Oilers GM Ken Holland doing a press conference.
Photo credit: Daily Faceoff

Insider reveals Oilers GM Ken Holland created the most controversial NHL rule

Published March 11, 2024 at 4:59 PM

For the past few seasons, teams across the NHL have been accused of exploiting a supposed loophole in the salary cap rules - the salary cap doesn't apply in the playoffs, so teams can place players on Injured Reserve and make more additions to their lineup, and ice a playoff team well above the salary cap. This year, Vegas is the biggest culprit of this sketchy practice, and according to Elliotte Friedman, it was Oilers GM Ken Holland who created the rule.

When the NHL was implementing the salary cap in the early 2000s, it was Ken Holland during CBA negotiations who brought up the possibility of significant injuries making it difficult to ice a cap-compliant playoff roster. Using the 2002 Leafs as an example who lost several players to injury, other executives agreed with Holland to disregard salary entirely in the playoffs.

Here's the problem with that, Ken Holland brought that up when they were bringing the salary cap in and everybody backed-off cause they remembered he was right, you remember in the 2002 playoffs when Toronto went to the ECF against Carolina and lost, the Leafs had like 10 guys injured, and Holland said what if that happens to you and you can't field a team in the playoffs, you're not going to want that, and he was right, nobody wanted that, so that's why there is no cap in the playoffs.

This year Vegas is taking advantage of every dollar they can save while in this situation, adding three star players at the deadline in Anthony Mantha, Noah Hanifin, and Thomas Hertl. When Mark Stone and other star Vegas players return to the lineup for the playoffs, they'll be icing a roster that will be significantly over the salary cap - and ironically their playoff super team may run into Ken Holland's Edmonton Oilers.

According to another report from Elliotte Friedman, the NHL is beginning to look more seriously into the use of LTIR after the deadline, knowing it's not a great look for players to be too injured to play in game 82, but are healthy for game 1 of the playoffs when their team is cap compliant. It'll be tough to officiate, but there does needs to be some action from the NHL to stop the frequency of which this situation is being used to create playoff super teams.
March 11   |   620 answers
Insider reveals Oilers GM Ken Holland created the most controversial NHL rule

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