McNab opens up the books.

Yesterday afternoon during rookie conditioning, I caught up with David McNab on the Ducks’ salary-cap space … and remember, this is the guy who looks at all the team’s books and reports to the NHL.

“Well, there’s two caps: The summer cap and the regular-season cap. You’re allowed to go 10 percent over the cap during the summer, so we’re not really worried about it. We’re still $6 million away from the summer cap. The ($56.7 million) salary cap doesn’t start until the actual first day of the regular season. If the season would start today, we’d be quite close, but you do things during the summer knowing you still have quite a bit of time to make adjustments. If we’re still $6 million away from what is considered the salary cap today.

How accurate is $6 million?

“That’s a rough estimate. Six and a half million, probably.” has it at $315,000?

“That’s close, yeah.”

Any new signings to report since Perry?

“No, nor do I think we will for a little while.”

What’s “a little while”?

“It’s hard to predict. We could do a stalled deal anytime, then it would look like you didn’t do something. When I say a little while, once you’ve got to get by the wave of the agents thinking, of just having huge numbers, and most teams spend their huge dollars early. It can be different every year. It could be one week when all of a sudden the big players are gone and teams have signed a lot of players and all the money’s gone. It could be two weeks, it could be three. It depends on the year, who the big players are, and when they get signed.”

“One team to maybe five teams could be looking at a player and as soon as he signs, they may move on to some other players. Certain players dictate what everybody’s going to do. Until they fall it doesn’t push everything down.”

“That’s the ‘little while,’ and it’s different every year. It could be tomorrow. You could have all the key pieces could all sign, then maybe you come back down. And then all of a sudden, the team may be saying well, ‘I want x amount of dollars and these are the five teams I think can give me (that money).’ If those five teams sign other players, then they’re saying ‘Omigod, I don’t have the team that I thought.’ Now what they’re asking for comes way down.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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