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.

37 Responses to Habs Cap Space

  1. habsoverserver says:

    If Kovalev was willing to take a pay cut from 4.5 million to 2.5 to get a contract extension, he would be giving up $4 million over two years, to get a 2 year $5 million extension.  So, you implying that he would renegotiate his deal in order to make an extra $1 million for playing two more years. 

    kovalev isn't playing for $2.5 and souray isn't playing for $4.5 and none of this makes sense. 

  2. King-Luongo says:

    Where the f@ck do your sources come from? When did Kovalev ever say he would take a pay cut to play longer in Montreal. Knowing Kovalev and his comments last season that is the most ridiculous claim I have ever heard. Furthermore, Gainey isn't stupid enough to tie himself to team cancer Kovalev for any longer than he has to, no matter the cost. Also, when did Souray ever say he would re-sign for less if there was a NTC in his contract? Souray is as good as gone and Gainey knows it. Good replacements though would be Schneider and Preissing (Hannan will never sign in Montreal although it would be great).

  3. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    what a joke, most hab fans arent even THAT crasy

  4. habsrock99 says:

    Kovalev said so on TSN, RDS, The Score, Sportsnet, etc. and it would actually make sense cuz instead of paying him 4.5 for this year and next, we could pay him 2-2.5 for this year and the following 2 years. It helps the team in the long run and he has taken backk all that he has said about the organization. Souray, through his agent has been telling Gainey about a NTC for less money since February. And its funny, cuz according to Gainey, him and Souray's agent have taken great strides since Saturday towrads a new deal.

  5. ryrad8 says:

    why the he.ll does every one want Schneider in Montreal he a old ,washed up player, and to top things off he's over payed. Forgot to mention that he's over rated too. Coming from a toronto fan (sadly) that more of toronto's style getting old, overated, overpayed, and washed old players to play for them 

  6. habsrock99 says:

    Kovalev makes 4.5 this year and 4.5 next year which equals 9 million. He said he would take a pay cut for 2-2.5 over the next 3 seasons, which equals 6-7.5 million. Souray said if a deal were to be worked out, he would take 4.5 instead of his guaranteed 5-6 on the free agent market. 

  7. Les-Habitants says:

    Kovalev never said he would take a pay-cut…and he definitly didn't say it on any of the sources you've listed above.  What he has said is that he has no problem with Carbo, that both he and Carbo make some mistakes, and that he'd love to play for the Habs till he was 50…

    never once did he say he would take a pay-cut, and his contract doesn't expire for another 2 yrs so any 'pay-cut' he might be willing to take is 2yrs away…..you can't re-negotiate a contract till its final year, and even then you can't throw out one contract for another….

    man, dumb dumb dumb rumor.  get your facts straight before making such statements….list sources, links!! something!!
    for instance, when did Gainey said he had made great strides with Souray's agent!!?!?!  All he said was that there is still time to get something done, and he will continue to negotiate!!


  8. Les-Habitants says:

    Alright….i'm gonna try to break this down and show why none of this makes sense…stay with me:

    First, while not a big thing, both Komi's and Higgins' hit against the cap next season is 1.7 mil, not 1.5

    Two, Kovalev never said that. AND even if he did, it's not possible to 're-negotiate' a contract like that:
    FIRST, you CANNOT open negotiations with a player until July 1st on the final year of a players contract (ex:  the current negotiations on-going between Iginla, Kipp in calgary).  TWO, even if you could, you cannot re-create a contract with a player under contract.  What the habs could do is buy him out, then re-sign him, but thats just retraded.  Aside from that, you cannot alter a contract.  If there were possible, Dallas would have done that with Bill Guerin ect ect.  Once a contract is in place, its set in stone

    THIRDLY, the current contract offer Gainey put on the table is reported to be 4.5mil/yr over 3yrs.  That was at the end of May.  Souray's agent, from all sources that I know, didn't turn it down, but didn't accept it either.  In fact, Souray did not make a counter-offer and this is why so many people see it as being very unlikely that he'll se-sign in Montreal…he hasn't done anything.

    FOURTHLY, if Briere signs for only 5.5mil with Montreal, I'll eat my hat…in fact, I'll eat every hat I own.  MINIMUM  he'll sign for if he hits the open market is 6mil, and everyone should expect it to be higher.  Preissing, an offensive d-man, will command more then 2mil as a UFA.

