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Loophole in the Salary Cap Could Help the Leafs Sign Patrick Kane


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Julien Trekker
September 14, 2023  (8:49)
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Patrick Kane remains an intersting option in the free agent market. His recovery journey is on the right path, suggesting a probable contract signing in the near future. Surprisingly, a technicality might pave the way for the Toronto Maple Leafs to consider him.

Loophole in the Salary Cap

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NHL's salary cap regulations can be intricate and can often change. However, one consistent aspect is the 35+ clause in relation to free agent signings. This stipulation permits NHL teams to bring on board a player aged 35 or older at a basic contract of $775,000.
Given Patrick Kane's 35th birthday is on November 19th, this presents an opportunity. If the Maple Leafs postpone signing Kane until he turns 35, they could secure an incredible deal. But, it's worth noting that Kane, given his stature, might not settle for a bare minimum contract. Yet, another regulation might be the answer, letting the Maple Leafs offer Kane a satisfactory deal without compromising the cap hit.

Capitalizing on Performance Bonuses

The Maple Leafs can harness performance bonuses to uplift Kane's compensation. Such bonuses can be linked to milestones like matches played, accumulated points, team achievements, number of goals, and so on. A significant advantage of these bonuses is their exemption from the current year's salary cap.
Imagine if the Maple Leafs formalize a one-year 35+ contract with Kane at the basic rate, and then supplement it with $3 million in bonuses. This could help the team retain $3 million on their cap for this particular season. Nonetheless, as with most technicalities, there's a limitation to prevent misuse.
The bonus of $3 million that Kane would amass gets deferred to the subsequent year's salary cap. Whenever a player's bonus exceeds the team's salary cap, the overflow is pushed to the following season. This implies that the Maple Leafs would essentially be compensating for Kane's prior contributions.
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While leveraging this technicality to get Patrick Kane onboard in Toronto may not be the most likeley strategy, it remaims possible. The hockey world will closely monitor Kane's rehabilitation progress and eagerly await his next move.
As seen on Hockey Patrol - Loophole Could Allow The Maple Leafs To Sign Kane For League Minimum
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Loophole in the Salary Cap Could Help the Leafs Sign Patrick Kane

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