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The Habs swept their week with a trio of strong
outings to strengthen their hold atop the Northeast Division. 
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs weren’t as successful, dropping 2 of their 3
contests.  As always, the Recap will have the Player Rankings and Bulldogs
StatPack, but this week, I also attempt to explain the Habs’ LTIR situation, a
popular discussion topic given the injury to Andrei Markov.


Players are rated from 1 to however many
players play on a weekly (non-cumulative) basis.  Rankings will be tracked
weekly and averages provided. 

1) Carey Price: I honestly expect
Price to garner at the very least strong consideration for one of the NHL’s 3
Stars of the week – it’s hard to not rank him here.
3  Average:

2) Tomas Plekanec: Other than Saturday, he had a bit of a quiet week
I thought.  But far be it from me to argue with 6 points in 3 games.
5  Average:

3) Mike Cammalleri: Everyone knew he was going to break out of his
slump at some time or another.  He had positive strides all week and the
goalless drought snapped against Carolina.
10  Average:

4) Brian Gionta: Like Cammalleri, it was only a matter of time before
he lit the lamp.  Both of his goals turned out to be the game winners as
6  Average:

5) Roman Hamrlik: After a pair of so-so weeks, he really turned his
game around.  In fact, he was the only Canadiens’ d-man to record a point
in each game.
17  Average:

6) Jaroslav Spacek: I could very easily write the same thing for
Spacek as I did for Hamrlik above, aside from the point-per-game comment. 
On second thought, it seems I just did that.
11  Average:

7) Scott Gomez: The offensive game wasn’t terrific (still 3 points in
3 games) but what impressed me most was the effort and hustle at both ends of
the ice.  If he plays like this the rest of the way, he’ll be just fine.
12  Average:

8) Andrei Markov: Not surprisingly, he continued to improve each game
and had a big part in the resurrection of the powerplay.  Just how bad is
this injury though?
9  Average:

9) P.K. Subban: I have to admit, hearing Subban and "first career
goal" in the same sentence sounded a little odd.  Just goes to show you how
much people expect from the rookie already.
7  Average:

10) Andrei Kostitsyn: He started the week in a slump but like many
others, his offensive game sparked back to life with a trio of points in the
final two games.
8  Average:

11) Tom Pyatt: You won’t see him anywhere on the scoresheet (aside
from leading the Habs in shots one game) but he was fantastic on the PK, which
was 13/14 this week.
18  Average:

12) Benoit Pouliot: The offensive game died a bit but all you have to
do is look at where he scored from on Saturday night to see that he’s still
getting into the scoring lanes where he needs to be.
3  Average:

13) Josh Gorges: I’ve honestly found that he’s looked uncomfortable
alongside Markov.  With Markov’s injury though, he’ll see the increase in
responsibilities that he’s used to now.
13  Average:

14) Jeff Halpern: This was the quietest he has been offensively all
season but he still played strong defensively and was good on the draw. 
This is more of what should be expected from him on a week-to-week basis based
on his career stats.
2  Average:

15) Mathieu Darche: He had what I felt was his best game of the
season vs Boston and scored vs Carolina…him being this low isn’t an indictment
on him but rather the overall strength of the team this past week.
4  Average:

16) Travis Moen: Now that he’s back on the 4th line, I’d like to see
a little more physical play out of him, we all know he’s capable of bringing it. 
He played fine otherwise.
14  Average:

17) Maxim Lapierre: The highlight reel goal aside, I have not been
impressed with him on the Gomez line.  He’ll sometimes do the dirty work
but considering his linemates, sometimes isn’t good enough.
19  Average:

18) Hal Gill: He has been particularly quiet lately which isn’t
entirely a bad thing, especially when his teammates are stepping it up on the
penalty kill.
3  Average:

19) Lars Eller: I can appreciate (and understand) the logic for
keeping him up and playing him in spot minutes but I can’t help but muse aloud
about whether or not he’d benefit from a short stint in Hamilton.
16  Average:

 The Dog

The Bulldogs’ winning streak was snapped early in the week as the offense sputtered, scoring only 4 goals in their 3 games, 2 of which were losses.