    The rest of it is just pure speculation, assuming you can find a trade partner to dump some of our players…
    So, sorry, but that ain't gonan happen.  And Chipchura is a center, while Perezhogin played the wing…they bring completely different things to the table……..

  9. habswinthecup-again says:

     I find alot of this to be complete gibberish (even if it is allowed Kovalev will not resign for 2.5/yr etc. etc.). But just to point something out to you Higgins and Komi's Cap hit is 1.7 mill. because that is the average of their contracts. i have not checked on anyone elses but those 2 I know because they just resigned.

  10. BigBrother2 says:

    I wasn't able to read through your whole article. Not only is it full of holes (you start with a 31.034M$ actual contracts and added the Ryder, Plecanek and Gorges contract and ended up "that leaves the Habs with $31.184 million committed"? Really? I mean, I was bad at math too in high school…

    Just never at that level.

    Also, the contracts CANNOT be changed until the last year of the contract and cannot in any way shape or form go lower or higher for years covered in precedent contracts (read: you can add years, you can't change the rules of what was previously signed which ensured the NHL that no player could strike ever again for a salary increase). That was one of the important points of the last CBA agreement.

    Go back to school…

    You need to learn to do your homeworks

  11. CaptainAvery says:

    I hope to hell Gainey just lets Kovalev walk after his contract is up, after blasting the team not once, but twice to his hometown newspaper I say let Kovalev walk, hes a nuisance on the team and should suck it up and just play hockey, I hope the Habs don't give him an extension please Gainey no.

  12. damien_ralentass says:

    I think all this is nice, but I think you forget to include Maxime Lappiere and Andrei Kostitsyn. They both finish the last season with the big club. For Maxime Lapierre, he already found him self a spot on the fourth line as a center men and for Andrei Kostitsyn, he came as a replacement for Perezhogin when he had is injury to the head at the end of the season last year and he did very good. So unless they both mess up their chance, I think you can count them in. And if the Montreal Canadien can sign Brière and a good D, you will have something like :


    Higgins, Brière, Kovy

    Ryder, Koivu, Kostitsyn

    Latendresse, Plekanec, ?

    Bégin, Lapierre, ?


    Markov, Komisarek

    Bouillon, Dandenault

    Signing new D ?, Streit or Gorges (they gone have some trouble against physical team except perhaps Streit that can adapt with more experience, but I am not sure?)


    Huet, Halak


    That will leave maybe two spot for forward player and maybe one more for D???


    That is of course if we can sign Brière and a good D and that my friend remains to be seen!


    As for the Hamilton Bulldogs, with their recent success, the player that are close to the big league are Carey Price, Grabovski, Jonathan Ferland, Ryan O’Byrne and hopefully Chipchura, depending on how far he improve is skating. There is also Jean-Philippe Côté and Dan Jancevski, but for those guys I don’t know how much they can help the big team. They both had success with the Bulldogs, but in the big league it’s another matter?

  13. blobby007 says:

    Côté had a very good training camp last fall and he was earning a spot in the big league before he got injured. If he is healthy until the beginning of the season, he may be one of our top 6 defensemen or the 7th. In my opinion, he is underrated.

  14. Maxvince says:

    Ok alot a pretty crazy thing said here like Kovy will take a pay cut HaHaHa. The guy is narcissistic, you think he will do something to help  someone else. Are you out of your mind. We have to focus on two thing, first D.Briere and the other one Defence. In the case of Briere we know he will ask for 6.7M per season minimum, so we have to offer him 35M on 5 years.
    For defenceman I think Scott Hannan is the right choice,He wont ask for to much and he's a good two way player. We can offer him 2.7M per season for 3 years.

    Now we have something like 42M in salary. We have to re-sign Plekanec, Ryder, Milroy and Gorges. and we will probably still under 46 M in salary.

