So How Much Money is Out There?

So who out there has money to spend? Training camp is a few weeks away and perhaps another season will begin in October. So what has happened this off season and where do teams currently stand? Let us look at the Eastern Conference first. Here you will find the current team’s payroll using data from, the RFAs remaining and the UFAs for each team, and potential players that may be used for trade plus an analysis of the team’s situation. The Fantasy GM category is what teams could do if money didn’t matter. But obviously money does matter these days. Boston Bruins

Payroll: $29,223,000.00

RFA: Raycroft

UFA: Murray, Green, McGillis, Slegr, Zamuner

Trade Bait: Lapointe

Analysis: Although they have money to spend and are almost always profitable, the Bruins will likely keep a low payroll. Much of their money is tied to a handful of players. I cannot see them going past $35 million as they are one of the top teams hoping for a hard salary cap. They do need a top forward and their best bet would be to resign Murray but that seems unlikely. He would be a good fit as he plays so well with Thornton. They could also use some depth on defence as over the past couple of season they have moved out guys like Jilsson, McLaren, Morrisson, O’Donnell. In all likelihood we will see many kids playing in Boston this year. Guys like Hilbert, Samuelsson, Huml, Boyes, Jurcina, Vernarsky will get lots of chance to make the team and play regularly. They could use a backup goalie as well or at least another NHL calibre goalie because if they dont resign Raycroft before the season starts they could be left with no goalies with NHL experience.

Fantasy GM: resign Murray, sign Jason York, resign Potvin.

Buffalo Sabres

Payroll: $34,310,575.00


UFA: Zhitnik

Trade Bait: Afinogenov, Dumont, Satan, Miller

Analysis: It is a pretty high payroll for a team that was nearing bankruptcy a couple of years back. It is probably the reason why Zhitnik wont be back as they are likely maxed out on the payroll. But oddly enough they qualified Connelly who may not play at $1,364,275.00. Those Satan trade rumours will never die but how can the Sabres trade their top player yet again after moving Hasek and Peca? But at $5,250,000.00 his price may be too high to keep. They do need more grit up front as they have tons of speed and skill. It is rather odd the players they have as they dont seem to fit into the kind of style that Ruff likes to play which is defence first. The fact is, the Sabres are rather soft and losing Zhitnik wont help. They need one of their young D to step up in his absence. And which one of their blue chip young goalies step up?

Fantasy GM: trade Afinogenov for Jamal Mayers

Montreal Canadiens

Payroll: $32,830,000.00

RFA: Souray, Ryder

UFA: Dowd, Perreault, Kovalev

Trade Bait: Rivet, Brisebois, Hossa

Analysis: The Habs have needs but can they resign their own guys and get that top forward they need without busting the chequebooks? I cannot see them going over the $40 million barrier but they may have to in order to get what they need. The top forward is the main thing but it isnt as easy as resigning Kovalev because his asking price is high. They are also not quite big enough or gritty enough to go too far in the playoffs as we have seen. They are also breaking in 2 relatively young guys on defence joining a group that has some rather inconsistent performers like Brisebois and Rivet. It just leads to too much work for Theodore the franchise. I am not sure who they need more, a true PP QB or another stay at home dman. This team has tons of kids waiting in the wings but a) are they ready? b) will they get the chance?

Fantasy GM: sign Selanne. Trade Hossa and a 2nd for Georges Laraque

Ottawa Senators

Payroll: $38,333,160.00

RFA: Havlat, Varada

UFA: Bondra, Leschyshyn, Simpson, Van Allen

Trade Bait: White, Smolinski, de Vries

Analysis: with 2 key RFAs to resign, it is unlikely that the Sens will have much money to spend after that even though they have a billionaire owner. $42-43 million is a likely target. They really need a scorer at LW and a defensive C who can win faceoffs. all their other positions are top notch and they addressed their biggest need, a frontline G. Their may be some adjustment period with a new coach and all but this is the top team in the East. And because they are very close to the cup, it wouldnt surprise me if Melnyk opened the pockets and let Muckler fill some needs.

Fantasy GM: sign Cory Stillman

Toronto Maple Leafs

Payroll: 63,790,000.00

RFA: Ponikarovsky

UFA: Francis, Marchment, Kidd, Berehowsky

Trade Bait: Mogilny, Kaberle, Tucker, Antropov

Analysis: with their HUGE payroll, how can it be possible for any more acquisitions? They will need to dump some salary to do that, even with their supposed huge warchest. the combined salaries of Nolan, Mogilny, Sundin, Leetch and Belfour is more than the whole Habs team combined. I think this team is done despite the fact they have a great need for a big stay at home dman and more speed and youth at forward. now they also need a goalie with the uncertainty of Belfour. A team that spends this much money should not have so many question marks. but if healthy and that is a big if, they are one of the leagues top teams. This is the last kick at the can for this group. if they dont make it, sweeping changes will be coming soon after.

