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The NHL reportedly included a clause in its most recent proposal that would eliminate teams burying bad contracts in the AHL.
The NHL submitted its most recent offer to the NHL Players Association on Tuesday afternoon, which proposed a 50/50 split of hockey related revenue and included a Nov. 2 start date on a compressed 82 game schedule.
Included in that proposal is a clause that would make the salaries of NHL players on American Hockey League rosters count against the NHL team's salary cap, according to John Shannon of Sportsnet. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, team's could remove unwanted contracts by waiving players off the NHL roster to their AHL affiliate. This would allow the team to alleviate cap dollars while still paying the player the real dollar amount owed on his contract.
This strategy was most famously utilized by the New York Rangers with defenseman Wade Redden. The Rangers signed Redden to a six-year contract worth $39 million in 2008. After his performance continually declined, the team waived Redden to its AHL affiliate and created cap space at the NHL level. Redden has spent the last two seasons playing with the Connecticut Whale organization (formerly the Hartford Wolf Pack) and is the highest paid player in the history of the AHL.
Under this proposed clause, teams would be unable to implement this tactic as the player's contract would still count against the salary cap. According to Tom Gulitti of NorthJersey.com, under the new proposal players on one-way contracts that clear waivers to the AHL would not have to go through re-entry waivers if their team was interested in bringing them back to the NHL.