    Line up:

    Higgins – Briere – Kovalev (if he is still in montreal before the end of the summer)
    Latendresse – Koivu – Ryder
    S. Kostitsyn – Chipchura – A. Kostitsyn
    Begin – Lapierre – MIlroy

    Komisarek – Markov
    Bouillon – Hannan
    Dandenault – Streit

    Huet – Price (for Price at less he have to play 30 game so he will be ready to be the starter in 08-09)

    back up player:
    Gorges, O'Byrne, Murray, Grabovski, Halak

  15. Maxvince says:

    Oups I forget Plekanec in my line up he will take the place of Chipchura and him will go on the back up list.

  16. damien_ralentass says:

    I don't think so!  I know Côté had a good training camp last year, but this year with the Bulldogs he didn't break any record.  Actually he got injured again during the year and he had a really bad year.  In the defense, player like Dan Jacevski and O'Byrne progressed more, had mode success and had more ice time.  So unless he got amazing training camp next fall, with probably gone see O’Byrne before Côté.  The Canadiens liked him more.  He is 6,5’and 234 pounds.  He is a good defense D and knows how to handle him self in a fight wich is something last year.  The Canadiens would love to see Komisarek playing with O’byrne against Phily for example.

  17. damien_ralentass says:

    Sorry bad spelling!


    I don't think so!  I know Côté had a good training camp last year before he got injured, but since then with the Bulldogs he didn't break any record.  Actually he had a pretty bad year and got injured again.  In defense, we got players like Dan Jacevski and Ryan O'Byrne who progressed more, had mode success and had more ice time during the year then Côté had.  So unless he got an amazing training camp next fall, we probably see O’Byrne before Côté.  Plus the Canadiens liked him more then Côté, he is 6,5’and 234 pounds.  He is a good defensive D and knows how to handle him self in a fight, which is something we lack last year.  The Canadiens would love to see Komisarek playing with O’byrne against Phily for example and make some real damage!!!

  18. habsrock99 says:

    i made a typo, i hit the 1 instead of the 6, but thats prolly because i had like 12 different figures in front of me. and as for your comment about the contracts, they can be changed, its the rookies that GM's have to wait for the last year for. And even if thats not the case, Kovalev's last year is a player option and he has already said he's exercising it. and every single number is legitimate. I looked up 6 different sites and the #'s were all in the same area and if they were off, they were off by like 10K.

  19. habsrock99 says:

    trust me man, ther hits r only 1.5 each for this year. I don't know about next year but i kno that this year, its only 1.5. i looked everything up, and every number, except the ones in my off-season plan, are 100% truth

  20. habsrock99 says:

    trust me, everything in that article is 100% truth. Gainey said he had made great strides with Souray at the draft, trust me, ive seen the clip more then once. every single # is 100% correct. Kovalev DID say he'd take a paycut, he said it to Gainey, the Habs, the Russian press, which everybody seems to believe. Trust me, its been said. As for the re-structuring of contracts, u can just as long as its not a rookie. I've looked up every single piece of info that i have in that article.

  21. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    how about a link? surely if it was said all over there is a vidoe or article about it somewhere right?

  22. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    ok, for all hab fans who want real numbers(cap hits):

    Higgins 1.7 mil
    Koivu 4.75 mil
    Ryder RFA (likely 3.5 mil)

    Plecanec RFA (likely 2 mil)
    Kovalev 4.5 mil

    Konsisyn 0.785
    Lapierre 0.583
    latendresse 0.850

    Murray 0.6
    UFA (Bonk, likely 2 mil)
    Begin 1.25

    2 spares= about 1 mil

    Markov 5.75 mil
    Boillion 1.875 mil
    Dandeneault 1.75 mil
    Komisarek 1.7 mil
    Streit 0.6 mil
    Georges 0.5 mil

    Huet 2.875 mil
    Halak 0.5 mil

    cullimore buyout 0.3 mil
    TORAL CAP HIT:38.5 mil
    GIVING YOU: roughly 10 mil to sign a forward and a defenseman.


    cheap UFA forward and souray


    Briere and cheap UFA D-man

  23. habs_punk says:

    Read what people are saying here. They are only making $1.5M this year, but the cap hit is $1.7M. The cap hit for each given player doesn't go up or down  each year, it is the average amount per year for the length of the contract. Higgins and Komi are making $1.5M this year and $1.9M next, and so the average amount per year is $1.7M, this number is the cap hit for this year and for next year.

