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Kraken rectify accounting mistake that caused NHL to reject deal with goaltender Philipp Grubauer

Aug. 1, 2021 Updated Sun., Aug. 1, 2021 at 9:03 p.m.

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer, then with the Colorado Avalanche, looks on against the Vegas Golden Knights during a second-round playoff game on May 30.  (Associated Press)
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer, then with the Colorado Avalanche, looks on against the Vegas Golden Knights during a second-round playoff game on May 30. (Associated Press)
By Geoff Baker Seattle Times

An accounting mistake has apparently been rectified in which the NHL rejected the Kraken’s first attempt at formalizing its contract with goalie Philipp Grubauer last week.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email such a mistake is “not unusual,” but the collective bargaining agreement has specific limits with regards to how much a contract can vary from year to year. The Kraken resubmitted the six-year, $35.4 million contract with minor alterations to its front-loaded nature that should be approved this week.

A tweet Sunday from the account of the CapFriendly website, which keeps updated salary information on players and teams, said the league’s central registry initially rejected the contract because it would have jumped from $6 million in Year 2 to $7.5 million in Year 3 – an annual increase of 30% of the $5 million the goalie is set to earn in the deal’s first year.

The CBA only allows for an annual maximum jump of 25% above the amount in the initial contract season. The person ordinarily filing contract paperwork for the Kraken was unexpectedly off that day, and the team thought it was in compliance with the CBA’s many rules and regulations when the deal was submitted.

Kraken general manager Ron Francis said Sunday the team immediately rectified the issue by taking $250,000 from the contract’s third year and moving it to the second year. That means Grubauer jumps from $6.25 million to $7.25 million, which represents a 20% increase over the goalie’s Year 1 wage.

The contract’s average of $5.9 million annually is what counts against the league’s $81.5 million salary cap. In actual dollars, Grubauer, signed away from the Colorado Avalanche as a free-agent last Wednesday, will be paid $5 million, $6.25 million, $7.25 million, $6.8 milllion, $5.6 million and $4.5 million.

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