The NHL and its players’ association have reached a deal, in principle, on a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement. The proposed plan, which must be ratified and approved before the NHL releases the 2013 schedule, includes a $60 million salary cap this season — though teams could spend up to $70.2 million — and a $64.3 million cap in 2013-14.
What’s that mean for the Detroit Red Wings?
Detroit’s currently at $61.4 million spent, according to CapGeek.com, meaning that they’re comfortably under the transition period number of $70.2 million.
The tricky part could come next season — the Wings already have $45.15 of the proposed $64.2 million cap spent on just 15 players. Those that are set to be unrestricted free agents following this season are: Jimmy Howard, Ian White, Valtteri Filppula, Drew Miller, Danny Cleary and Damien Brunner; Gustav Nyquist, Jan Mursak, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith all would hit restricted free agency come next offseason, if they do not agree to new contracts before then.
But the new CBA allows a team two amnesty clauses to use over the next two seasons — which would terminate a player’s contract to help a team trim its overall salary.
The most obvious candidate there is Johan Franzen, whose contract runs through 2010 at nearly $4 million per season. Another less likely option is Henrik Zetterberg, since he’s under contract through 2021 at more than $6 million per year.
Kyle Quincey and Jonathan Ericsson each have contracts worth more than $3 million per season, though the Wings’ lack of depth along the blue line could limit their ability to use the amnesties there.
Detroit is in decent enough shape that it may not have to use the amnesties at all, but that option could help future situations.