  24. habs_punk says:

    You'd think that with all the Habs fans on here, at least one person would be able to back up your statements about the Kovalev and Souray situations. I haven't heard about Kovalev wanting to take a pay cut, nor have I heard anything about Gainey being very optimistic regarding Souray.

    And regarding contract negotiations, it just doesn't make sense for teams to be able to renegotiate a contract before it is over. It happened with Sundin because the final year was an option year. They declined the option and then signed a brand new deal. If contracts could be changed before they expired, there would be a whole lot of manipulation of the salary cap. Teams could sign players to a front loaded contract, ala McCabe, and then renegotiate the contract in the final year for the exact same amount but a smaller cap hit.

  25. mtl_prince says:

    if souray was going to resign with montreal, he would have done so already!!!! my money is on tom preissing, whoever signs him will be getting a steal. he is definetly underrated…..i'd definetly take him over, chara, and jovo anyday.

  26. EasternHockey says:

    $2M for Bonk?  I don't think so.  That's a little less than he's making now, and he's already proved that he's not worth that much.

    Regardless, thanks for the real numbers.  Here's hoping the cap is 50M instead of 48M.

  27. Hoondog2 says:

    You can't renegotiate a contract until it expires.

  28. lookche says:

    That Niinimaa deal screwed you over so bad – you got rid of Ribero, a future franchise player for a crappy, expensive d-man. We certainly got the long end of the stick there 🙂

  29. King-Luongo says:

    I really hope you are joking about ribeiro being a future franchise player. My guess is last season he was simply working hard to prove the Habs wrong and get a big contract, reality will set in next year. Although Niinimaa was a flop I'm still glad to be rid of Mickey Ribs.

  30. TheCanadianHozer says:

    Wow it's been a while since i've posted here.
    First off, let me just say that I enjoyed reading that. I know that it won't happen and I really doubt the whole Kovalev contract thing because as people have said it really doesn't make sense. For example the Islanders may have altered Yashin's contract and many other teams would have done the same.

    People often seem to forget that Streit was playing on the wing near the end of last season and I could see Gainey doing the same this year as he is a cheap option on the wing.
    If we keep Souray then we have



    If we have enough money for a cheap UFA we could replace georges but you know if we have this group of people Gainey probably won't dump more than a mil on another D, he really wants to fill holes from within so look for him to keep it simple.

    Now, if Gainey doesn't get Souray he will NEED to play the market and find a replacement, hopefully a good 2-way D. We also have Niinimaa but I hope somehow we don't keep him as his performances are often lackluster.

    Of course with all this we have Streit playing on the 4th line or wherever Carbo places him.

    So, Habsrock, I don't think that your plan is feasible or will occur but it was nice to think about. I like these articles, full of speculation and fun to think about, keep it up!

  31. Glucker says:

    they can't, if you say they can, show a link

  32. Glucker says:

    read this out loud to yourself:


  33. Avim86 says:

    Wow are you high? Thos article makes no sense , all your crazy theories have no correlation with eachother and none of them holdup. Where is the proof , we don't trust you , don't post something unless it's credible. I hate when people make up crap. Let our god damn draft picks developp into great players and that's it. Stop demolishing and rebuilding our team. We aren't ranked number 2 in prospect depth for no reason , god this is getting out of hand..

  34. Avim86 says:

    Wahtttt why the hell would you seperate markov and souray (if he magicly decides to accept 4.5 a year)  , you think they will pay almost 5 million a year for a 3rd defenseman what have you been smoking?

  35. TheCanadianHozer says:

    There really are quite a few rude people on this website.
    I'd like Markov to be able to focus a lot on helping out offensivly and with Souray being the biggest Defensive liability it would be nice to put him with someone who can just focus on the defensive aspects.

    But i'm just saying this to defend what I wrote, honestly I just placed D together quickly. It doesn't matter how you place them, that's Carbo's job not mine. If I could manage a team of NHL players as good as him i'd probably have a different job right now.

  36. Tropbovin says:

    I am sorry guys but when did you heard those things about Kovy taking a paycut and Sourray accepting a 4.5 M contract to allow the habs to trade him ?
    Never heard a single word of it.

  37. habsoverserver says:

    i never heard it either. 

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