The Ducks have begun using an interesting strategy to save cap space: send down guys on two-way contracts every off-day.
In order to save $12,000 in salary-cap space, the Ducks on Monday assigned two rookies, left wing Bobby Ryan and defenseman Brett Festerling, to their ECHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.
The Ducks, who did not practice Monday, will recall Ryan and Festerling in time for the two to practice with the team Tuesday morning at Honda Center.
It just seems so.. odd. What does the extra $12,000 in cap space mean to the Ducks at the end of the day? It’s almost nothing in terms of an NHL contract and means even less against the cap. But Dan Wood says that the pro-rated $50-60,000 Anaheim saves could help them land a “relatively high-priced” player at the deadline.
It kind of makes sense because the salaries of players acquired through trade are pro-rated but by sending these kids up and down all season doesn’t that mean that the value of their salaries (a pro-rated base of $850,000 with bonuses that could push it up to $1.539 million for Ryan and a pro-rated $379,000 for Festerling) mean that they can only get a guy whose pro-rated salary is that much?
For example, the Ducks want to trade a draft pick (just so there are no sticky numbers going the other way) for a “relatively high-priced” player. Can’t that player’s salary, at best, be the sum total of Ryan and Festerling’s? I don’t know when a player in the $1.1-1.9 range became “relatively high-priced” but okay, sure.
Why, then, doesn’t every team do this? Wouldn’t it make sense to just constantly send your young guys up and down? The Islanders, just as a for-instance, have roughly 43 guys on the 20-man roster on two-way deals. Why not send ALL OF THEM down to Bridgeport on off-days to save however much against the cap and, if they fancy themselves playoff contenders around deadline time (ha!), they could then trade for your Jason Spezzas and Ilya Kovalchuks because they’ve saved x amount against the cap through this silliness.
Maybe the Lightning can do this and get that free agent center they’ve had their eye on.