If Pinto signs a 1-year, $3 million deal before the season begins, the cap hit will be $3 million. But if he signs late, the pro-rated cap hit would only go up. So if there are 186 days in season, and he signs 20 days after season begins, the salary portion of the deal would be multiplied by [186/166]. So a $3 million deal would become $3,361,446 cap hit.
A $3 million x 1 year deal if signed on the following dates:
-- Oct 1st: $3,000,000
-- Oct 15th: $3,049,180
-- Nov 1st: $3,361,446
-- Nov 15th: $3,671,053
-- Dec 1st: $4,012,941
Roughly an addition $1m cap hit annualized if he signs at last possible moment. But what if they plow as much money into signing bonus? A $3 million one-year deal with a minimum salary and rest in bonus ($775,000 annualized plus $2,225,000 in bonus)
-- Oct 1st: $3,000,000
-- Oct 15th: $3,036,475
-- Nov 1st: $3,268,072
-- Nov 15th: $3,497,697
-- Dec 1st: $3,818,015
Still up to $800k higher cap hit.
But what if he signs for term? The penalty for waiting could be worse for Ottawa in year one. An example would be Nylander deal in 2018. (Another example would be Hampus Lindolm in 2016)
NYLANDER 2018 DEAL
Many will remember William Nylander’s higher cap in 2018-19 when he held out until the last possible day (down to the last hour). Nylander was seeking $8.5m deal, about $2m more than what the Leafs were offering.
The numbers with Nylander were likely bigger then they will be with Pinto, but the same principle would apply. But also by increasing the cap hit in the first year, the Leafs lowered the cap hit for years 2-6 of the deal (by about $537k. The initial cap hit didn’t hurt the leafs much as Matthews and Marner were both still on their ELC’s and they were $12 million under the $79.5m cap ceiling at the time Nylander signed. But they benefited from the late signing by lowering his 2019-24 hit from $7.5m to $6.9m. The difference comes from the salary portion of the contract getting pro-rated (bonuses do not).
PINTO 6-YEAR DEAL
A similar approach for Pinto would be to sign him to a 6-year deal that pays him a bonus-heavy deal up-front
-- 2023-24: $1 million salary + $6 million bonus = $7m
-- 2024-25: $2 million salary + $5 million bonus = $7m
-- 2025-26: $3 million salary + $1 million bonus = $4m
-- 2026-27: $3 million salary + $1 million bonus = $4m
-- 2027-28: $3 million salary + $1 million bonus = $4m
-- 2028-29: $3 million salary + $1 million bonus = $4m
That would be $30 million spread over 6 years. Signed before this year, it would amount to $5 million AAV. So if signed late like Nylander, the cap hit would end up something like:
That is a $1.3m negative hit by waiting. And in this scenario that maximizes guaranteed bonus money, Pinto would only earn $8,750,000 in real money, essentially losing only $250,000 in cash. There would certainly be some benefit down the line in waiting, but Ottawa's cap squeeze is this year (opposite of Leafs 2018 situation).
Nylander’s agent in 2018: Lewis Gross
Pinto’s agent today: Lewis Gross
If you read all that, kudos to you. Short of it, Ottawa should have zero interest in letting this wait.