[A] Marian Hossa: Potential Buyout Candidate?

Ton

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It sounds crazy, but <strong class='bbc'>Marian Hossa[/b] could be one of two Chicago Blackhawks amnesty buyouts before the 2014-2015 season.

It’s easy to argue against it: Hossa is clearly a fan favorite when it comes to Chicago hockey, he is still playing at an elite level, and his cap hit is fairly friendly thanks to the work of <strong class='bbc'>Stan Bowman[/b] and company. However, after the NHL and NHLPA came to an agreement Sunday morning regarding a new CBA, more information has surfaced, particularly information that effects the Blackhawks directly.

The NHL will allow every team to use two amnesty buyouts over the next two summers under the new CBA. Basically, this means that the Blackhawks will be able to buyout two players without it counting against their salary cap. There are a few obvious choices for Chicago to consider: For one, they could take a look at axing <strong class='bbc'>Rostislav Olesz[/b]’s contract, although he is only signed through next season. Same with <strong class='bbc'>Michael Frolik[/b]. With that in mind, <strong class='bbc'>Steve Montador[/b] might be better to pawn off than someone like Olesz.

Taking a look at the talents mentioned, with all due respect, none of them come close to making an impact on the ice like <strong class='bbc'>Marian Hossa[/b], so why is he even being discussed? The big issue with Hossa has nothing to do with his playing ability, it’s determining whether or not he will retire before his contract ends. This is a particular problem due to the newly installed cap benefit recapture formula (CBRF), confirmed by James Mirtle. Here is the definition of CBRF as of December 12th:

<em class='bbc'>“All years of existing long-term contracts in excess of five (5) years be counted against a Club’s Cap regardless of whether or where a Player is playing. While such contracts (and Cap charges) can be traded during their terms, in the event a Player subsequently retires or ceases to play, the effective Cap charge would revert to the Club that originally entered into the contract.”[/i]

Although the definition in the new CBA was slightly tweaked (instead of five years it will be six and the cap charge would be spread among all teams that owned the contract — via Mirtle) the definition above certainly highlights the overall point. The table below represents the penalties the Blackhawks would pay each year until his contract ends if they decided to keep Hossa and he did retire early.

<p class='bbc_center'><span rel='lightbox'>
150933_4182705722462_1682484761_n.jpg
</span></p>
So, for example, lets say Hossa decided to retire after the 2018 season when he is 39 years old — the Blackhawks would incur a cap hit of $4,275,000 over the next three years.

This is a dangerous situation they have put themselves in, but with every stern penalty, the NHL always finds a way to let teams off the hook. Dig a little deeper and you can see for all intents and purposes, the amnesty buyout was created to opt out of larger, longer term contracts… take <strong class='bbc'>Scott Gomez[/b] in Montreal for example, or perhaps <strong class='bbc'>Rick DiPietro[/b] on Long Island. Ultimately, the Blackhawks have signed two particular players that exceed six years remaining on their contracts: <strong class='bbc'>Marian Hossa[/b] and <strong class='bbc'>Duncan Keith[/b]. Both of which are signed to retirement.

As far as <strong class='bbc'>Duncan Keith[/b] is concerned, he should have no issues playing out his days in Chicago. He will be 37 when his contract expires and may even want to stick around for a couple more years. Hossa will be 42 by the time his contract ends, and while the intent could have been there when he signed that contract it’s very rare that a player not named <strong class='bbc'>Chris Chelios[/b] or <strong class='bbc'>Gordie Howe[/b] maintain their passion for the game after 40 years old.

Is buying out Hossa really the only option to avoid the the retirement penalty? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Now, if you're thinking ahead, you'll say "Well, why don't the Blackhawks buyout Hossa, then re-sign him at a fraction of the cost?"

I'm one step ahead of you.

If the Blackhawks did decide to buy out Hossa, they could not acquire him for one year. This means they could not sign him, pick him up on waivers, or trade for him over the course of that year… so unless Marian is planning on taking a year off from 2014-15, the Blackhawks either have to say goodbye completely or take the risk and hope that he honors his contract instead of retiring early.

<strong class='bbc'>Stan Bowman[/b] and <strong class='bbc'>Rocky Wirtz[/b] have a big decision to make that can really effect the future of the team. The best case scenario would be if the Blackhawks decide to keep Hossa (or trade him) and he finishes his contract. Neutral case scenario, the Blackhawks trade Hossa, he retires, and the Blackhawks share the retirement penalty with another team. Worst case scenario, Hossa retires in 2017 or 2018 as a Blackhawk.

Although there is a huge case built for buying out <strong class='bbc'>Marian Hossa[/b], there is one fact that many people have failed to mention: If the Blackhawks buyout Hossa after the 2014 season, although it doesn't count against the salary cap, it will still cost Rocky Wirtz $15,866,667 total over a course of 14 years, which means Rocky will need to <em class='bbc'>pay an average of $1,133,333 per year until 2027-2028[/i]. That is insane. Of course the cap relief is crucial, but the bottom line is this is a business, and I highly doubt Rocky Wirtz will commit nearly $16 million to a player that isn't on the roster. The only way this would make sense for Rocky is if they suspect Hossa will retire after the 2017-2018 season or prior, which if that is the case, it will save the Blackhawks a total of $1,233,333 or more.