Fantasy GM: trade Kaberle and Ponikarovsky for Oneill and 3rd. Trade Mogilny to LA for 2 prospects. trade a 4th for Hurme. sign Zhitnik and Anson Carter.

New Jersey Devils

Payroll: $59,897,398.00


UFA: Schwab

Trade Bait: Friesen, Kozlov, Gomez, Hrdina

Analysis: It is interesting to see that the Devils who have a history of not giving in to their free agents and a team that plays in front of empty seats have such a high payroll. But that is the cost you pay for being perennial contenders. In all likelihood the payroll wont change much. In fact it could decline as they could move out a veteran or two to make room for some of their young talent like Parise. They are deep at all positions led by Brodeur in goal (they could use a veteran backup) and arguably the best defence in hockey assuming Stevens returns. However they showed last year that they are not nearly big enough nor tough enough to handle teams with size. This team has seen Arnott, Holik, Stevenson, Rupp, McKay all leave town leaving the Devils with a rather small group of forwards. It is something that they need to have addressed especially if Stevens cannot return as they are not very intimidating to play against.

Fantasy GM: Trade Friesen, Hrdina, Kozlov for Tkachuk. sign Jason Allison

New York Islanders

Payroll: $38,103,500.00

RFA: Hamrlik, Dipietro

UFA: Czerkawski, Ronning, Snow

Trade Bait: Hamrlik, Parrish, Bates, Peca

Analysis: This poor team is saddled with that huge $10 million contract of Yashin’s. he makes about a quarter of the team’s payroll. in fact 5 players take up $25 million in salary leaving the team rather thin. With an old building that has no luxury suits and is not a money maker, the big millionaire owners have kind of cut back on spending since getting Yashin and Peca. This is the main reason why they have not been able to get that top winger to play with Yashin. That is the teams biggest need along with a big tough defenceman and some goaltending depth. A couple of veterans could be jettisoned for more kids in order to keep spending down, however if the team wants to get to the next level, they may need to spend a dollar or two to get that top winger they covet, and the UFA market has a few out there available that would fit their biggest need.

Fantasy GM: trade Hamrlik to Chicago for McCarthy, Radulov and a 2nd. Trade Peca and Papineau to FLA for Shvidki, Hagman, Mezei. sign Kovalev.

New York Rangers

Payroll: $40,777,500.00


UFA: LIndros, Messier, Mironov, Hlavac, McCarthy

Trade Bait: Poti, Dunham, Lundmark, Blackburn

Analysis: you have to commend the Rangers for sticking to rebuilding despite the fact there was such a large and talented crop of UFAs. They have pretty much cut their payroll in half and really built up a deep farm system. Hopefully it will pay off and some of the kids will turn out to be NHLers. and hopefully they will stick to their plan and not go back to their free spending ways. But the payroll still have some reminders of their bad habits. the combined salaries of Jagr ($11 million) and Holik ($8,850,000.00) take up about half of the teams payroll. stripping the team of most of their veterans has left them very shallow at the NHL level. Some of the kids better be ready now or else they could find themselves battling for last overall. Their deepest position is goal but still that position isn’t even a strength at the NHL level. They are very thin at left wing and their blueline does not have a big physical presence that can challenge the other teams top players night in and night out. And how well will their PP do without Leetch for the first time in over 15 years?

Fantasy GM: sign Rucinsky, trade Blackburn to PHX for Krys Kolanos and Brent Johnson.

Philadelphia Flyers

Payroll: $62,490,791.00

RFA: none

UFA: Zhamnov, Malakhov

Trade Bait: Roenick, Leclair, Amonte, Burke

Analysis: They are kind of similar to Toronto with plenty of high priced veteran talent. This could cause them to stop spending and could result in the team losing it’s leading scorer (Recchi) their most skilled forward (Zhamnov) and their biggest Dman (Malakhov). with Leclair ($9,000,000.00) AMonte ($5,880,791.00) and JR ($7,000,000.00) having these huge contracts, it has left the Flyers in a bit of a bind. But they do have some kids on the horizon and a shrewed GM in Clarke who can make something happen. He did after all get his best player in Primeau to take a paycut and sign Knuble and Stevenson to cheap deals. They will need to upgrade their offence if Zhamnov leaves with Recchi already gone, and they are a bit small and soft on defence, and moreso if Malakhov goes.

