One of the new elements from the most recent CBA was the ability to retain salary and cap hits as part of a trade. More teams have taken advantage of this each year and it is likely to continue to be utilized more frequently with the cap for next season expected to be similar to the $71.4MM Upper Limit for 2015-16.
However, there are some restrictions to using this tool. They are as follows:
- No more than 50% of a player’s salary, cap hit, and bonuses (if applicable) can be retained in a single transaction. A player can only have their salary retained twice on the same contract.
- The same percentage must be retained for salary, cap hit, and bonuses.
- Teams can only retain up to a maximum of three contracts per season. Additionally, the sum of the amount retained can be no higher than 15% of the Upper Limit.
Below are how many remaining retention spots are available for each team for 2016-17 and, where applicable, which players have had their cap hits retained as part of a trade already.
Anaheim: (2) Patrick Maroon ($500,000 per year through 2017-18)
Chicago: (2) Rob Scuderi ($1.125MM through 2016-17)^
Dallas: (2) Ryan Garbutt ($900,000 through 2016-17)
Detroit: (2) Jakub Kindl ($360,000 through 2016-17)
Los Angeles: (3)
New Jersey: (3)
New York I: (3)
New York R: (3)
Philadelphia: (2) Vincent Lecavalier ($2.25MM per year through 2017-18)*
Pittsburgh: (2) Rob Scuderi ($1.125MM through 2016-17)^
St. Louis: (3)
San Jose: (3)
Tampa Bay: (3)
Toronto: (2) Phil Kessel ($1.2MM per year through 2021-22)
Vancouver: (2) Roberto Luongo ($800,000 per year through 2021-22)
^ – Both Chicago and Pittsburgh are retaining identical amounts on Rob Scuderi’s contract.
* – Lecavalier announced he planned to retire following 2015-16 although the formal paperwork has not yet been filed.
As contracts don’t expire until July 1st, any trade with retention counting in 2015-16 remains on the books of teams until that time. With trade talk to pick up in the weeks ahead leading into the free agency period, here is the current retention situation for each team.
3 contracts retained: Carolina, Philadelphia
2 contracts retained: Edmonton, Toronto
1 contract retained: Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Winnipeg
0 contracts retained: Calgary, Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York I, New York R, Ottawa, St. Louis, Washington
Accordingly, Carolina and Philadelphia are unable to retain salary in a trade between now July 1st.