That last paragraph alone should be enough to prove that the Blackhawks will keep <strong class='bbc'>Marian Hossa[/b]. As a salary cap move, it may make sense, but from a business and pure hockey perspective this move would be a disaster. Put this rumor right back in the mouth it came from. It's debunked.

<p class='bbc_center'>***</p>
<em class='bbc'>Thanks to James Mirtle and Elliotte Friedman for their extensive knowledge and help on the details of the CBA’s amnesty buyout along with the cap benefit recapture formula. James Mirtle is an editor and reporter for The Globe and Mail, covering details of the lockout extensively. Elliotte Friedman is a sports journalist and commentator for Hockey Night in Canada on CBC Sports.[/i]

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supraman

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Ha your silly, using logic in regards to the blackhawks front office
 

Tater

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Good article Ton, it explains the situation well.
 

Shantz My Pants

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Fuck it, buyout Hossa. With all these young prospects coming up, someone is going to need to go to make room. Buying him out saves us from a potential cap hit that would be the cost of a 2nd-3rd line player and he free's up a spot in the top 6.



Dont get me wrong, Hossa is very talented and beneficial to this team, but how much longer will that last?
 

CLWolf81

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Ha your silly, using logic in regards to the blackhawks front office



They use logic when it comes to their own money, and of course they'll be cheapskates about it.



He'll be bought out a year before he retires. That is allowed, right? I don't understand this whole buyout thing. Is it just for this year or can we do this later?
 

supraman

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Dont give props to bookie, her ego is big enough.



Also I understand the hossa fans but as a hawks fan I feel he's worth more as a trade or as free cap space. If we really have all these really good players in the AHL, I think it is time for a little trial by fire and see what they can do. Also even if Hossa never played another game for the hawks the acquisition was mutually beneficial, we got him his cup, he helped get us ours.
 

Ton

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CLWolf81' timestamp='1357930581 said:
They use logic when it comes to their own money, and of course they'll be cheapskates about it.



He'll be bought out a year before he retires. That is allowed, right? I don't understand this whole buyout thing. Is it just for this year or can we do this later?



You can do it in any year, however each team has two buyouts they can use by 2014 and it won't count against the cap. Rocky still has to pay out of his pocket though.
 

winos5

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If Hossa puts up 60+ points which I expect he will they will let him play. The only way I can see Hossa contemplate early retirement is being forced due to health reasons. How do you buy out arguably the best 2 way player in the game who is still one of your best points producers? Boggles my mind.



Who knows though, maybe he gets plagued by injury and has a string of crappy seasons and they do it.
 

inhoc83

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Look, I am a huge Hossa fan. He is an incredible two way player and should be one in the league for another few years but with that being said I don't see how you don't at least think about buying him out after the 2013-14 season. We would get two more seasons of Hoss and then we could evaluate the situation. Maybe he is still playing at an elite level then and you will want to keep him around but he turs 34 tomorrow. I find it hard to believe he will be worth the cap hit in 2018, 19 and 20 when he is entering his 40's. I think he will still be able to play in this league then but not at an elite level. If he is still on the team then that is a $5 million cap hit for a player in his 40's. If he retires that is a cap hit somewhere between 2 and 4 million for a player not even on the team.



Rocky has already shown a willingess to eat money (Huet, Rusty). The money he would be paying Hossa is money he would be paying him anyway if he is retained only this way he has a shot at a better roster and a better chance to make more playoff money. The Hawks are a large market proffitable team. Under this regime I believe if it wasn't for the cap this team would spend up to around 80 million to field a contender every year.



I am not saying buying Hossa out is a must, I am just saying it needs to be considered in 2 seasons.
 

Ton

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Look, I am a huge Hossa fan. He is an incredible two way player and should be one in the league for another few years but with that being said I don't see how you don't at least think about buying him out after the 2013-14 season. We would get two more seasons of Hoss and then we could evaluate the situation. Maybe he is still playing at an elite level then and you will want to keep him around but he turs 34 tomorrow. I find it hard to believe he will be worth the cap hit in 2018, 19 and 20 when he is entering his 40's. I think he will still be able to play in this league then but not at an elite level. If he is still on the team then that is a $5 million cap hit for a player in his 40's. If he retires that is a cap hit somewhere between 2 and 4 million for a player not even on the team.



Rocky has already shown a willingess to eat money (Huet, Rusty). The money he would be paying Hossa is money he would be paying him anyway if he is retained only this way he has a shot at a better roster and a better chance to make more playoff money. The Hawks are a large market proffitable team. Under this regime I believe if it wasn't for the cap this team would spend up to around 80 million to field a contender every year.



I am not saying buying Hossa out is a must, I am just saying it needs to be considered in 2 seasons.



I agree, it should be considered.



I just think $16 million spread out over 14 years is a lot of money to shed for anyone not playing on your roster. You are right though, Rocky has been known to hide players with big contracts from the salary cap (ala Huet) but I don't think he ever spent around $16 million doing that.



