DID FLYERS VIOLATE CBA WITH TALBOT CONTRACT?
According to Miller, the five year deal, worth $9 million is slated to pay Talbot $2.5 million in year one, $2.25 million in each of years two and three and $1 million in each of years four and five.
These front-loaded contracts are nothing new in the NHL, as teams utilize them to bring their cap hit down since the cap number is based on the average salary over the life of the contract.
However, there is a problem with the way this one is structured, if Miller has it correct.
"The difference between the stated Player Salary and Bonuses in the first two League Years of an SPC cannot exceed the amount of the lower of the two League Years. Thereafter, in all subsequent League Years of the SPC,… (ii) any decrease in Player Salary and Bonuses from one League Year to another may not exceed 50 percent of the Player Salary and Bonuses of the lower of the first two League Years of the SPC…"
- From article 50.7 of the CBA
If that legalese is translated into simple English, it means the Flyers aren't allowed to reduce the salary from year 3 to year 4 by more than 50 percent. That means Talbot must earn at least $1.125 million in year four.
It's a simple fix, as it's "only" $125,000, but if it's true, it's a mistake that shouldn't happen.
While teams have been docked in the past for shady contracts that tried to circumvent the CBA, it's unlikely the Flyers will be be penalized for such a small error.
Earlier I tried to reach assistant general manager Barry Hanrahan, the cap guru for the Flyers, to get his take on this matter, but he didn't return a text message.
He usually provides a clear and lucid explanation, especially to contract matters that are sometimes vague or difficult to understand, so until I hear from him, I'll give the Flyers the benefit of the doubt.
Nevertheless, for a team that frequently operates so close to the cap, even a $125,000 error could be a big difference when it comes down to making a key roster move.