When it comes to understanding how injury reserve works in relation to the salary cap there are three key points to get your head wrapped around.
First, the injured player’s average salary is not subtracted from the total cap hit. Instead, the cap limit is increased. Second, when injury reserve is evoked, the salary for the injured player can be replaced by any combination of players as long as their total aggregate average salary is equal to or less than the player they are replacing. Third, the cap limit is only increased enough to accommodate the additional salary incurred by the replacement player(s).
If the team is below the cap limit when a player is injured, injury reserve is only invoked if the replacement brings them over the cap limit.
Consider an example where a team has a total cap hit of $79 million and a player worth $3 million becomes injured. The player will only be placed on injured reserve if his replacements are worth more than $2.5 million and bring the team over the $81.5 million salary cap limit. He can be replaced by any combination of players worth up to $3 million and the team’s cap limit is increased …
Author: Adrian Pooley / The Leafs Nation