I think they consider it, but unless Hossa plans on retiring before 2018, I don't think they'll buy him out in 2014.
 

MassHavoc

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We have been banged over the head the last what 2 trade deadlines being told that there is a difference between cap space and money budget. Especially last year when we had what 4 mil under the cap but were told that it's not the same as being 4 mil because we were eating so many contracts already. So essentially, the roster spend and the organization spend are connected and just because we have cap space doesn't mean we have the budget to spend it... that's what we were told and that's why were were to accept no big moves at the deadline. For this alone I expect no players to be bought out because their money would still be on the books, and well we wouldn't really be able to then spend their cap space now would be... and beside, this organization has been in the red for a while now, and even more so because of the lockout. /purple on that last part.



So which is it, cheapskates/liars/ both... .
 

inhoc83

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Wasn't Huet almost 10 Million. (2 years at around 5 million each year) and Olez 3.25 million for one year? That's 13 million in a 2 year period. Hossa would be another 3 million but spread out over 14 years.
 

inhoc83

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What High priced players could the Hawks have acquired at the trade deadline the last few years? It sounded to me like they tried to make some moves for some players that were the right fit but a deal couldn't be made (Heard he tried to get Grabovski from toronto and Burke said no). I think the lack of movement at the last 2 trade deadlines had less to do with a budget than it did with Stan being unable to make a deal. Whether it was because the other team was asking for too much or for prospects he just wasn't willing to part with.
 

the canadian dream

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i havent a heard a word about Hossa even considering retiring and he has a crap load of hockey left in him baring and serious injuries. But that's not the point of this I know.



Im going to throw out one other variable from the business end. How much revenue does Hossas name earn the club? Through merchandizing and all that good stuff. Probably not 4 million a year but I bet his name generates a little revenue which helps ease his cap hit and salary a little bit. I dont even really know where I am going with all of this...i need to go to the washroom and am typing really fast.
 

PatrickSharpRules

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i havent a heard a word about Hossa even considering retiring and he has a crap load of hockey left in him baring and serious injuries. But that's not the point of this I know.



Im going to throw out one other variable from the business end. How much revenue does Hossas name earn the club? Through merchandizing and all that good stuff. Probably not 4 million a year but I bet his name generates a little revenue which helps ease his cap hit and salary a little bit. I dont even really know where I am going with all of this...i need to go to the washroom and am typing really fast.

Judging by the fact nearly every jersey is a fake piece of shit from China, Hossa's merchandise is probably minimal.



Also, have you ever done a TSN fantasy league?
 

LordKOTL

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I think the smart play would be to see how Hoss is acclimating this short season. It occurs to me that any way you look at it, he gets his money so I think the question will be if he plans to retire anytime soon after getting into the ice and into fierce competition.



But that being said, the pro-hoss-buyout people constantly talk about "the talent in rockford". Here's the problem with that: at 32-33 last ear, the only 2 players on our roster in the same ballpark in terms of raw stats were Toews and Sharp.



So, I ask this: is there anyone in Rockford who is a replacement for Toews in terms of raw stats? I ask because that's what you would need to replace the loss of Hossa: Someone who's 30+ goals, 80+ points, all-star caliber, and a great, if not expectional 2-way player. Otherwise, we're taking a HEEEUGE step back--kinda like our D did when we lost Campbell.



Yes, I went there...right now buying out Hossa is aking to buying out Toews in terms of raw stats, and unless you're smoking peyote rectally, you simply don't think that, much less suggest it.



Give Hossa this season and see where he stands. If he's down then consider a buyout, but if he's remotely close to last year you keep him because there is no one in Rockford remotely at he level.
 

the canadian dream

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What High priced players could the Hawks have acquired at the trade deadline the last few years? It sounded to me like they tried to make some moves for some players that were the right fit but a deal couldn't be made (Heard he tried to get Grabovski from toronto and Burke said no). I think the lack of movement at the last 2 trade deadlines had less to do with a budget than it did with Stan being unable to make a deal. Whether it was because the other team was asking for too much or for prospects he just wasn't willing to part with.



I think more so it was Stan and Ownership not wanting to make moves brining in high price players because they probably knew this lockout and new CBA was coming. I rarely give Stan much credit as I don't really like him but if this was the case then you kind of have to acknowledge that he did the right thing by staying away from the big trades and signings.



Wont comment too much on trying to get Grabovski other than thank god Burke said no..if that was indeed the case. This kids not a big Grabovski fan and I couldn't see him playing well on this team and under this system. He has a reputation also which isn't very positive. I can't really get my mind to go back to almost a year ago and remember what situations the Hawks were in. My brain isn't working.
 

the canadian dream

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Judging by the fact nearly every jersey is a fake piece of shit from China, Hossa's merchandise is probably minimal.



Also, have you ever done a TSN fantasy league?



I dont think I have ever done a TSN one. All my leagues have been ESPN because they have a good history of being quick with injury updates. Have never left that database as a host because it's always been good.
 

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