November 10






Hamilton 0 1 0 1 0/5 28
Lake Erie 0 2 3 5 1/6 25

Attendance:  3,394
3 Stars:
  1) Walter – LE  2) Mauldin – LE  3) Bacashihua – LE

November 13






Grand Rapids 0 0 1 1 0/2 23
Hamilton 1 1 0 2 0/6 20

Attendance:  3,525
3 Stars:
  1) Pacioretty – HAM  2) Palushaj – HAM  3)
Pyett – GR

November 14






Grand Rapids 1 0 1 2 0/8 28
Hamilton 0 0 1 1 1/6 22

Attendance:  2,078
3 Stars:
  1) Smith – GR  2) McCollum – HAM  3) Sanford – HAM


A pair of streaks came to an end in Sunday’s
loss vs Grand Rapids.  Both David Desharnais (13 games) and Aaron Palushaj
(8 games) saw their respective season long point streaks come to an end.









4 Brendon Nash 3 0 1 -1 3 0
5 Alex Henry 3 0 0 -4 0 9
7 Yannick Weber 3 1 0 -4 12 0
10 J.T. Wyman 3 0 1 -1 3 0
12 Andrew Conboy 1 0 0 E 0 5
14 Olivier Fortier 3 0 0 E 2 5
15 Kyle Klubertanz 2 0 0 +1 1 0
19 Ben Maxwell 3 0 0 -4 8 4
20 Ryan Russell 3 0 0 E 4 6
22 Andreas Engqvist 3 0 0 E 3 2
23 Max Pacioretty 3 1 0 -3 10 4
24 Ian Schultz 2 0 0 E 1 0
25 Ryan White 3 0 1 -4 2 11
26 Alexander Avtsin 3 0 1 E 4 0
28 Aaron Palushaj 3 1 1 E 4 2
32 Frederic St. Denis 3 0 0 +1 4 2
44 Jimmy Bonneau 3 0 0 E 1 5
51 David Desharnais 3 1 1 E 5 2
72 Mathieu Carle 3 0 0 -2 3 2
85 Neil Petruic 1 0 0 +1 0 2






1 Curtis Sanford 1-1-0 .941 1.51
35 Robert Mayer 0-1-0 .800 5.02


Goals: Yannick Weber (8)
Assists: David Desharnais (12)
Points: David Desharnais (17)
+/-: Desharnais/Carle (+8)
PIMS: Alex Henry (36)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (64)


November 16: Toronto vs
November 19: Hamilton vs Rochester
November 20: Hamilton vs Toronto
November 21: Hamilton vs Toronto


With the inevitable discussion surrounding what
Andrei Markov’s injury will be and how long he’ll miss, talk has shifted to all
sorts of cap space savings, LTIR, and the like.  However, there are a lot
of misconceptions out there, largely due to the fact that it is written so
complicatedly in the CBA.  So, rather than go through a Final Thought and
one other segment this week, I’d like to take a bit of time and explain the
process that needs to take place for a team to use LTIR.  For simplicity’s
sake, I will refrain from creating any detailed scenarios (such as specific
potential trade targets) as this topic is easiest to understand in general.

First, let’s go over a couple of the misconceptions I mentioned earlier. 
The following are believed by many to be true, but aren’t:

– A player placed on LTIR comes off the cap.  (Only players who are sent to
the AHL (excluding 35+ contracts), are traded, or retire midseason come off the

– Teams must designate players brought in to replace the LTIR’ed player. (This
is not required, more than one player can be called up provided the roster and
cap space exists.)

– Acquisitions/callups to replace an LTIR’ed player must play the same position. 
(Technically, the Habs could acquire a 2nd line forward with any space gained
through LTIR if they really wanted.)

– Once a player is LTIR’ed, savings begin immediately.  (Not true, I’ll
cover this in detail shortly.)

– Cap space is the same as LTIR space. (Not necessarily, cap space factors in
bonuses, LTIR only player salaries.)

Even though the Habs are only now running into
a potential LTIR situation, they have been calculating LTIR space every day this
season, every team does.  The reason is, LTIR space only occurs when all
available cap space is used up.  The Habs have been under the cap every day
this season, so they have accrued a decent amount of space thus far.  This
must be used before the team sees a penny of LTIR relief.

What goes into this daily calculation?  Two key things:

1) The daily ‘spending allowance’ – this is calculated most of the time by
simply dividing the league salary cap by the number of days in the season. 
However, since the Habs were over the cap last year, that amount is deducted
from the salary cap, then divided by the number of days (186) to get to the
spending allowance.  Daily, this amount is roughly $318,985.  [On my
capsheet, linked at the bottom, this is detailed in the 3rd tab.]

