GMs reportedly want clarity on so-called Kane salary cap 'loophole'

by
Tom Szczerbowski / USA TODAY Sports

A couple of Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman's colleagues would like some clarification.

At the general managers meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., TSN's Frank Seravalli reports "at least two GMs would like answers about a salary cap oddity. It's best described as the Patrick Kane 'loophole,' because of the cap creativity of Bowman."

The crux of the issue: The salary cap only applies towards the regular season, and by placing a player on long-term injured reserve (LTIR), like the Blackhawks did with Kane last season after he broke his collarbone, Chicago was able to add salary matching Kane's cap hit ($6.3 million at the time). The only way for the money to work was for Kane to miss the rest of the regular season - which he did. But he was ready to go for Game 1 of the playoffs, and he rejoined a lineup that featured Antoine Vermette, Kimmo Timonen, and Andrew Desjardins, all acquired after Kane and his salary hit LTIR.

To start Game 1 of the playoffs, the Blackhawks were over the salary cap ceiling. The loophole: The salary cap no longer applied.

"It seems to be a counterbalance that you work 82 nights with one financial equation, (and) then on Game 1, there are no financial concerns," St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong said, according to Seravalli. "I'm not sure what the proper answer is."

Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray - another Western Conference rival of the Blackhawks - also who wants clarity on this situation, Seravalli writes.

It was thought the Blues might do what the Blackhawks did when Alex Steen went down with a long-term injury, and stash him on LTIR in order to add for the playoffs. But Armstrong knew Steen would be healthy before the regular season was over, and wasn't prepared to ask him to sit out games.

"To me, it was black and white because (Steen) wants to come back. We weren't going to add a piece better than Alex Steen," Armstrong said. "If we've got eight or nine games left, and he can help us secure home-ice, I'll take Alex Steen before anybody that got traded at that deadline."