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The Canadiens are currently over the salary cap

I took a look at Cap Friendly, as I often do, following the signing of Rafaël Harvey-Pinard. And what you’ll notice on the Habs page is that he’s currently over the cap, despite a few contracts that have left the club in recent days.

Note that Jeff Gorton, Kent Hughes and John Sedgwick are not in trouble with the NHL, since the cap can be exceeded by 10% in the summer.

And since the 2023-2024 cap is $83.5 million and can therefore be exceeded by $8.35 million, seeing the CH at $609,166 over the limit isn’t a problem. But it does explain, considering the surplus of players, why the CH was quiet on July 1.

In the amount taken into account by the site, we note the following:

  • 11 forwards who finished the season on the active roster: $40.3 million
  • Seven defensemen who finished the season on the active roster: $13.0925M
  • Jake Allen and Samuel Montembeault: $4.85M
  • Four players (three forwards and Arber Xhekaj) who finished the season on the injured list: $11.613333
  • Carey Price: $10.5 million
  • Joel Edmundson salary deduction: $1.75M
  • Karl Alzner contract buyout penalty: $0.833333M
  • Bonuses deferred from 2022-2023: $1.17 M

This gives us a total of $84,109,166, or $609,166 above the authorized ceiling. So it’s not impossible to deduct, but it will have to be done some day.

That said, don’t forget to add Alex Newhook’s future contract, as well as that of Jesse Ylönen, who will have a contract making his return to Laval conditional on a ballot.

The contracts of Nicolas Beaudin, Mitchell Stephens and Lucas Condotta, all restricted free agents (RFA), will not affect the Habs’ payroll.

Another contract to be added is that of Cayden Primeau at $890,000 per year. After all, the goalie is not exempt from the ballot and is, until proven otherwise, part of the Habs. One day, his contract will have to be counted.

We can therefore assume that Newhook will make around three million dollars. With the Primeau and Ylönen contracts, is it illogical to think that just under five million dollars should be added to the mix?

It makes sense to me.

What it means is that the CH can sit back and sign the guys it has yet to sign without any problem. It will have until the start of the season to find a solution to the problem.

The most observant of the lot will have noticed that Carey Price is part of the mass. The easy solution is to place the goalie on the long-term injured list to save money in the short term.

True… but it’s more complicated than that.

As Kent Hughes explained over the weekend, the Montreal Canadiens would like to avoid placing Price on the long-term injured list this off-season.

It’s all very technical, but if the CH doesn’t place him on the injured list until the start of the season, he gains the flexibility to not necessarily defer his bonuses as much next season.

As was the case this year, basically.

And you know as well as I do that by 2024-2025, the CH will have more money and will want to use it to become a good team again. So it’s to help themselves in a year’s time that the CH, which has been working to improve for the long term since the change of management, wants to avoid putting Price on the LTIR right now.

Being a GM in the salary cap era must be complex.

That’s why a $4.5 million contract for Ryan O’Reilly would have been problematic not only for playing time, but also for the payroll.

If the CH had traded Christian Dvorak (currently injured), it wouldn’t have been a problem. But here? It would have forced the CH to eventually go over the cap and place Price on the off-season LTIR once Newhook was under contract.

Remember that next year, Samuel Montembeault (whom the CH wants to try to sign this summer, ideally), Sean Monahan, Chris Wideman, Rem Pitlick and Mike Hoffman will be free as a bird. There will also be a couple of RFAs at NHL level, namely Justin Barron and Arber Xhekaj.

The CH will also have a lot to look forward to as contracts become less and less burdensome with the passage of time. Stay tuned.

In bursts

– I’m not surprised.

– Interesting.

– I agree.

– Interesting detail about the Rocket’s new goaltender.

– Ouch.

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