Colaiacovo victim of NHL's new economics

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

John Ferguson sent Carlo Colaiacovo to the minors to save a few bucks and wouldn't have trouble doing so again.

"There is always a cost benefit analysis," the Maple Leafs general manager said yesterday. "We don't want to do it forever, but at certain times it makes sense and it always makes good fiscal sense."

Colaiacovo was sent to the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday after being called up for the Leafs' game against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.

The Leafs players had Wednesday off, and though the team's intent was to recall Colaiacovo for a trip to Buffalo and Montreal this weekend, that became unnecessary when Aki Berg was removed from the injured list after he recovered fast from a knee sprain. Had Berg not suffered the injury in Washington on Sunday, Colaiacovo wouldn't have been recalled.

SAVED $4,700

Colaiacovo's NHL salary is $858,800 US and he makes $92,000 US in the minors.

In sending him back, Ferguson saved approximately $4,700 on Wednesday and again yesterday.

While that may seem like a small sum, every dollar counts, considering the $39-million US salary cap.

"It's worth a lot more on March 9 (the NHL's trade deadline) than it is today," Ferguson said, referring to a time when every extra dollar will help. "It's sound cap management."

In the pre-cap era, Colaiacovo likely would not have been sent down until yesterday.

"The more you save each day, the more you add later in the season in case you need it," defenceman Ken Klee said.

"I think it's important that (Ferguson) does not have to use up his savings in these situations. He is just trying to manage his assets the best way he can."


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