Look at that cap go, Danny! I feel like I'm flying! - Bruce Bennett
Editor's note: This fanpost was written by holyhandgrenaid, and we liked it enough to throw it on the frontpage. Please feel free to write your own, on any topic you want. Anyone can do it!
Being sick and bedridden the last week or so left me needing something to feel good about. What better than the oncoming pain and suffering at the hands of the Salary Cap soon to be experienced other teams across the NHL to raise the spirits!
Whats that you say? We might have some issues of our own? La la la I can't hear you. Besides, that's a post of its own for another day. Besides, this is about other team's suffering.
Anyway, you might recognize some of my ruminations from the Friday Morning Skate, where things quickly got out of hand, so join me in laughing at others' misfortune!:
Hoo Boy are the Flyers are in some shit next year.
Working with $3 million in cap space with 18 rostered players for the 2013-2014 season, things are even worse than that appears.
They have 26.5 M tied up in 6 defensemen. Normally, you'd say thats a little high, but not a disaster- until you realise that 4.9m of that is to Chris Pronger, so its 5 D. And then you look at the other names and its not so good. Something about giving Braydon Coburn 4.5/yr and Andrej Meszaros 4/yr. Those are first pairing numbers for decidedly 2nd pairing D. After that, you could argue pretty well that Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann are overpaid as well, given that they are solid stay at home D, either good third pairing or adequet 2nd paring guys.
Their problems are compounded with only 9 forwards on contract next year, which includes substantial raises for Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds when their CBA deadline deals from September kick in this July.
Conclusion: I don't see how the Flyers can afford to not either buy out or trade one of their 4-million dollar D-men (Coburn or Meszaros) as well as Danny Briere to have a hope going forward. Of course, given that we're talking about Paul Holmgren, we could be in for some wacky solutions.
And of course there's always Bryz....
And that still doesn’t save them from the next year- after the 13/14 season: Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn, and Sean Couturier are all RFA and Matt Read is UFA. That's going to cost them a bundle, especially given that that's 3 ELCs and Giroux’s absurdly low bargain deal. Holmgren is going to have to pull off some serious magic to keep that team from coming apart at the seams. I don't really see it happening.
The Canucks aren’t looking too good either.
Burrow’s and Edler's new deals kicks in next year, giving them 14 players at 60.4 million. That's 7 forwards (Sedin x2,Ryan Kesler, Alexandre Burrows, David Booth, Jannik Hansen, Zack Kassian), 5 D-men (Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Jason Garrison, Alexander Edler, Keith Ballard), and 2 G (Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider).
ALL of their role players except Hansen and Kassian are free agents this summer (so Mason Raymond, Chris Higgins, and Maxim Lapierre to start), This leaves them with about as much depth as a kiddie pool filled with cement.
I see buyouts of Ballard and Booth and pennies on the dollar trades of one more defenseman (but who? once Edler’s new deal kicks on July 1, all 4 of Bieksa, Edler, Garrison, and Hamhuis have NTCs). That and a goaltender needs to go. 9.3 Million tied up in your tandem is not sustainable, so it may well be shit or get off the pot time with regards to that lovely goalie controversy they've got there at the of this season. In any case, they aren’t going to be able to get fair value in either trade- assuming they’re dealing with a GM that bothers to notice that Gillis is up shit creek. All in all, it looks to me like they're on the verge of blowing that team the fuck up.
Oh, did I mention that the Sedins are UFA the next year? Because Vancouver's problems don't end this summer. Should be fun. If I was a Canucks fan, I wouldn't waste my time prepping too many Molotov cocktails for a while.
New York (No, not the Isles, silly!)
The Rangers are in a weird place going forward.
Next year isn’t too ugly- 17 players under contract with just under $11 million in cap space, but
all a lot of that is gonna disappear quick with new contracts needed for Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, and Carl Hagelin, so their 7D and 13F will have to be cheap as all get the hell out.
The next year they have-get this- 4 players under contract: Brad Richards, Rick Nash, JT Miller, and Marc Staal. Okay, assuming that they resign Stepan Hagelin and McDonagh this year, and Chris Kreider sticks, thats still going to be only 8 roster players, with Notables such as Henrik Lundqvist, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Michael Del Zotto and Dan Girardi in need of contracts, with (my guess) only about 30 million in cap space to do it in.
