Are the Flyers, with Chris Pronger, and the Bruins, with Marc Savard, circumventing the cap?
Short answer, no. Longer answer follows.
First, both players have serious concussions that affected not only their hockey careers, but, according to a variety of reports, their everyday lives.
Second, the league’s standard player’s contract dictates that any player who is “disabled and unable to perform his duties as a hockey player by reason of an injury sustained during the course of his employment as a hockey player” is “entitled to receive his remaining” salary and signing bonuses until expiration of his contract. This means that although their injuries could indeed be classified as career-ending, it is their right within the CBA to delay retirement in order to collect the full amounts due to them each season until their contract expires. If they retired, they would forfeit those payments.
Third, since each player has an injury that will obviously keep them out for at least 10 games and 24 days, their respective teams can use long-term injured reserve to replace the cap amounts of each player.
It should be noted that retirement for Savard prior to expiration of his contract would result in recapture penalties to the Bruins, while retirement for Pronger prior to expiration of his contract would result in his full cap hit applying to the Flyers because of the “over-35” rule.
In a nutshell, the player benefits financially and the team benefits from a cap perspective — and in both cases, basic CBA regulations are being followed.
CBA Reference: Article 23.4, P. 151, 2013 CBA
— By Matthew Wuest – CapGeek.com