Saturday, June 12, 2010

Leafs are one of a number of team with limited cap space

With the introduction of the salary cap most transactions in the NHL occur during the offseason.  On average teams have about 15 players under contract for the 2010-11 season and about $12 million remaining in cap space to sign 8 more players.  Atlanta, St. Louis and San Jose are on the low end with only 11 players signed. The difference is that San Jose more dollars committed to next season and some big decisions to make because a number of important players become free agents on July 1. On the other end Anaheim, Florida, Calgary and Columbus have very few players to sign. As for Anaheim, they have about $20 million in cap space with only 6 spots to fill although their list of free agents could shrink that amount significantly.

Chicago has some serious cap issues with only 14 players under contract but already over the cap for next season. In addition, Niemi must be signed.  This should lead to some interesting trades in the next month. Detroit has some about 10 spots to fill and only $10 million in cap space to play with.  A chunk of that will be needed if they plan on re-signing Holstrom and Bertuzzi.  Or the Wings may have to let them walk as was the case last season when Hossa, Kopecky, and Samuelsson left to sign elsewhere. Even more interesting will be the moves that Don Maloney makes in Phoenix.  He also needs to sign 10 players but has a whopping $28 million in cap space.  The question is whether the owner (the NHL, Ice Edge or some other party) allows him to spend to the cap.  However, Maloney did quite well last year with limited dollars.

The Maple Leafs also need to sign 10 players with only $12 million in cap space.  With the expected trade of Kaberle, that could expand the cap space to $16 million unless Brian Burke flips him for players instead of draft picks. However, he must also re-sign Kulemin and Gustavsson which will cost over $4 million. So Burke who wants to make a big splash in the free agent market will have to tweak his roster if he hands out a big contract to someone on July 1. As for Kaberle, the most talked about destination is New Jersey unless they work out a deal with Kovalchuk.  In which case they will have little cap space remaining.

Players Cap Hit Significant Free Agents
Anahiem 17  $   36.80 Niedermayer, Selanne, Koivu, Ryan
Atlanta 11  $   27.90 Kozlov, Kubina, Afinogeno
Boston 12  $   46.10 Wheeler, Satan
Buffalo 14  $   43.10 Torres, Lyndman, Tallinder
Carolina 15  $   41.70 Whitney
Calgary 17  $   49.10 White, Higgins
Chicago 14  $   57.50 Ladd, Madden, Niemi
Columbus 18  $   47.60
Colorado 12  $   28.30 Tucker, Svatos, Salei, Foote, Clark
Dallas 16  $   36.50 Modano, Lehtinen, Turko
Detroit 13  $   46.10 Holstrom, Bertuzzi, Williams, Helm
Edmonton 14  $   41.80 Pisani, Comrie, Gagner, Cogliano
Florida 17  $   46.60
Los Angeles 16  $   44.60 Frolov, Modin, Jones
Minnesota 15  $   45.20 Nolan, Boogaard
Montreal 14  $   45.70 Plekanec, Lapierre, Price, Halak
Nashville 16  $   41.20 Hamhuis, Ellis
New Jersey  15  $   41.10 Kovalchuk, Clarkson, Martin
NY Islanders 14  $   32.50 Weight
NY Rangers 14  $   45.60 Jokinen, Staal
Ottawa 16  $   49.60 Volchenkob, Cullen, Foligno, Sutton
Philadelphia 16  $   48.60 Emery, Leighton, Rathje
Phoenix 13  $   28.80 Aucoin, Morris, Schneider, Stempniak, Wolski
Pittsburgh 15  $   45.10 Guerin, Fedetenko, Ponikdarovsky, Gonchar
San Jose 11  $   35.70 Marleau, Nabokov, Pavelski, Setoguchi, Wallin
St. Louis 11  $   27.60 Kariya. Tkatchuk, Steen, Mason, Johnson
Tampa Bay 12  $   39.60 Tanguay, Downie, 
Toronto 13  $   44.20 Gustavsson, Kulemin, Van Ryn, Exelby
Vancouver 14  $   45.00 Demitra, Mitchell, Wellwood
Washington 13  $   32.60 Walker, Morrison, Corvo, Theodore

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