Close The Other “Loop-Hole”

Now that the NHL has stood its ground on the Kovy contract, it’s time for them to close the other big loop hole, the “lend-out” option.  Seriously, does anyone really believe Huet was lent out to the Swiss League, with an eye to bringing him back?

Does anyone believe he was lent out because he was replaced with 2 goaltenders of better talent?

Does anyone believe he was lent out because he’s “washed up”?

Or was he lent out because of his salary?

This factor is what makes it, arguably, circumvention.

If it can be argued Kovy would not play at 45, it can be argued Huet is being loaned out not for performance reasons, but for cap reasons.

Closing this loop hole would also apply to sending players to the AHL, purely for cap relief reasons, particularly before the beginning of the season, where their play has not even factored into the equation.

I also find it hard to believe Huet accepted the loan, and walked away from a buy-out, for nothing.

Huet is leaving big money on the table by playing in Europe, while Chicago is saving a tremendous amount of cap space. I see what’s in it for Chicago, but what’s in it for Huet?  Either he’s getting paid off the NHL books, or he’s being promised a trade, otherwise, why walk away from millions (the millions he would make with a new UFA deal + his buy-out)?

Just to be nice?

Yeah, right!

Look at it this way.  He’s guaranteed 2/3 rds of his salary if he’s bought out.  This would cost him $1.875M.  But, he, as compensation, becomes an UFA.  If he signs a deal for more than 0.9375M/yr., he’s ahead of the game, and gets to play in the NHL.

Worse, had he been bought out, he would have been a UFA at 34, not 35…and in a cap world, that extra year is huge.

I can’t see why the NHLPA isn’t grieving this loop hole, as a tit for tat for the NHL’s (rightly) quashing of the “lifetime deal” loop hole.

It seems what’s good for the NHL, isn’t good for the NHLPA.

Pay the man his buy-out, declare him a UFA, make the Hawks eat his cap space, and keep things above board.

Fair is fair, right is right.

But, as the “loan out” loop hole favours ownership, don’t expect Bettman to act any time soon.

More lack of leadership, from a man lacking in leadership skills.



5 Responses to “Close The Other “Loop-Hole””

  1. Couldn’t agree more. But I don’t see the Huet agreement as any less suspicious than Jason Smith suddenly deciding to hang ’em up right before training camp.

    I doubt he left a couple million on the table solely to be a “good guy” and solve the Senators’ cap issues. I’m sure he was compensated in some way that was kept off the books.

    • Smith did retire, nt to solve cap issues, but as a result of injury issues.
      His knees were gone, he might not have received medical clearance to play, and if he did, he was an injury away from permanent disability.

  2. What do you mean ? He’s still earning his NHL dollars, he just earns them overseas. All this does is take the money off the books for cap reasons. It doesn’t affect Huet at all.

    • In re-reading my post, I can see where you misunderstood my meaning, I’ve updated to try to make it more clear.
      Yes, he gets paid, but, if he were bought out, he would get 2/3 rds and become a UFA.
      These are “the millions” I’m talking about. I suspect he would find a job in the NHL, as a UFA, before seasons end, and would likely improve on his yearly income as a result.
      To play in Europe, is to risk his legitimacy as an NHL goaltender. In my opinion, he has nothing to gain by agreeing to the “loan”, and should greive this move as a means of the team attemptting to circumvent the cap.
      In either case, he will have to clear waivers, both down and up, if he is not bought out.

      • OK, a misunderstanding on my part. Still you can see why the player would accept. 4 mil a season to play in a no-pressure environment overseas ?

        You are correct – this is another attempt to circumvent the salary cap. this loophole should be closed.

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