Loophole Could Allow The Maple Leafs To Sign Patrick Kane For League Minimum

Tyler Ball
September 13, 2023  (9:32 PM)

Patrick Kane is still available on the free agent market.

His rehab is progressing and he could be looking to sign sooner rather than later.
One loophole could allow the Toronto Maple Leafs to be in the mix.

Salary Cap Loophole

The NHL salary cap rules are complicated and always changing. One rule that is still in place is the 35+ rule for signing free agents.
This allows NHL teams to sign a player that is 35 or older to a minimum contract worth $775,000.
Patrick Kane will be 35 on November 19th. This means that if the Maple Leafs are able to hold out on signing Patrick Kane until after he is 35 they could get him on a steal.
Now of course Kane is unlikely to sign a league minimum contract straight up. There is another rule that could allow the Maple Leafs to get Patrick Kane the money he desires and keep his cap hit at a minimum.

Performance Bonuses

The Maple Leafs could use performance bonuses to increase the amount of money that Kane makes.
These bonuses could be for games played, points, team success, goals etc. The nice thing with performance bonuses is they do not count against the salary cap for the current year.
So say the Maple Leafs sign Kane to a one year deal 35+ contract worth the minimum. Then add in 3 million in incentives.
The team could save 3 million dollars on the cap this season. As always with these loopholes there is a catch to make sure it won't be abused.
The 3 million dollars that Patrick Kane would earn in bonuses would be tacked onto the next years salary cap.
Anytime a player's bonus takes the team over the salary cap it is added on to the next season. This would mean that the Maple Leafs would be paying money for Patrick Kane's previous production.
Next year is also when Auston Matthews and potentially William Nylander's extensions will kick in. This means that Toronto does not have money to just waste for next season.
While this isn't a likely solution in bringing Patrick Kane to Toronto it is a possible one. In the coming weeks and months Kane's recovery will be talked about and obsessed over until he signs.
As Read On - Maple Leafs Daily -
One interesting cap loophole may help the Leafs sign Patrick Kane to a 1-year deal
Loophole Could Allow The Maple Leafs To Sign Patrick Kane For League Minimum

Will Patrick Kane sign in Toronto?

Yes73149.1 %
No75950.9 %
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