Re-entry waivers: Paying for what's gone
The re-entry waiver provisions in the CBA are interesting business (if you're into that kind of thing), and something we don't often hear much about.
In the past week, however, we've seen two players claimed for a half-price discount, so it suddenly seems relevant:
To the extent the Player does require Waivers to be Loaned to a minor league affiliate, he cannot be Loaned or recalled without first clearing regular Waivers, and then cannot be Recalled to the NHL parent Club during the same League Year without also clearing a new Re-Entry Waiver procedure, pursuant to which the Player can be claimed by another NHL Club for fifty (50) percent of the contract's remaining amounts to be paid, with the balance to be paid by and charged to the waiving NHL Club (both amounts to be counted against each Club's Upper Limit, Actual Club Salary and Averaged Club Salary, and counted against the Players' Share)In other words, we've got some dead money in play here.
On Tuesday, the Panthers claimed checking winger Garth Murray off re-entry waivers, meaning half of the remaining portion of his salary will remain on the books in Montreal. On Saturday, the Islanders reclaimed defenceman Freddy Meyer from Phoenix, getting a discount on a player they had lost on waivers earlier in the season.
How much dead money? Well, Murray was due $600,000 this year, but with around 20 per cent of the season already over, $120,000 of that is off the books. About half of the remaining $480,000, or $240,000 is now on the Habs' books for the rest of the season, something that shouldn't be a huge issue for a team projected to finish with $47.7-million on the books.
Meyer's making only $525,000, which translates to about $210,000 on Phoenix's cap hit. Not a big deal for a team barely over the salary floor this season.
Where things would get more interesting for a team is with a player with a larger contract than these two. The Devils recently demoted Richard Matvichuk, who passed through waivers on the way down, and on the way back through, a team can have him for half of the remaining value of his $1.37-million contract.
At this point, that would put more than $500,000 on the Devils' books, something Loophole Lou Lamoriello can avoid by keeping Matvichuk buried in Lowell all year. New Jersey is projected to finish less than $3-million shy of the $50.3-million salary cap.
Other players currently in the minors such as Denis Gauthier, Nolan Baumgartner, and Petr Cajanek would also have to clear re-entry waivers upon recall, which makes it likely they're banished to the AHL much of the season.