2) Amount spent on salaries – not cap hits.  In the Habs’ case, Lars Eller
is the only one up who currently has bonuses so this is almost one and the same. 
In general, any bonuses are deducted from the cap hit, then divided by 186. 
The sum of these amounts for players on the active roster becomes the team’s
salary used for the day.  (On Sunday, the Habs had 22 players on the
roster, their salaries added up to $309,738.) [The breakdown of daily salaries
and this calculation can be seen in the 4th tab of the capsheet.]

The ‘daily difference’ (excess of 1 over 2) becomes accrued LTIR space; if
negative, it eats away at the accrued space.  As of Sunday, November 14th
(when this was posted), the Habs have accrued over $203,000 in LTIR space. 
They also are adding to that total by just under $9,250 each day as a result of
the Ryan O’Byrne
earlier this week.  Basically, this is the not-so-simple formula:

[(Salary cap – prior season overage)]/186 – sum of player salaries daily…if
the result is positive, it’s accrued LTIR space; if negative, it’s used towards
reducing any accrued LTIR and can eventually become LTIR credits on the cap.

Once a team places a player on LTIR, the amount spent on salary can exceed the
spending allowance, provided any player(s) brought in to replace Markov (in this
instance) can’t exceed his salary of $5.75 M.  Let’s hypothesize for a
minute that the Habs plan to replace Markov internally.

The highest salaried (not cap hit) player on the Bulldogs is Andreas Engqvist. 
Yes, I fully know he won’t be called up here, but let’s use his salary to prove
a point.  His salary is $900,000, which works out to a daily amount of
roughly $4,839.  Without going into any intricate details, he, or any other
Bulldog player called up alone will not trigger any LTIR savings whatsoever if
the roster stays in its current form.  In fact, calling up the two highest
salaried players only puts the ‘daily difference’ into the negatives by about
$300.  At that rate, the accrued space (the roughly $203,000 from earlier)
would never be eaten up in its entirety.  Thus, it can be concluded that no
combination of two Bulldogs callups (and they can only bring up two
because that’s all the space they have on the 23-man roster) will yield LTIR
savings alone.  If this is the route they take, don’t be surprised if
Markov isn’t placed on LTIR as there wouldn’t be a point.  However, a
player can be LTIR’ed retroactively if need be, should the Habs decide to bring
someone in via trade/signing later on.

Though I said I’d stray away from specifics, I’d be remiss if I didn’t provide a
hypothetical trade calculation here to demonstrate the process.  Let’s
assume the Habs trade for a $2.5 M player without trading anyone off the current
roster, nor make any further moves (trade or recall).  Here’s how the
numbers would break down:

Currently, the Habs are spending $309,738 out of their adjusted (due to their
overage) ‘spending allowance’ of $318,985, a difference of roughly $9,250. 
A player making $2.5 M has a daily salary of $13,441.  Assuming no other
changes, the Habs’ salary used would become $323,179, which is over their
spending allowance by $4,194.  Now we’re in LTIR territory…sort of. 
Only when all of the accrued space (roughly $203,000) is used can there be any
credits for LTIR.  Under this scenario, it would take approximately 48 days
to eat up the space, thus 48 days before LTIR comes into effect.  To note, any
replacement player (or combination of players) must make at least $1.72 M before
the accrued savings begins to drop.

Of course, it must be noted that when a player on LTIR is healthy, they can’t
automatically come back onto the roster.  The Habs would have to get back
into cap compliance.  In other words, their daily spending would have to go
below (and project that way for the rest of the year as the cap is calculated on
a projection basis) their daily spending allowance.  Someone (or perhaps
more than one) would have to go in order to bring Markov back.  (This is
why teams often just call players up from the farm to replace an LTIR’ed player,
they can easily be sent back when the injured player is healthy; you can’t do
the same if you trade for a replacement…unless you waive him of course.)

So, there it is in a nutshell, this is what the Habs’ LTIR situation currently
shapes up as.  To review, no player called up from Hamilton will trigger
LTIR, while a player acquired via trade, making at least $1.72 million will take
weeks, if not months for LTIR to come into play.  Of course, if Markov’s
injury is merely a sprain, this may all be moot. 

I hope this gives everyone a better understanding of what goes into LTIR; it’s
clearly not as simple as deducting a injured players’ salary.  If you have
any questions regarding this explanation (I can appreciate that this is
difficult to understand; it took me a while to find the simplest way to explain
it and I must admit, the explanation isn’t all that simple) or my
please feel free to drop me an e-mail at
[email protected]
or by posting a question on the HW forum and I’ll do
my best to answer it as best I can.