The Rangers' game plan for uniting Jagr and Sundin on their top line may not be possible if there is any truth to a TSN report about the suspension of 2008-09 bonus deferrals into 2009-10 salary cap calculations until the NHLPA formally declines to terminate the CBA, as they have the right to do by mid-May of 2009. That sounds like a mouthful -- the simple version is that there is no 2009-10 salary cap to defer to until the NHL knows for sure that the PA will not terminate the CBA. But here's the problem -- the clause in question, section 50.5(h)(iii)(A), is confusing, perhaps because of a typo:
For the 2009-10 League Year, all of the above-described Performance Bonuses shall be counted against Club's Upper Limit for that League Year (with no opportunity for Clubs to "carry over" any charges to their Upper Limit for the following League Year), unless the NHLPA declines to terminate this Agreement as of September 15, 2009, in which case accounting for the above-described Performance Bonuses in the 2008-09 League Year shall be treated as set forth in paragraph (ii) above [i.e. allowing overage to be deferred to the following year].
As you can see, there is a discrepancy between the two years mentioned -- in subsequent paragraphs covering other potential final years of the CBA, the years mentioned are identical (2010-11 in paragraph B, 2011-12 in paragraph C). Logically, if the idea is to apply the notion to a year that may turn out to be the final year of the CBA, the 2008-09 season would be the one, not the 2009-10 that is seemingly named in error in paragraph A. The error may have been corrected at some point, though it still appears in the CBA that is published on NHL.com.
What this means is that the Rangers can offer the bonuses as planned, but will not be able to exceed this year's cap (bonuses included whether they are hit or not) until the PA takes formal action on their right to terminate, which can happen at any time up until 120 days prior to September 15, 2009 (mid-May). But once that happens (and the PA is likely to extend the CBA, which has turned out to be player-friendly, not terminate it), the bonuses will again become deferrable, and the Rangers may then exceed the cap by up to 7.5% of the $56.7 Upper Limit, which is $4.25 million. It's a matter of timing.