Maple Leafs may be penalized by the NHL over the Chris Tanev contract

Samer Dagher
June 30, 2024  (4:23 PM)

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Chris Tanev
Photo credit: Canucks Daily

The Toronto Maple Leafs may be punished by the NHL for the rumored contract extension that is coming for pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Chris Tanev.

A new report from NHL insider Frank Seravalli reveals that the Toronto Maple Leafs could face punishment if they're not careful with their planned extension for Chris Tanev.
The Leafs recently acquired defenseman Chris Tanev at the end of the NHL Draft and are now looking to sign him to a long-term contract. Many expect a long-term deal for the 35-year-old Tanev, but Frank Seravalli's report might make the Leafs reconsider.
In a new post on X, Seravalli explained how the NHL is cracking down on Long Term Injured Reserve (LTIR) salary cap circumvention. Teams have previously signed older players to long contracts, intending to put them on LTIR when they can no longer play, effectively reducing the player's cap hit.
Seravalli cited an example relevant to the Leafs:
1. If "fake years" are added to a player's contract in his mid-30s as a method to suppress AAV and/or entice a signature with additional total dollars, #NHL will monitor and pursue later if proven as means of cap circumvention.

He specifically addressed the potential impact on the Leafs with Tanev:
Example: If #Leafs want to offer Tanev 6 years x $4 million, and the goal (😉) is to only play three years and spend the last two or three on LTIR (😉), well then, that won't be looked upon fondly later. We've been through this once before, hence the 35+ contract rule.

This means the Leafs could be punished and forced to keep Tanev's salary on their books if the NHL deems the contract as cap circumvention. Additionally, the Leafs cannot hire Tanev in a post-contract role to circumvent the cap.
2. It is expressly prohibited in the CBA for a free agent to agree to a post-contract arrangement for services, say as a team ambassador or in player development, as a way of working outside of the salary cap. That type of deal is outlawed and the #NHL would very likely also consider that circumvention.

With this in mind, the Leafs must carefully consider how long Tanev will be valuable on their roster. If he's not expected to be useful for five-plus years, signing him to a major extension might be more trouble than it's worth.
As of now, Tanev hasn't signed an extension, suggesting the Leafs may be taking this new information into account. We'll provide updates as the situation develops.
Source: markerzone
Toronto Maple Leafs may be punished by NHL for Chris Tanev extension
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Maple Leafs may be penalized by the NHL over the Chris Tanev contract

Will the Toronto Maple Leafs end up having to put Chris Tanev on LTIR at some point during his contract?

Yes24080 %
No6020 %
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