing something about IR cap exemption rules? Are the Oilers holding out hope that Fernie will return any day now? Are they just being cheap? Someone help us out here.


mike w said...

Technically, players with long-term injuries still count against the cap.

But the team is then allowed to go over the cap limit to the cost of their salary (so $50.3 million plus Pisani's $2.5 million).

Even though Lowe cites the cap, I'm pretty sure that he is likely just talking about his budget, which I imagine EIG doesn't want to go over the maximum.

The Human Torch said...

Good lord. I want to punch everyone associated with the Edmonton Oilers right in the neck.

the human torch said...

Actually, you know it wasn't totally Kevin Lowe's fault this summer. I mean, all of those defencemen had the audacity to get signed by the Oilers without even asking for permission first.

Even Kevin Lowe was surprised... "Holy mackerel, we've got a lot of guys here!"

Please kill me.

Scarlett said...

So Lowe is telling us, we're too bloody cheap to go over the cap (as allowed). Tough luck eh? Thanks Kevin or more appropriately, thanks EIG!! Good thing that evil Katz purchase didn't work out....it's bad to have one owner with deep pockets.

Anonymous said...

The nightmare of the next ten days;


Tough to pick a winner there, they all look way too much like rollovers from our team. Probably best to yank the cable right out of the wall and take up cross country skiing.

I hate being negative about the boys on the team but we're just about the bottom of the barrel here.


Anonymous said...

Pisani's injury isn't hockey related, so in order for his salary not to count against the cap. The Oiler's would have to suspend him. Buffalo did this to Numminen because of his heart ailment. However, the Oilers are classy, Buffalo is not.

Pleasure Motors said...

However, the Oilers are classy, Buffalo is not.

I think that could just as easily read, "The Oilers are stupid, Buffalo is not." The fact you have to suspend a guy for a heart ailment is the fault of the CBA rules, not the team.

Dennis said...

I think you can only use Fernie's money if his contract brought you tight to the cap in the first place.

Mr DeBakey said...

From Matty in the Morning:

"The Oilers haven't had Ethan Moreau or Fernando Pisani for the first 15 games because of Moreau's broken foot and Pisani's ulcerative colitis, but continue to have both on the payroll and as part of the league's $50.3-million salary cap. The Oilers are a little under $49 million. They could get relief if they chose to put them on long-term injury status, but they haven't done that, so far. There are cap benefits to waiting and doing so later in a hockey season."

Vic Ferrari said...

I will echo what PM said, though I don't think that it's the "fault" of the CBA, I think it is entirely reasonable, and understood by all parties before hand. That's why players get contract insurance (SEE Murray, Rem).

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Regier was subject to criticism for suspending Numminen (best wishes to Teppo, btw). It was the only reasonable course of action, and in no way, shape or form is it "classless".

I like Regier. But if he had done otherwise (i.e. continued to pay Numminen's salary for no particular reason) I would have been the first to label him an incompetent or a fool, because they would be the only two options available.

Rock Deputy said...

Can I just say that a four-year extension was not long enough? I want Kevin Lowe to be my GM until one of us dies.

Lowe is starting to remind me of George Bush. Poor decision making + collosal mismanagement + sinking approval rating = 4 more years!

Baroque said...

Lowe is starting to remind me of George Bush.

But is Lowe term-limited?

T. said...

"There are cap benefits to waiting and doing so later in a hockey season."

What are the benefits of waiting to do this (a la Matty)? Can we retroactively take them off the payroll and put them on IR?

I just shake my head...

T. said...

Oh and "unproven wheezing fatwad" = GOLD.

And almost makes me feel bad for the guy. almost.

Vic Ferrari said...

Lowe is starting to remind me of George Bush.

He's starting to remind me of Bob Pulford. In fact he's starting to look like him.

Anonymous said...

hunter1909 - Everyone know Lowe is patiently waiting until MacTavish finally gets his all third line hockey team playing exactly the way MacTavish envisions.

Ironic, how Peca wasn't offered a contract. Oh well. I guess overpaying Pisani, Horcoff, Moreau, and Staios magically makes them all better...somehow.

Add Sheldon "I'd really love to help you out boys, but I have this little injury habit" Souray, Dustin "Hamburger" Penner, and who knows? Maybe another ex-Oiler from the glory days of yore having another number retirement ceremony?

Just how Kevin Lowe can this team sink?

Or: How much Kevin Lower can it get, before MacTavish gets it through his numb skull that it's time to resign?

Or: Why the FUCK do both of these clowns enjoy more job security than a U.S.S.R. commissar?

Is Lowe's number retired? How about hanging him by the neck, up in the rafters along with his number 4?

Please excuse me. I have to go and puke again. The MacTavish Oilers are playing.

RiversQ said...

Don't get me wrong, I think Lowe is a giant fucking moron, but I don't have a problem with this really.

I think it makes perfect sense to carry less than the max roster these days especially now that they have a farm team that they're clearly not afraid to use.

Rod said...

"There are cap benefits to waiting and doing so later in a hockey season."

My understanding of the CBA is pretty limited, but here's my understanding of the benefit of waiting to declare Pisani a "Bona-Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exception" (see 50.10.d)...

Injured players count against the cap. The exception merely allows teams to go past the cap while the long term injury/illness keeps a player out of action.

First, the general situation:
- presume the Oilers are one million below the upper limit of the cap. For the sake of round numbers, assume an upper limit of 50 million on the dot, with Oiler payroll at 49 million
- Pisani's average contract amount is 2.5 million. The replacement player(s) cannot have an aggregate contract higher than that amount (2.5 million)
- a team using the "Bona-Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exception" gets some leeway with the upper limit...but only once they've hit the limit

OK, if the Oilers make the election right away, the team's new upper limit would be 51.5 million (current payroll, plus the maximum replacement for Pisani). This form of cap relief allows the Oilers the opportunity of replacing Pisani.

On the other hand, if the Oilers use their cap space on someone else... Say a trade, that brings in one million net in salary. Electing the exception at this point, the Oilers would have an upper limit of 52.5 million* (50 million plus up to 2.5 million to replace Pisani)

Essentially, whatever cap room they currently have--up to a max. of 2.5 million--is the extra leeway they'd get by waiting to elect to use the exception.

*Of course that upper limit leeway disappears when the the player is again fit to play. Therefore, if the Oilers exceed the cap with Pisani's replacement(s), then they have to clear cap space upon his return. Avoiding the headache of clearing cap space is obviously another benefit of waiting (vs. spending).

Bottom line...from my understanding...
Electing the exception does NOT free up cap space. It does provide some relief to go past the standard upper limit of the cap...but only as long as the "unfit to play" player is actually out. Upon returning, the team must get back under the original upper limit.

Consequently, using Pisani money on someone else only makes sense if Oilers can do so under the regular upper limit (of course in that case, they wouldn't even need an exception). The Oilers don't have that flexibility right now--using Pisani money pushes the Oilers through the cap.

Seems to me there isn't much point electing to use the exception until they know whether Pisani (or Moreau) is returning this season.