Habs Cap Space
I’ve done a little research to find out just how much Cap room the Habs actually have. As of this very moment (June 26, 2007, 3:22 pm) the Habs have $31.034 million dedicated to the Cap. Thats also with Ryder, Plekanec, Milroy and Gorges not signing yet. Now, I believe that Ryder will sign for roughly 3 million, Plekanec will probably take the same amount as Higgins at 1.5 mill, and Milroy at roughy 500K and Gorges at 650K. With those players added, the Habs will have $36.684 million committed to the Cap. Also, take into consideration that Milroy won’t likely make the team, so that leaves the Habs with $31.184 million committed. Now, with the cap to rise to anywhere from 47-50 million (I haven’t heard anything as of late so I don’t know if the Cap has been set yet or not), the Habs are looking at anywhere from 11-14 million in cap space for free agency. This figure could go up if the Habs make some trades. Currently, the Habs have 9 players making over a million dollars and they are:
Kovalev has already told Gainey that he would re-negotiate his contract and take a pay cut as long as he gets an extension. He has reportedly said he’d go down to 2 mill a year. I’d take that considering thats 2.5 million more in cap space.
Now, in the next section, I’m gonna assume the Cap is set at $48.5 million, which leaves the Habs with $12.316 million in space.
Now, potential free agents the Habs could get include: Daniel Briere, Sheldon Souray, Brad Stuart, Mathieu Schneider, Paul Kariya, Brian Rafalski, Jason Blake, Ryan Smyth, Tom Preissing, Scott Hannan and Brent Sopel. Now, consider that only 5 of these 11 free agents would actually sign with Montreal, and they are:Briere, Souray, Schneider, Preissing, and Hannan. Briere can be had at roughly 5-6 million, almost half of what Montreal has to spend. Souray said he’d take a lower contract to stay in Montreal but as mong as it had a no-trade clause, saying that he would take 4.5 though he knows he could make an easy 5.5 on the market. Suppose Briere signs for 5.5 and Souray for 4.5, thats 10 million for 2 players, leaving the Habs with 2.316 million to spend on the rest of their roster. The only holes the Habs have to fill are for Mike Johnson, Radek Bonk, Janne Niinimaa and Alex Perezhogin. Perezhogin and Niinimaa can be filled by Ryan O’Byrne and Kyle Chipchura. Considering O’Byrne isn’t on the active roster and possibly makes about 450K, add that to the cap as well, bringing montreals spending money down to $1.866 mill. Not really enough to spend on 2 3rd line players. Suppose Montreal signs an experienced winger such as Pascal Dupuis, who can net you 15-25 goals to work with the rookies and makes roughly 850K. That brings Montreals cap spending to just over a million. This is where creative thinking comes into play. If Kovalev takes less money for more years, that adds 2 million to Montreal’s spending. With 3 million now instead of 1, the Habs can sign an experienced blue-liner such as Andy Sutton, David Tanabe, Ossi Vaananen, Vitaly Vishnevsky, Tom Preissing, or Yannick Tremblay. I would get Preissing so he can play Markov’s role on the 2nd PP unit. Sign him for 1.5-2 million, leaving the Habs with about a million for the trade deadline. Now, at this point, you are probably thinking “Well the Habs have more then enough defencemen, why do we need more?” Well, to answer people’s continuing desire to have draft picks, thats just what Montreal does, trade either Mathieu Dandeneault or Francis Bouillon for a 2nd and 3rd round pick or a 3rd and 4th round pick. That alone gives Montreal more cap space. This space could be used when it comes trade deadline time and if Montreal is buying. By utilizing what I have outlined, the Habs could have a damn good year and, to top it off, even more cap space if they trade Huet at the deadline. So, this is my thinking of what Montreal could do.