This batch of asked and answered questions will be my last for a week, as I’m continuing to take small doses of vacation instead of one large absence. The Hockey News staffers will step in for me next Tuesday and I’ll return August 12th.
Can you explain how bonuses fit into the salary cap system? Steve Stamkos, for instance, has signed a deal worth less than a million a year, but is also entitled to millions in bonuses. If performance bonuses affect the cap hit, how does a team who is at the cap budget for the extra potential expenses? Or conversely, if the cap is not affected, isn't that just a strategy to cheat the system? Thanks,
Prior to this upcoming season, teams were able to defer bonus payouts to the following year’s payroll if those bonuses put them over the cap ceiling.
However, starting in ’08-09, that provision no longer applies, meaning all teams will have to factor in each and every potential bonus, whether or not that bonus eventually is achieved by the player, into their current cap total and won’t be permitted to exceed it.
It is still July but I, like most other people, are thinking about the upcoming hockey season. My question is when is The Hockey News’ 2008-09 Ultimate Pool Guide magazine coming out? I loved last year’s and can't wait to get my hands on this year’s edition.
Cameron Paul, Winnipeg, Man.
Funny you should ask about our Poolbook. It just arrived in THN’s editorial office today and looks fantastic as usual.
You won’t have too much longer to wait until it’s in your hands, as it hits newsstands Aug. 11th.
In your last mailbag column, you mentioned Minnesota as a team that has a few extra bodies that may need re-locating. Did you have anyone in mind?
Dan Doughty, Lindstrom, Minn.
By my count, the Wild will have 17 forwards competing at training camp for spots on the NHL roster. Some of those are prospects (Cal Clutterbuck, Colton Gillies, Benoit Pouliot), but that still leaves some excess to deal with.
Given Minnesota’s defense still requires a little more depth, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see a forward (i.e. Mark Parrish, if the Wild could find any takers for his $2.85 million salary) moved to achieve that goal.
I’m a big fan of both Ask Adam and your blog. I read several comments on THN.com questioning Miroslav Satan’s contribution to the teams he played for. Many of them referred to him as "poison paws" and an anti-team player. I don’t get to see as many NHL games as I would like to, so I can’t really judge his NHL performance, but every time he played for Team Slovakia or during the lockout season in the Slovak Extraleague, he seemed to be a good team player and provided a great deal of leadership. Does Satan have a reputation as the "party spoiler?” Do you think he is worth the $3.5 million the Penguins signed him for? Best wishes,
Milan Filicko, Kosice, Slovakia
Although Satan’s numbers steadily dropped off in the last three years he spent with the Islanders, I think there’s still some gas left in his tank. Nobody I’ve spoken with sees him as a dressing room disruption, so there’s little danger of him poisoning the atmosphere if things don’t go his way.
In some regards, his new deal with Pittsburgh reminds me of the gamble Penguins GM Ray Shero took on Petr Sykora, a player who’d fizzled out in Edmonton prior to joining the Pens, yet looked rejuvenated with Sidney Crosby & Co.
Granted, Satan is a couple of years older than Sykora, but unlike Sykora, Satan signed a one-year deal. If he’s not washed up and wants another payday after the upcoming season, Satan will have to put up better stats than he has done of late.
When do you think the Edmonton Oilers will be a Stanley Cup contender? Years? Or is this the season?
Matthew Krivoshein, Beauval, Sask.
I see this year’s Oilers the same way I saw last year’s Philadelphia Flyers: without a doubt, far more competitive than they were the year prior, yet not in the same caliber as genuine Cup contenders.
And, in the same way I received a torrent of vicious and hateful e-mails from Flyers fans for pegging them as not-quite-ready-for prime time, I fully expect to receive just as much in the way of frothy-mouthed ventings from Oilers fans this time around.
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