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What Does AAV Mean in Hockey?

What Does AAV Mean in Hockey?

Hey there, fellow puck enthusiasts! Ever wonder why, even when the ice has melted and the skates are hung up, hockey still manages to make waves in the headlines? Well, let me tell you, the game’s excitement doesn’t stop just because the players are taking a breather. Summers in the hockey world are ablaze with trades and signings that can totally reshape a team. And guess what abbreviation takes the spotlight when these deals go down? That’s right, it’s the infamous “AAV.”

The AAV Lowdown: Beyond the Ice

So, what’s the deal with AAV in hockey, you ask? Let’s break it down for you.

AAV stands for “Average Annual Value,” and no, it’s not another way to measure slap shot accuracy or breakaway speed. It’s all about the cold, hard cash. We’re talking about a player’s salary here, not their stats. The AAV is like the financial MVP of a player’s contract, and it’s calculated by taking the total contract value and dividing it by the length of the deal. And guess what? This magic number actually affects the team’s salary cap – that’s the budget they have for players’ salaries. Yep, it’s as crucial as a power play in overtime.

Crunching the Numbers: How AAV is Cooked Up

Now, let’s dive into the math behind the AAV magic. Imagine your favorite player inks a sweet $15 million contract for 3 years. To find the AAV, you just gotta divide that moolah by the number of years, like so: $15 million / 3 years = $5 million/year AAV. See, it’s like figuring out the average goals per game, but with dollar signs.

For a longer-term deal, say $25 million spread out over 6 years, the math looks like this: $25 million / 6 years = $4.17 million/year AAV. Remember, this isn’t exactly the annual paycheck; it’s the average amount over the entire contract. Think of it as the salary cap’s personal trainer – keeping things in shape for the long haul.

AAV’s MVP Role: Keeping the Salary Cap in Check

Why does AAV even matter, you ask? Well, let me tell you, it’s the referee that keeps the salary cap game fair. The NHL big shots and the players’ association have a deal – they’re splitting the revenues down the middle, 50/50 style. But here’s the twist: each team has to spend a minimum amount on player salaries, while also capping their max spending. It’s like a budget that keeps the team’s financial slapshots on target.

In the 2019-2020 season, the salary cap dance floor had a floor at $60.2 million and a ceiling at $81.5 million. Most teams are just a few million bucks away from brushing against that ceiling. But how do they know if they’re playing within the cap rules? Well, they add up all their players’ AAVs, and that’s the magic number to watch out for. It’s like making sure everyone’s got a seat on the bench without breaking it.

AAV: More than Just a Number

But hold on, it’s not all about staying under the cap. AAV’s got more moves than a spin-o-rama. You see, a player’s actual payday might not mirror their AAV. Take Mitch Marner’s and Matthew Tkachuk’s contracts, for instance – these aren’t your average deals.

Mitch Marner’s contract, a hefty $65,358,000 spread over 6 years, kicks off with a bigger bang at the beginning. Why? Because as they say, a dollar today’s worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Investing early means Mitch can make the most of his earnings. It’s like putting your overtime bonus in the stock market instead of buying a fancy stick.

And then we have Matthew Tkachuk, signing on for $21,000,000 across 3 years. Check this out – his contract ramps up the cash flow toward the end. Now, why’s that? Well, Tkachuk’s keeping his options open as a restricted free agent. Smart move, because he’s practically guaranteed a sweet $9,000,000 deal for that last year.

AAV: The Secret Weapon of Rebuilding

Oh, but AAV’s not done showing off its moves. When teams are rebuilding, and the young guns are taking over, it’s all about making the cap floor. You see, these young bucks and journeyman players come at a bargain price. But hitting that cap floor can feel like trying to do a one-timer blindfolded.

Here’s where AAV steps in as the coach whispering strategy from the bench. Rebuilding teams can snag players with high AAV contracts that are winding down. These contracts might have packed a punch upfront but are now running on fumes. Arizona, a team with a tighter wallet than a goalie’s glove, pulled off some slick trades in this fashion.

Take the deal that brought Niklas Grossman and injured Chris Pronger to the desert. Pronger’s AAV might’ve been $5 million, but his real payday was only $750K. That’s some serious savings, folks – like getting a game-winning goal for half the effort.

AAV: The MVP of the Off-Season

So there you have it, folks. AAV – the silent MVP of the off-season, the secret weapon of rebuilding teams, and the coach keeping the salary cap game on point. Now, when you’re chatting hockey by the water cooler, and someone asks about AAV, you can drop the puck of knowledge and watch as they’re left in awe of your insider insights. Until next time, keep your skates sharp and your AAV even sharper!

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