Trade Deadline Q & A

Monday, 25.02.2008 / 5:30 PM / Features
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Trade Deadline Q & A

As the trade deadline of 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 26 approaches, the National Hockey League has prepared the following:

How is a trade made?

After two clubs have come to an agreement on a trade, the clubs must advise the League office, either by telephone or by FAX, of the terms of the trade.  The League office then schedules a conference call with the two teams to review the transaction and give final approval for the deal. Prior to the trade call, the League office will ensure that the team has the appropriate salary cap space to make the deal; if draft choices are involved, that the club has the available choices; and that the team has available space on its reserve list to add the player (s).  It should be noted that the 23-man roster restriction is no longer in force from February 27 on.

On the trade call, the League will a) review the terms of the player contracts and ensure that teams are aware of their respective obligations to the player (s) involved; b) ensure that, should a player have a no-trade clause, that the player has waived that right; and c) ensure that any conditions to consummation of the transaction have been clearly defined and agreed upon.

The trade becomes official after the trade call has taken place.

What if a player involved in a transaction has a "no trade" clause?

No trade clauses can vary from player to player.  For example, a player may have a list of teams that he has agreed to be traded to.  The League requires written documentation from the player that he has waived his no trade clause.  If applicable, the documentation must also stipulate which teams the player has agreed it is permissible for him to be traded to.

Can a trade take place after the 3:00 P.M. ET deadline on February 26, 2008?

Trade calls may take place after the 3:00 p.m. deadline but the League must have been advised of any and all transactions, including the specific details,  prior to 3:00 p.m.  It is not unusual that a number of trades are agreed to between the clubs just before 3:00 p.m.  However, due to the volume of trades occurring just prior to the deadline, the League may not be able to conduct the actual trade call until after 3:00 p.m.  There are five League officials that conduct trade calls and calls may last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the complexity of the deal.

How is a player's salary charged against a team's salary cap when a trade is made at the deadline?

The salary that is charged against a team's cap is the pro rated amount remaining of the player's average yearly salary. For example, if a player has an average yearly salary of $2 million, the amount charged against the acquiring team's cap is the pro-rated amount remaining of $2 million.

This is calculated by dividing $2 million by the number of days in the season (187).  The amount ($10,695) is then multiplied by the number of days remaining in the season from the day the trade is made (41 days if trade is on deadline day) to ascertain the amount charged against the team's cap ($438,502).