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The Daily: NHL Not Interested in Closing Kucherov LTIR Playoff Loophole

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Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL franchise
The Tampa Bay Lightning used the LTIR effectively to be $18 million over the salary cap ceiling in the playoffs while winning the Stanley Cup.

Fans hoping NHL general managers would recommend closing the long-term injured reserve rule loophole were disappointed Tuesday.

The GMs wrapped up their annual meeting with no recommendation for change. A handful of GMs don’t like the idea that there is no salary cap restrictions in the playoffs, meaning Tampa Bay Lightning was able to win a Stanley Cup while being $18 million over the cap. That happened last season when Nikita Kucherov missed the regular-season after surgery and then came back for the playoffs without his salary counting against the cap.

This season, the Vegas Golden Knights also used LTIR to work Jack Eichel’s $10 million contract under their salary cap.

But the majority of NHL GMs believe the system is working fine.  Discussion of the issue lasted only 30 minutes. The only consensus: more study is needed. GMs will discuss it again this summer.

“We all get sometimes focused in on recency bias,” Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving told Sportsnet. “The reality is we’ve had a cap for 17 years and if there has been a grey area of it, it’s been maybe once or twice.

“Now, is there validity to say that we get to the playoffs and we’ve got a cap of $81.5 million and fundamentally that means we should only be able to dress $81.5 million in the playoffs? Sure, that makes sense. I think you’ve gotta go back and study it. I think in areas where you’ve come back and said there’s been abuses of LTI, really, what have those been?

Eric Engel did a comprehensive story on the issue for Sportsnet.ca.

In Case You Missed It

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  • Frolunda (Sweden) coach Roger Ronnberg could lose his job. The Red Wings like the work he has done with their prospects.
  • Goalie Victor Brattstrom promoted by the Red Wings.

Hot Wings

Center Pius Suter has five points in six games after going pointless in 11 games.

Cold Wings:

After being above .500 on New Year’s Eve, the Red Wings are 11-18-5.  Only three of those wins came against playoff teams.

Draft Status

Red Wings are still in ninth NHL draft position. The Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks were idle. No team below them in the standings won Tuesday night.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: Joe Haggerty’s take on the Boston Bruins loss to ‘hungry’ Maple Leafs.

Montreal: Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes thinks it’s time to take “interim” tag off coach Martin St. Louis.

New York:  The New York Islanders hold on to down the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Philadelphia:  Sam Carchidi offers five observations about the state of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Pittsburgh:  The Pittsburgh Penguins’ comeback falls short in 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers .

Vancouver:   Rob Simpson offers his take on how the Vancouver Canucks can survive the playoff push.

Washington: Sammi Silber’s takeaways from the Washington Capitals’ recent setback.

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