Salary Cap: How Penguins Can Recall Alex Nylander
Alex Nylander made quite an impression on Pittsburgh Penguins fans and coaches Tuesday. While he didn’t score a goal on his first shot on his first shift, Nylander did backcheck, make good decisions, and look like a responsible, two-way hockey player in his Penguins debut in the 5-4 comeback win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime.
There’s little doubt fans are emotionally invested in seeing more.
Many were upset Thursday, when the Penguins returned Nylander to the WBS Penguins without appearing in a second game.
First, the rules forced the Penguins to return him. Nylander was an emergency recall, because the team was down to 10 healthy forwards, due to injury (Ryan Poehling), illness (Mikael Granlund), and personal reasons (Bryan Rust).
Nylander could have stayed if the Penguins switched his recall from emergency to a “regular” one, but that would have used their LTIR space. Had that been the case, the move would have limited his NHL stay, tying him directly to Poehling’s status.
In other words, as soon as Poehling returned from LTIR, the Penguins would be forced to send Nylander back to the WBS Penguins due to salary-cap constraints.
PHN has been discussing the Penguins salary-cap matter with the noted salary cap site PuckPedia.com’s editor-in-chief, Hart Levine.
While you may have been upset that the Penguins and GM Ron Hextall returned Nylander, it was for a good reason that could have a couple of longer-term benefits.
By sending Nylander back to Wilkes-Barre, the Penguins will have the ability to recall him in four days on a regular recall, regardless of Poehling’s status.
Here’s how: In a formula that divides expenditures by the number of accumulated days in the season, the NHL salary cap allows teams to accrue cap space. So, the Penguins’ cap space will grow slightly, and when it’s prorated, it becomes significant.
So, suppose a team has about $114,000 of space left today. In that case, the amount can be prorated to the full-season amount, and a player such as Nylander, who carries an annual cap hit of $750,000, can be squeezed under the cap without shedding additional salary.
Sunday is Day 4, which means the Pittsburgh Penguins can recall Nylander Monday without using their LTIR space. However, they must clear one roster spot if or when Poehling is activated.
Poehling has been dealing with a nagging upper-body injury.
After acquiring Dmitry Kulikov, the Penguins are carrying eight defensemen, including Chad Ruhwedel. If the team believes Nylander can help them win, they will have an unfettered path to recall him.
It should be noted there is a slight discrepancy between PuckPedia.com‘s numbers and the Penguins’ internal numbers, equating to a difference of two days. PHN is using the Penguins’ math of four while we both confirm.
The second benefit to waiting until Monday is preserving the LTIR space. The Penguins could indeed use it on another player if necessary (after Monday), thus maximizing their options.
Alex Nylander played on the Penguins’ third line with Jeff Carter and Drew O’Connor Tuesday. One interesting note has been that line’s improvement. It was above water in the 4-1 loss to Florida last Saturday before having a solid night Tuesday and an outstanding night Thursday in the 4-3 OT loss to the New York Islanders.
Coach Mike Sullivan may not want to further tinker with the line as he tries to find where Mikael Granlund fits. Granlund played right wing Saturday and centered the line Thursday.
Nagging upper body injury that isn’t a concussion sounds to be like shoulder. Shoulders are tough, usually end up needing surgery. Re: Olli Maatta.
This team is waaaaaaay past the point of needing to put the 12 best skaters on the ice. Hey Ronnie, bring Nylander up asap and tell your veteran-obsessed HC to put him in the lineup.
Sit Carter down coach for Nylander instead of sitting Heinen.
Granlund has played well since he arrived. I know a lot of the fanbase hated the trade, especially his contract, but I think it helped to add a legit top 6 level forward. It certainly helps that he can play center as well. With the cap going up over the next couple of seasons, and the highest paid players on the roster being on team friendly deals I don’t think that Granlunds 5 million a year is as big of a deal as some fans have made it out to be.
Better yet, put Desmith in goal!