While a lockout is currently in effect, one can still theorize about how life after the lockout will be. With the salary cap no doubt dropping quite significantly, many teams like the Minnesota Wild and Boston Bruins will be massively over the salary cap. This creates an issue of whether a buy-out period should ensue (See '04-'05 lockout) or whether the NHL should include a amnesty clause in the new CBA.
For those of you who don't know, an amnesty clause allows teams to buy out one player free of charge. In the NBA's version of the clause they also included that teams could use it whenever they wanted to during the current CBA which means that teams can very strategically plan who they should cut. For example, player A is 40 years old and making 7 million dollars per season for the next 3 years. While he is worth the money this year and next year he probably won't be worth it when he is 43, so they can hang onto him for now and them cut him a few years down the line and save some money.
Personally I believe that an amnesty clause should be included. The NBA included it in their recent CBA and it has worked pretty effectively. So if in fact there would be an amnesty clause in the next CBA, should the Wings use it directly, wait until it is needed or should they just avoid using it all together?
That's what we will talk about today.
First we shall look at who the Wings realistically could use the clause on for the upcoming season. All numbers per capgeek.com.
- Henrik Zetterberg, 31 years old, $6,083,333 for next 9 seasons.
- Johan Franzen, 32 years old, $3,954,545 for next 8 seasons.
- Todd Bertuzzi, 37 years old, $2,075,000 for next 2 seasons.
- Cory Emmerton, 24 years old, $533,333 for next 2 seasons.
- Jonathan Ericsson, 28 years old, $3,250,000 for next two seasons.
- Daniel Cleary, 33 years old, $2,800,000 for next season.
- Patrick Eaves, 28 years old, $1,200,000 for next two seasons.
Before I continue I just want to point out two things. First of all, guys who have been recently signed (Samuelson, Tootoo) won't be cut. Secondly, the above guys are the candidates are the guys who make sense, sure we can amnesty a guy like Drew Miller but we won't and it just doesn't make any sense.
Now we can start by scratching off two players on this list. I put Cory Emmerton up there because there is a slight chance that the Wings might feel that no one is willing to take him and they don't want to dump him in the minors. This is extremely unlikely but I put him up there due to that 0.1% chance. Henrik Zetterberg is no doubt worth what he is getting paid right now, he is up on the list due to his contract length. He has 9 years left at over 6 million so a few years down the line he may be amnestied but not now.
Next I think we can scratch Patrick Eaves name off the list as well. I mean, kicking a man while he is down right? The reason he is up there is because if for whatever reason Eaves realizes that he won't be able to play again and the Wings run into some unforeseeable cap problems they may choose to cut ties with him this way. However, they would just probably put him on long-term IR so the cap hit doesn't count.
Now is when it starts to get tricky. I don't believe that they would use the amnesty on Ericsson as he actually played pretty good last year and I think the Wings organization likes him, however, if he really does suck next year and no team is willing to trade for him, amnestying him could be an option.
I mean how can we otherwise afford Corey Perry?
Dan Cleary kind of falls into the same boat as Patty Eaves as he has struggled with injuries. He does only have one year left on his current contract which should no doubt reduce his chances of getting the axe but he is still an option.
Lastly, we have the two most popular answers for whenever this question comes up, Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen.
The contract extension that was given to Bert was just plain stupid and while he isn't getting overpaid he is taking a roster spot away from someone who deserves it more (Tatar, Nyquist).
As for Johan Franzen, I am one of the biggest Franzen fans there is and I really don't want the Wings to dump him. Considering what he is getting paid, he is a pretty solid bang for your buck type of player and when he is hot he is as good as anyone.
Honestly, I believe that the Wings should use a wait and see approach if this clause would come into effect. Right now we really don't have anyone that truly needs to get cut (Except for Cory Emmerton, cause if he is still on the team on game day I will personally start a fire Holland campaign) so why not save it until it will be more useful.
Make sure to let me know what you guys think.
Oh, and Go Blue!