There are four golden rules that apply to retaining salary:
1. Teams can only have three contracts on the books where they’ve retained salary in a trade
2. Teams can keep only up to 15 per cent of the salary cap in a given year, meaning they would max out at $9.645-million under the $64.3-million cap that’s likely to be in place in 2013-14 and 2014-15
3. Only 50 per cent of a contract can be kept
4. A contract can only be traded in one of these deals twice
This presents some interesting options for teams trying to get to cap compliance, whom have more than enough players they would perhaps like to buy out. Or need a few extra bucks to get there.
Let's say there is a scenario where the Oilers find themselves $500K over the cap after signing the Whitney replacement, Gagner & Smid next year.
Ben Eager ($550K Salary & Cap Hit)
5th Round Pick
Oilers retain $550K Salary & Cap Hit
They are now neatly below the cap. Phoenix has a bargain.
This year for cup run...
Brian Gionta ($2.5 M Salary & Cap Hit)
Canadiens retain $2.5 M Salary & Cap Hit)
Brian Gionta ($1.25 M Salary & Cap Hit)
2nd Round Pick
Bruins retain $1.25 M Salary & Cap Hit.