NHL22: How to make Franchise Mode Accurate due to LTIR
If you enjoy being an Armchair GM, chances are you enjoy Franchise Mode on NHL-series games. Previously known as Dynasty Mode and Be A GM Mode, Franchise Mode allows you to make trades, sign contracts, scout prospects, and ultimately build a lineup of players that you hope will become a dynasty. If you’re like me, starting up a Franchise Mode in NHL 22 can be a bit frustrating if you want as much realism as possible since the LTIR isn’t taken into account. If you don't make adjustments prior to starting your Franchise Mode, the system will automatically adjust player contracts so the team is cap compliant. This makes it so the contracts in your Franchise Mode are no longer accurate and authentic. On Toronto, for example, things are so tight that salaries for all players such as Auston Matthews ($11.640M >> $11.355M) and John Tavares ($11M >> $10.725M) are altered so as to make the team cap compliant. The reality is, however, that the Maple Leafs are not cap compliant when everyone is healthy and the AI doesn’t know how to reconcile that. Don’t even get me started on how wild the AI changes for the Lightning were in NHL 21.
So, without LTIR being a feature in NHL 22, below is my cheat sheet to what salaries you can alter BEFORE you start up your Franchise Mode to keep the AI from changing up the league. The realism will never be perfect, but I would prefer to change one or two seasons of some players so that the team as a whole is not given a break. By doing this, we can get a real challenge as the GM of Toronto, Tampa, etc. OR, see how the AI GM deals with those contracts down the road.
Note: Some players who are retired but still have active contracts and count against the Cap, such as Seabrook or Shaw, are listed as 70 OVR. Other players whose futures are more in the air such as Weber or Klefbom are still listed as their original overall in the mid-80’s. Therefore, different options will be presented for you depending on how you want to play your Franchise Mode. Whether you want them reduced in overall/salary, dropped to free agency (where they will VERY likely not be signed if below ~77 OVR) or out of the game completely (by transferring to an international team in “player movement”) will be up to you.
AS OF OCTOBER 22 ROSTER UPDATE:
ANAHEIM DUCKS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary. Optional: drop RYAN KESLER to free agency/transfer to any international team to remove completely.
ARIZONA COYOTES: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
BOSTON BRUINS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
BUFFALO SABRES: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
CALGARY FLAMES: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
Reduce IAN COLE from $2.9M >> $1.5M.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary. Optional: drop ANDREW SHAW to free agency/transfer to any international team.
COLORADO AVALANCHE: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
OPTION 1: Reduce JOE PAVELSKI from $7M >> $3M
OPTION 2: Reduce ALEXANDER RADULOV from $6.25M >> $2.25M
OPTION 3: Transfer BEN BISHOP to an international team OR reduce his overall and drop to free agency.
DETROIT RED WINGS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
OPTION 1: Reduce MIKKO KOSKINEN to league minimum ($4.5M >> $550k)
OPTION 2: Transfer OSCAR KLEFBOM to an international team OR reduce his overall and drop to free agency.
Compliant now but cannot afford Barkov/Verhaeghe extensions. Reduce GUSTAV FORSLING from $2.667M >> $1.35M.
LOS ANGELES KINGS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
MINNESOTA WILD: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
Transfer SHEA WEBER to an international team OR reduce his overall and drop to free agency. Recommended that 86 OVR is also reduced. If you would like to play with Weber at full health, you will have to reduce the salary of PAUL BYRON from $3.4M >> $550k. Note that the team’s defense will be depleted in 2022-23 with almost no cap space and only two defensemen under contract.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS:
Transfer JOHNNY BOYCHUK to free agency/any international team.
NEW YORK RANGERS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
Below the cap. Increase salary of any player on a one-year contract by ~$1.5M. Ex. Chris Tierney from $3.5M >> $5M.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
Reduce JUSTIN BRAUN from $1.80M >> $550k or Reduce SEAN COUTURIER's current deal from $4.33M >> $3.08M
SAN JOSE SHARKS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
SEATTLE KRAKEN: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
ST. LOUIS BLUES: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING:
Transfer BRENT SEABROOK to free agency/any international team. Note that, should Tampa acquire more players now that Nikita Kucherov is back on the LTIR, it is recommended that the salary of ONDREJ PALAT be reduced from $5.180M to whatever amount is required (seeing as his contract is the most expensive out of all expiring deals). Ex. $5.180M >> $2.180M if a $3M salary is added.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS:
Option 1: Reduce MORGAN REILLY from $5M >> $3M
Option 2: Reduce Kase & Engvall from $1.5M >> $750K
Transfer MICHAEL FERLAND to free agency/any international team.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS:
Reduce REILLY SMITH from $5M >> $3M. Reduce BRAYDEN MCNABB from $2.5M >> $550k.
WASHINGTON CAPITALS: Cap compliant. No changes necessary.
OPTION 1: Transfer BRYAN LITTLE to free agency/any international team.
OPTION 2: Reduce PAUL STASTNY from $3.75M >> $1.5M. Reduce NATHAN BEAULIEU from $1.25M >> $550k.
When starting up your franchise mode after making these changes, the system will give you a “SALARY CAP WARNING” that asks if you want to keep the salary cap on because the system will fix team that are not compliant. Ignore this and keep the salary cap on.
There you have it! If you want more guides to NHL 22 Franchise Mode that include scouting, line chemistry, and everything in-between throughout my Franchise Mode series, be sure to check out my YouTube channel which can be found here! www.youtube.com/data782
If you have any other Franchise Mode questions, feel free to reach out to me and the couple hundreds other members in my Discord server: https://discord.gg/rRDYpTx
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