Nevermind that they'll be needing a backup Goalie, 2 more D, and 6 (!) more forwards too.
Acrobatics will be needed. Glen Sather better start limbering up now.
I was about to write about the Sharks, but everything about that franchise is about to go full
Calgary (I'll get to them, no worries) Tire Fire. I see a possible Dan Boyle trade in there and a Martin Havlat buyout (assuming he isn’t injured at any given point in the off season), but nothing is gonna stop that train wreck. But seriously, why on earth would Doug Wilson think its a good idea to have Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture hit free agency the same year?
Frankly, not a lot of cap shuffling is going to help this team, and some obvious moves they'll make this year (like letting Ryane Clowe go) aren't going to make this team better. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate them fucked. My advice? If next year goes like this year is, they should fire sale at the deadline and rebuild around Couture, as Marleau and Thornton would still get a handsome return.
I got into a discussion with BOB in a thread earlier this week about the Blackhawks. He rates them top 4 in boned by the cap-edness. I dunno about that, not yet anyway.
They have a manageable situation next year I think, its tight, but if they’re desperate for cap space this summer they can buy out Rostislav Olesz and Steve Montador and be okay for next season. This would give them 11 million in cap space to resign RFA's Nick Leddy, and Marcus Kruger, as well as sign or replace UFA's Viktor Stalberg, Jamal Mayers, Bryan Bickell, and Michal Rozsival. Doable by any means, assuming they use their amnesty buyouts, which I think its a certainty given the size of the cap hits they're carrying with Olesz and Montador buried in Rockford.
Its the 2014 and 2015 off seasons that will be rough (and 2015 depends entirely on how they handle 2014). In 2014 they have 8 players under contract at a cap hit of $41.2 million. Ouch. Now, their biggest holes at that point are no Goalies, Dave Bolland and Niklas Hjalmarsson are UFA's, and Michael Frolik is RFA. Beyond that, a lot of the missing parts are cheap or easily replaced (the UFAs after this year or lower primates like Daniel Carcillo, so, role players). By no means will the 2014 offseason be easy for the Blackhawks, but if they handle it well, it shouldn't be a total disaster.
I'm a little upset by how not fucked the Canadiens are going forward. Especially when they have another amnesty left over that they can use on Tomas Kaberle. Sigh, moving on.
Odd. The Sabres cap situation is less heinous than I expected. But its okay, I got a good laugh at that roster. Oh wait, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, and Ryan Miller are all UFA at the same time in 2014. I guess that could be an issue, or something. Haha Ville Leino. Amirite?
The Lightning have got $5.8 million in cap space with 17 players on contract next year. That can't be good. That Vincent Lecavalier contract is rough. And Tampa is not a team that could buy that sucker out. On the flip side, at least they don't have many important players with expiring contracts this year.
Hmm. The Flames have $17 million in cap space, thats not too bad! Oh, 13 players under contract, thats not too good. And a lot of that is tied up in hilarious contracts. Man, that team is gonna suck without Jarome Iginla. Not that they're any good with him either, but jeez, can you imagine?
Almost forgot these fellas here. Would have been a grievous oversight indeed.
The Penguins have $10.6 million in cap space next year, with Matt "fuckass" Cooke, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams, and Dustin Jeffrey as prominent free agents. Yes, role players, cheap, yadda yadda yadda, except maybe Dupuis. Problem is, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, and Matt Niskanen, and Tomas Vokoun all go UFA at once, plus Brandon Sutter is RFA. That has capocalypse written all over it to me, even if you only resign Malkin, Kunitz, Letand, and Sutter. Have fun with that one Shero!
Okay, there doesn't seem to be too many more teams in clear and present danger, although Washington is up there. All in all, this is a lot of GMs that need to handle the cap going forward with care. Its possible a lot of them won't survive the experience (Jay Feaster and Doug Wilson, I'm looking at you)
Okay folks, have your way with my logic in the comments!