(Photo credit: Amy Irvin 38 Photography)
RJ Umberger, Andrew MacDonald, Trades and the CBA are probably the three biggest obstacles between the Flyers and Salary Cap Heaven.
After dealing Luke Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier to the Los Angeles Kings last week, Ron Hextall has bought himself some cap flexibility heading towards the trade deadline. This will give him room to add rentals if he wants to or begin a fire sale if the Flyers drop out of hope for a playoff spot.
However, it’s highly unlikely that RJ Umberger or Andrew MacDonald follow Vinny and Luke Schenn out the door, all because of the pesky Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Via Cap Friendly
The highlighted portion is the most relevant, during a season, a team can only retain three salaries, for the Flyers, Nick Grossmann (500K), Vinny (2.25M) and Luke Schenn (1.8M) are already retained. This means that no matter what, the Flyers cannot retain a third salary this season, so unless a team trades for entirety of the MacDonald or Umberger contracts, they’re not going anywhere until July 1, 2016.
With Grossmann and Luke Schenn both expiring on July 1, the Flyers are guaranteed to have two slots for a retained salary transaction open up on July 1 and a third can possibly open up if the rumors of Lecavalier retiring are true. So, come July 1, the Flyers would be able to move MacDonald or Umberger in a retained salary transaction.
The question to ask then, is do these players have value at a lower cap number that a team could trade for them? RJ Umberger has a partial NTC/NMC that protects him from waivers, but he’s still a capable fourth line forward.
Given that role, does a team who may need the floor next season, like Winnipeg or Carolina deal for Umberger at his whole cost? Given that one year at full contract value is something they can stomach, it would allow either team to keep more ELC’s on the roster without worrying about overpaying UFA’s long term.
Convincing a team to take Andrew MacDonald might be difficult, the Flyers would likely need to convince a team that Brayden Schenn’s RFA rights are the price to do it, something akin to the Luke+Vinny deal. Given the Jets are likely losing Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd to trades or UFA, they could attempt to fill the money voids left with Brayden Schenn and MacDonald.
All in all, moving Vinny and Luke Schenn now, means that we can sort of establish a timetable on the movement of RJ Umberger and Andrew MacDonald. Ron Hextall has proved it’s possible and there is no reason to doubt him now.