Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Salary Cap Concerns

Right from day one, the salary cap has been an issue for our beloved Red Wings. Many throughout the NHL thought this would be their undoing.
With a calculator surgically implanted in his brain, Ken Holland goes to work every summer and cobbles together the most impressive roster possible, constantly beating his head up against that salary cap ceiling. If he hadn't come so close to it this past season, we may have seen a bit more of Tatar and Murzak, and we may have seen a glimpse of Brendan Smith and Ilari Filppula.
$59.4 mil. was the 2010-2011 salary cap limit, and at seasons end, Holland came $44,155.00 from going over it.

As first reported by Larry Brooks at the N.Y. Post on April 10, 2011 ... "The NHLPA has told agents that the union projects a salary cap of approximately $62.2 million next season if the players vote to trigger the 5-percent escalator.  That represents an increase of $2.8 million from the current $59.4 million cap, or approximately 4.7 percent. This means that, 1) the NHL's "record" revenues have not increased by the 5 percent the players voted to bump the cap for this season; and, 2) the cap would remain flat or even decrease slightly for the first time if the players opt not to adopt the inflator for next season. This is a preliminary number recently given to the agents in the union's "marketplace" assessment that could change slightly depending upon the revenue generated in the playoffs."

Hopefully, we'll have a final amount in place by the beginning of free agent frenzy on July 1st.

Just for the sake of simplicity, let's say the new salary cap actually is $62.2 mil.
These are the proposed changes I have in mind:

MacDonald [$750,000]Osgood (retire)
Lidstrom [$6,000,000]Ericsson (sign & trade)
Eaves [$900,000]Salei (no offer)
Miller [$800,000]Modano (retire)
 Hudler (trade)
 Draper (retire)
New Guys:
Joni Pitkanen [$4,000,000] (1 year)
Brendan Smith [$875,000]
Doug Janik [$512,500]
Jamie Langenbrunner [$2,500,000] (2 year)
Tomas Tatar [$840,000]
Jan Mursak [$550,000]

Signing Pitkanen to just a 1 year contract is beneficial to both parties. If he doesn't pan out, he can go elsewhere next season. If he does work out, then Lidstrom would most likely retire and Joni gets a raise.
Hopefully, there isn't a curse on players we sign away from Dallas a-la Hatcher and Modano. Signing Langenbrunner for 2 years tells him he's wanted and we think he's got plenty left in the tank.
Now let's do some math ...

Total Cap Hits:
Goalies --> $3,000,000
Defencemen --> $25,020,833
Forwards --> $33,640,378

Total --> $61,661,211
Cap Space Remaining --> $538,789

Of course, these signing salaries are guesses and should be looked upon as such.  If you want to do some guessing of your own, head over to and slap together something of your own.

Our sample is HERE.

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