Interesting Cap Trivia

I was looking up nhlnumbers.com and I thought I would give some interesting information I looked up. I’ll probably do an update on this later in the year, around All-Star break, but ten games in, it is still entertaining to see where the numbers lie.

Cap Woes

- The two most expensive rosters in the NHL are the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs, both currently over the cap. The Rangers spend 69.1% of their cap on just their forwards alone, head and shoulders above any team. The Leafs, on the other hand, spend 41.2% on their salary on Defense, beaten only by Detroit (41.8%) and Phoenix (49.8%).

- When it comes to free cash in the Off Season this year, nobody will be power players (If they want to be) like the Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes, Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets. While it is doubtful the Predators will spend much until their sale, they do have $14.4M free for when the sale goes down (On a side note, just next season, they will have $25M free to spend on Free Agents and their 7 RFA’s). The Coyotes, meanwhile, are stuck in the Desert with $14.2M free to spend on anyone who wants to play Hockey in Arizona. It’s good to mention they spend $17.9M on Defense, which is the 5th most in the NHL. The Washington Capitals are likely just sitting on their $10.2M for when they have to re-sign Ovechkin and eventually Backstrom. The Jackets sit with a comfy cushion of $8.9M free, and could be more with Sergei Federov, David Vyborny, Michael Peca and Adam Foote all becoming UFA’s (or less with having to re-sign Ron Hainsey and Pascal Leclaire).

- Who won’t be doing anything in the next off season? Try the Toronto Maple Leafs with $42M locked up next season. Only four UFA’s in Sundin , Belak, Pohl and Woznieweski will make it tough to keep RFA’s Steen, Stajan and Wellwood. Toronto better not hope someone like Phoenix gets the bright idea of re-uniting one of those three with Bell and Tellqvist. I should also note that the Cup Defenders Anaheim Ducks have pretty much the same roster next season, with exception to RFA signings. Only Ilya Bryzgalov, Joe DiPenta and Mark Mowers will be Unrestricted Free Agents, and that is the Ducks returning with $41M locked up.

- Who might get in some real cap troubles at the end of the year due to Restricted Free Agents? Try the Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals. The Flyers and Oilers have 8 RFA’s at the end of the year (Funny enough, quite a few from that big trade they had, no doubt). The Caps have both beat at a whopping 9 RFA’s. Now you know why their cap is so low.

- Who might “get a new team” in the off season? The Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets have a lot of people who could be finding new homes. The Lightning and Avalache have 10 UFA’s at the end of the year. The Blue Jackets have 9. We could see a lot of people looking for new jobs.

Escape Plans

- 2010 is an interesting year. Not only because it means I’ll have been alive for 25 years, or that there are a million Sci-Fi novels based in the year 2010 (Don’t forget that it means we completely missed the adventures of Mega Man, which were all based in 200X), but because a lot of teams have “Escape Routes” in their franchises around this time. What do I mean? Based on current salaries and their contract lengths, here are what some teams will look like:

Anaheim Ducks: In 2009/2010, the Anaheim Ducks will consist of Chris Kunitz, Bobby Ryan, Chris Pronger and J.S. Giguere. They will also have RFA’s Brandon Segal and Petteri Wirtanen to re-sign. While it is expected that the previous years RFA’s Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Drew Miller, Jason King, Ryan Carter and Maxim Kondratiev will get re-signed (Unless that pesky Kevin Lowe strikes again!), that is certainly the shell of a team.

Montreal Canadiens: Call it Bob Gainey’s eject year if George Gillett wishes. Only Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik will see a contract passed the 2009/2010 season, though you can bet Carey Price, Chris Higgins, Tomas Plekanec, Kyle Chipchura, Guilamme Latendresse and this years rookies (Kostitsyn and Grabovski) will have a good chance being on that new Habs line up. Maybe in 2010 Burke and Gainey will switch jobs (Jokes).

Nashville Predators: If this team doesn’t have a buyer by 2010, they should just trash it for a new Expansion team. If they got moved, it would look like an Expansion anyway. What you buy with the Preds in 2009/2010? Jason Arnott, Marek Zidliky, Dan Hamhuis and Chris Mason. You also get a handful of RFA’s that should have re-signed the season before, plus Radulov and Rinne in 09/10. Wonderful! It’s like your very own franchise to mess with!

10 Games in

- In ten games, the most expensive Forward core in the NHL (Rangers: $34M) have only scored 16 goals. In comparison, the cheapest in Phoenix ($15.9M) have scored 20 goals. That equals 4 extra goals and $18.1M saved!

- The Cheapest D in Hockey (Chicago: $8.5M) has allowed 32 goals to get scored on their goalie. Compare that to the Leafs 45. McCabe and Gill make more than their whole D combined! The savings? 13 less goals, $12.3M more to spend on forwards and goaltenders!

- Ottawa spends $24.4M on their Defense and Goaltending, and have allowed a league low 19 goals. Pretty good. However, just for comparison, the Chicago Blackhawks have allowed 20 goals… at $16.2M. Lucky break for Illinois.

- The Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs have scored 47 and 46 goals respectively, leading the league. Pretty solid for Forward lines that cost $31.2M and $25.5M. Both teams are doing good. However, the third highest scoring team, the Detroit Red Wings, only spend $21.7M and have scored 43 goals so far.


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