NHL GMs might add another conversation topic to their agenda next week when they meet in Florida. A rule that many feel is being abused — or at the very least used in a way the rule wasn’t intended to be used — GMs might change how LTIR (long-term injury reserve) is used by teams during the regular season when players are out until the postseason begins.

Related: Goaltender Mike Smith Takes “Off-Record” Shot at Fickle Oilers Fans

As the rule states now, a player who is injured and unable to return in the regular season can be placed on LTIR and the team can add the value of that player’s salary in the form of another replacement player without penalty. If the injured player returns for the playoffs, there is no cap penalty for going over the salary cap ceiling to the team that now has two players on their roster, when they once had one. In theory, the rule was meant to allow for teams who couldn’t have access to an injured player to help acquire someone that could help them during the season. What has happened is that teams have started leaving NHL stars on LTIR until the playoffs and then using the extra cap space to acquire additional assets, thereby being a bit unethical when it comes to rules surrounding the cap.

The Tampa Bay Lightning did so with Nikita Kucherov and the Chicago Blackhawks did so with Patrick Kane. The Vegas Golden Knights are in all sorts of salary cap trouble after a trade to send Evgenii Dadonov was reversed by the NHL this week. More and more teams are using the “loophole” and it’s creating a scenario where some teams have come to plan their trade deadlines around long-term injuries.

Kucherov Stone Kane LTIR debate

Seravalli of Daily Faceoff writes:

At least one GM has requested discussion on closing the so-called “LTIR loophole” that has been used, most notably by the Tampa Bay Lightning with star Nikita Kucherov, where teams above the salary cap wait until the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs to activate healthy players.

What’s the Propsosed Solution?

It doesn’t sound like this GM is pitching a drastic change. The idea seems to be that teams simply can’t spend more than the salary cap for players they put on the ice in the postseason. In other words, these teams can still go out and acquire the replacement player in the regular season, but the total combined salary of any one team during the playoffs for players on the ice in that game cannot exceed the salary cap ceiling.

It might be a situation where both the returning player and the replacement player play, but someone else would have to sit and that might be enough of a consequence to at least make teams think about having to healthy scratch players before freely spending the money.

Next: NHL Voids Evgenii Dadonov Trade to Ducks

The post NHL GMs to Talk Limits On LTIR Playoff Flexibility Moving Forward appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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