Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.


Is Lou cheating?

The much media esteemed NJ Devils GM is at it again. I've questioned his finagling of the CBA, in particular his Mogilny magic trick, erasing a crippling contract and thus allowing his team to continue its dominant trap-style play in the Atlantic division. If Mogilny's contract had been applied to the cap, it is elementary to assume the Devils would not be where they are today, leading their division by a healthy margin in the era of three point games.

It seems competing GMs are again questioning Lou's adherence to the CBA, this time in regard to long-healed defender Richard Matvichuk. According to sportsline.com's rumor mill(02/12/07 update) :

The New York Post reports aboux six clubs have asked the NHL to investigate the status of Richard Matvichuk. The Devils were granted a long-term injury exemption toward their cap, but it is believed Matvichuk has recovered from his back injury and is ready to play.
Hmm. Matvichuk declared himself fit to play some time ago, and yet somehow the LTI exemption is allowed to remain in effect. Fellow GMs are right to be upset about this blatant and overt disregard of the CBA's intent. However, Lou has out-flanked his colleagues yet again. According to this NY Post article, Lou doesn't have to make a move.

Lou Lamoriello has received break after break from the league on his cap mess, but it's hard to believe even he would go back to that well again, even as the NHL allows him to keep Richard Matvichuk off the cap, regardless of whether or not he is still injured.

Lamoriello doesn't have to remove Matvichuk from the Long-Term Injury exemption until he finds cap space. The league will not determine, whether the summertime back surgery has been rehabilitated and will not force Lamoriello to make space for Matvichuk. Once LTI is granted, the team decides when it's over.

It's unlikely a long-ready Matvichuk will play until only nickels remain on his $1.36 million salary and cap liability. Once the playoffs start the cap no longer applies, so the Devils can suit him up, although Matvichuk must be activated before the season's end, a minimum of one game or a couple rust-removers at some 16.6G per against the cap. Peanuts.
Bollocks is more like it.

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  • At 5:56 PM, Blogger Joe Pelletier said…

    Hey there....I don't know if this is of interest to your readers or not, but as you know the Leafs are celebrating the 1967 Stanley Cup championship this weekend. At http://www.legendsofhockey.blogspot.com I'm profiling every single member of that team. If you think it is of interest to your readers, feel free to link up!


    Joe Pelletier

  • At 10:49 AM, Blogger ninja said…


    Most definitely. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I know you posted a link to your legends of hockey network a while ago, and I failed to plug it. For that, I apologize.

    Great stuff. Keep it up.

  • At 2:45 PM, Blogger MrFrisby said…

    Nice post. I have been wondering what the deal with Matvichuk is myself. Stan Fischler reported on Devils Gamenight a few weeks ago that Matvichuk was ready to play, he even interviewed Richard in the lockerroom after a workout of all places. So it is no secret that he is able to play.

    According to the Sabres' Capology 101:

    Once the injured player is ready to return to the lineup, the team must come into compliance with the cap again before re-activating the injured player. This means the team's upper cap limit is lowered back to $44 million.

    So it seems that Lou is in fact, following the rules because he is not pemitted to activate Matvichuk yet. It is a double edged sword though. Colin White was injured and even though they have a healthy veteran D-man sitting there with Richard, they still had to call up a rookie from the minors.

  • At 2:56 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Fris, thanks for stopping by. I know Lou is in the right here, but I still think it stinks. Mostly because he always seems one step ahead and farts in the faces of everyone he competes against.

    Though I guess being restricted from activating a player who is able to play is a good punishment for having a salary that exceeds the cap if counting all healthy players....if that isn't too confusing a way of putting it.

  • At 6:42 PM, Blogger Robert L said…

    Lou has now sent Korolyuk back to the Sharks. Hmmm!

    They are the Devils!

  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Yeah, something definitely feels, huh huh, fishy about Lou sending back the player he acquired that he knew he wouldn't have to pay so that he could get under the cap.


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