Mar 22, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo (1) warms up before the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Canucks defeated the Stars 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Canucks Could Be On The Hook for Luongo's Cap Hit Even If He Retires

The Vancouver Canucks got some good news regarding defenceman Alex Edler from the National Hockey League’s collective bargaining agreement proposal to the NHL Players’ Association. Now some bad news, the Canucks could be on the hook for estranged goaltender Roberto Luongo‘s cap hit even if he retires with a different team.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, under the proposal any player that has an existing contract in excess of five years will have their cap hit continue to count towards the salary cap even if the player retires. If a player gets traded, the cap hit will be tacked on to the salary cap of the team that originally signed the player.




In the case of Luongo, if the Canucks were to trade him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, from now until he retires the Maple Leafs would be responsible for his cap hit. Once he retires, the cap hit would become the responsibility of the Canucks.

Say Luongo plays until the end of the 2017-18 season, the Leafs would be responsible for the $5,333,333 cap hit until that season. The remaining four years would come off of the Maple Leafs cap and gets added to the Canucks cap for the next four years.

Again, this is just the National Hockey League’s proposal, but all indications are they will start negotiating off of this proposal towards a resolution. There is also the possibility of an one-time “amnesty clause” being included in the new CBA.

In the current National Basketball Association collective bargaining agreement, there is an amnesty clause that allows teams to remove a player off their salary cap with no penalty. From Wikipedia:

Each team is allowed to waive a player without having their salary count toward the salary cap or luxury tax. One player can be waived prior to the start of any season from 2011–12 through 2015–16. It can be exercised during the seven days that follow the July moratorium. Each team is restricted to one “amnestied” player during that time. Only players signed prior to 2011–12 are eligible. Teams can claim an amnestied player at a reduced rate, with the waiving team responsible for paying the balance of the contract. The team with the highest bid acquires the player. If unclaimed, the player becomes a free agent. Teams over the salary cap can only acquire an amnestied player if he becomes a free agent, and the offer would be limited to the veteran’s minimum contract.

If negotiated into the NHL’s CBA, the Canucks could use the amnesty clause to take Roberto Luongo’s contract off their books for good and not risk getting penalized down the road.

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