A Capologist is the member of the front office who specializes in the ins-and-outs of the NHL salary cap. He needs to know every nuance of the rules, where every dime of the cap is allocated, and the future vision of the team to ensure they never enter the dark scary place known as… “Cap Hell.”
That job is now officially in the hands of Andrew Lugerner, a lawyer from Latham & Watkins in New York City. He has a law degree from the University of Cal and a bachelor’s from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His only previous NHL experience was from 2011-2013 when he was a legal intern with, wait for it, the Washington Capitals.
Because the word Capologist is still a little progressive and millennial-y, Lugerner’s business cards will say Director of Hockey Legal Affairs.
He’s an experienced guy, he’s a lawyer, he’s been involved with analyzing the cap situation as an attorney and he just took it on himself to do it. He’s a very experienced guy. -The Creator
George McPhee has mentioned in just about every interview he’s done, including multiple times on our podcast, that he’s going to run a tight ship when it comes to the salary cap.
I’m not taking on any bad contracts unless someone wants to pay us to take on a bad contract. I’m really not interested in that, we’ll claim somebody else if we have to. -George McPhee
You can survive the loss of a player, you can’t survive a bad contract. You can’t let dead money or pay it forward schemes get in the way of what you are trying to do. -George McPhee
It’ll be Lugerner’s job to keep it all in line. He’ll have to know the current rules, know how they’ll be changing in the future, understand the ways to manipulate the cap, find ways out of contracts, and most importantly make sure there’s always room for McPhee to work.
He comes into the organization in an enviable position as there’s not a single contract on the books yet, but with the Expansion Draft submission deadline just 313 days away, he’s got a lot of studying to do.