Current Accrued Cap Advantage by Team

Above, in the featured image, you can see what I believe is an accurate set of data about teams with cap advantage currently on their books. All of the points represent the level of cap advantage currently accrued by the off season of any given year. For example, the Chicago Blackhawks have $31.6m in cap advantage on their books at the time of the 2016 off season. This number will be true until the first day of the season (Oct. 12), when the AAV and salary numbers stick ticking up for the 2016-17 season. I have tried graphing the correct day-to-day changes of the contracts, but it just comes out overly complicated. It’s only really important when either trades or contract terminations occur mid-season; that makes up only about 25% of events that affect cap advantage accrual to date.

You can find an interactive version of this chart here.

If there is a problem (or praise) you’d like to share with me about this different service I am trying out, please contact me at @Chris_Beardy on Twitter, by comment below, or even on Reddit at /u/ChocolateAlmondFudge.

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Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty, Part 4½: The Predators Might Be Safe After All

@Chris_Beardy

Yesterday I introduced Part 4 of my series on the Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty (CARP), detailing a way the League could help the Predators out of their Shea Weber cap advantage situation using available cap space in previous seasons. Today I will provide a more simple and perhaps more likely solution to the Predators’ possible future woes.

(Just a quick note, my first, second, and third posts on this topic can be found at the links provided. I highly suggest giving them a read if you need some background info on what the CARP is and how it works.)

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which introduced the CARP has a rather straightforward passage that might be interpreted to help the Predators:

Section 50.5(d)(ii)(B)(2):Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 50.5(d)(ii)(A) and (B), in the event that any such Long-Term Contract is Assigned during its term, each Club for which the Player plays under the terms of that Long-Term Contract shall be subject to being charged with any and all “Cap Advantage Recapture” amounts it receives pursuant to that Long-Term Contract, provided, however, that if a Club Traded a Long-Term Contract prior to the execution of this Agreement (including any binding Memorandum of Understanding) under which it gained a “cap advantage,” the “Cap Advantage Recapture” shall not apply to that Club for that Long-Term Contract. For purposes of clarity, the Club to whom such Long-Term Contract was Assigned after the execution of this Agreement (including any binding Memorandum of Understanding) shall be subject to the Cap Advantage Recapture (if any).

[emphasis in the original text]

To put it more simply: Contracts that could incur a CARP that were acquired by trade prior to the signing of the 2013 CBA will not accrue cap advantage against the recipient team.

Continue reading “Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty, Part 4½: The Predators Might Be Safe After All”

The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: Part Four

@Chris_Beardy

I originally started researching and writing about the Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty (CARP) in relation to Shea Weber trade rumors last summer. It was pretty shortly thereafter that I started bandying about the phrase “Shea Weber is untradeable.” The liability of the potential CARP looming over a small market franchise like Nashville would be too great, especially considering the significant likelihood that Weber will decide not to play until he’s 41. But it happened and now I’m wrong about that. (Well, not about the CARP stuff so read on…)

(Just a quick note, my first, second, and third posts on this topic can be found at the links provided. I highly suggest giving them a read if you need some background info on what the CARP is and how it works.)

However, the exciting thing is that now everyone is talking about the CARP and want to learn more about it. I still cling to my viewpoint that the NHL has done no wrong in creating this cap mechanism. The Predators (a) chose to match the offer sheet, (b) were a party to the creation of the current CBA including the creation of the CARP, (c) chose not to buy him out with their compliance buyouts, and (d) chose to trade him with $24.5m of cap advantage sitting on their books. They made multiple conscious decisions to not limit their liability to this penalty. But, I can’t ignore the fact that others are right about how the NHL will not let a small market team, especially one that is such a major success story in their push to hockey-fy the South, be crippled with a penalty that could easily set the franchise back 5-7 years. Thirty other owner groups / GMs might say “tough nuggets” to them, but Bettman will certainly do what it takes to maintain 31 strong teams and markets in the league.

How the NHL might undo Nashville’s CARP

Continue reading “The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: Part Four”

The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: How it Shapes the Future

This post is the third part of a three part series. In case you missed them, here are the two articles that help introduce this final discussion:

The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: What It Is and Why It Matters

The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: Real Life Examples


There’s something funny about Roberto Luongo. I’m not talking about his twitter or him reading poetry about Byfuglien, I’m talking about the potential cap advantage recapture penalty (CARP) attached to his contract:

Yes, if Roberto Luongo retires as a Panther in 2021 (at the ripe old age of 42), then the Panthers are not hit with any CARP while the Canucks will have a one-year penalty of $8.5m. Now the explanation will be quite complex, but it’s manageable:

The Original Contract and the Trade

Below is a table of the original Luongo contract from the Canucks signed in 2010 along with calculations of AAV, annual cap advantage, and net cap advantage:

Continue reading “The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: How it Shapes the Future”

The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: Real Life Examples

Yesterday I went over how the cap advantage recapture penalty (CARP) works. Today I will move away from the legalese of the CBA and focus on the CARP in action and potential.

To my knowledge, there are only two teams that currently have a CARP on their books. They are the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings. The Devils have had a $250,000 penalty since 2013-14 and will have it to the end of the 2024-25 season as a result of Ilya Kovalchuk’s “retirement.” The Kings are losing $1.32m in space starting this season and running through 2019-20 due to the early termination of Mike Richards’s contract. Many teams were able to rid themselves of potential CARP-inducing contracts through the use of compliance buyouts. Compliance buyouts were two penalty-free buyouts given to each team after the 2013 CBA was signed. A tracker of these buyouts can be found here.

Let’s look at the Kovalchuk contract in more detail. Below is a table summarizing the terms of his massive deal as well as the calculation of the cap advantage associated with his deal:

Continue reading “The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: Real Life Examples”

The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: What It Is and Why It Matters

by @Chris_Beardy

Over the next few days I will be writing some articles that cover the cap advantage recapture penalty. It is something that I think is under-considered by the media and fans alike while discussing teams’ cap situations and the potential for player movement.

This introductory article will explain what the penalty is and how it is applied. Follow-up articles will give real examples of the penalty in action as well as my beliefs on how this penalty affects the league moving forward.

What is the Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty?

In addition to placing some regulations on how salary structure can be done, the 2013 collective bargaining agreement (CBA – available here) introduced a penalty to punish teams that made cap-circumventing contracts under the previous CBA signed in 2006. This penalty is called the Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty (CARP) and it basically makes sure that a team is affected by the full value of a contract should a player happen to retire early.

The reason why the CARP is a necessity is because there is a discrepancy between how players are paid and how their “cap hit” affects the team’s payroll. Starting in 2006, the CBA established a hard cap ceiling and floor for every team in the league, meaning that each teams’ player payroll had a maximum and minimum limit. Instead of using the year-to-year salaries for players, instead the averaged annual value (AAV) of each contract is used. As a result, there are seasons where the team pays players more than they are “charged” by the league. These situations are referred to as “cap advantaged” seasons. A hypothetical contract can be seen below:

Continue reading “The Cap Advantage Recapture Penalty: What It Is and Why It Matters”