Fantasy GM: Buyout Leclair. resign Zhamnov and Malakhov. Trade Roenick to Chicago for Yakubov and Vorobiev. sign Demitra

Pittsburgh Penguins

Payroll: $14,113,725.00

RFA: Kraft, Orpik

UFA: Lemieux, Buchberger

Trade Bait: Morozov

Analysis: the resigning of their owner and best player will likely bump the payroll to about $20 million. But I cant see the pens spending any more than $25 million. with an old building that is a money loser, bankruptcy problems and the only team with a player/owner, money isn’t something this team has lots of. there was some talk of them going after a big name free agent or two but i think Recchi at $3 Million is as high as they will spend. They were the league’s worst team last year and that was because their goaltending was too weak or too young, their defence was not mobile, soft and inconsistent, and their forwards were too soft, too young and just were not that skilled. and really not much has changed. Recchi and Lemieux being around full time will help scoring wise but this team is still very young and needs time to develop. Fleury will get another crack at no 1 but he could use a veteran mentor. The D could use a veteran too to help teach the kids and they really could use more skill up front. But they dont have money to throw around and will probably make do with more kids again and hope for the best. the playoffs may be a bit out of reach.

Fantasy GM: sign Stumpel, Odelein and Tugnutt

Atlanta Thrashers

Payroll: $23,865,000.00

RFA: Kovalchuk, Heatley

UFA: Dafoe, Tremblay

Trade Bait: Stefan, Hurme

Analysis: Their payroll is nice and low but it is deceiving. It does not include their 2 franchise players. We could see the payroll jump another $10 million in all likelihood. this is not really a team that has alot of money to spend but they must at all costs keep Heatley and Kovalchuk. Because spending may be tight, we will see again more kids integrated into the lineup again this season. Lehtonen being the most prominent one as he should be a star in goal for years. But they do lack a centre who can win faceoffs, toughness on defence and on the wings and a big checking centre. Whether or not they can fill these needs depends on how much their 2 stars will cost and how much money it has leftover.

Fantasy GM: sign Perreault

Carolina Hurricanes

Payroll: $29,603,500.00

RFA: Vasicek

UFA: Weekes

Trade Bait: ONeill, BrindAmour, Hedican

Analysis: After getting to the finals in 02 with a veteran lineup, this team now is trying to get younger and cheaper. There will likely be not much difference in the payroll except that it may decrease some more. They have already gotten rid of Francis, Weekes, Hill, BOughner and Irbe. Unfortunately for them, BrindAmour, Hedican and Ward, 3 over the hill veterans, take up a third of their payroll, practically making them moveable and limiting them on what they can do. And since they play in a non hockey market, spending has been cut significantly. They have 2 young stud forwards to build around in Staal and Ladd and a top young goalie in Ward. However they are very thin on defence. Their blueline is old and slow and needs rebuilding. Their forwards lack consistency and grit to win enough close games. it is such a big struggle for the canes to score it puts too much pressure on the goalie and now they have an unproven starter in Gerber to hold down the fort.

Fantasy GM: Trade ONeill to Toronto for Kaberle and Ponikarovsky.

Florida Panthers

Payroll: $19,150,000.00

RFA: Berglund, Jokinen, Kolnik

UFA: Odelein, Trnka, Sheilds

Trade Bait: Weiss, Huselius, Hagman, Mezei, Biron

Analysis: This team has a low payroll, tons of young talent, a franchise goalie and a great coach. This is one team that has some money to spend and is flexible in terms of being able to make a trade or sign a UFA. resigning Jokinen will cost some but wont break the bank. They have addressed their biggest need and that was size, toughness and experience on defence. It may help them as they can potentially move some of their young defence to help add more scoring, size, grit and toughness up front.

Fantasy GM: trade Shvidki, Hagman, Mezei for Peca, sign Bondra

Tampa Bay Lightning

Payroll: $40,784,605.00

RFA: St Louis, Cibak

UFA: Stillman, Andreychuk

Trade Bait: Grahame, Modin

Analysis: so what do you do if you are the defending champs? try to win again. and the Bolts have a team that can do it. smart move by exchanging Prospal for Stillman as it does nothing to the payroll. having a long playoff run has given them more money to play with and they will need it as they still have their top player in St Louis to resign as well as their captain. But a team that is young and skilled with depth at all positions, youth at all positions and lots of talent everywhere, there not many needs to fill. however the loss of Cullimore makes them a bit smaller and softer on the back end but they have alot of depth there that it isn’t a huge loss. this team will compete again and has a good chance to repeat. a lockout will actually help them as it would give them a longer break and maybe break the Stanley Cup hangover that many teams get.

Fantasy GM: sign Baron

Washington Capitals

Payroll: $15,274,500.00

RFA: Zubrus

UFA: Berry, Battaglia, Miller

Trade Bait: Kolzig, Witt

Analysis: after cutting Jagr, Lang, Bondra, Grier Gonchar, Nylander, Konawolchuk there isnt much team left. But their payroll is nice and low and they have tons of kids coming so the future looks bright. but then again Kolzig is in his late 30s and time isnt on his side. He is the franchise now but will turn it over to Ovechkin who is the franchise for the future. I cannot see them spending very much money any more. The payroll will likely stay around 20 million. This team will likely play their kids rather than go back to signing veteran players. the do however need some veteran help on defence as they have only one good dman in Witt. They are set in goal but Kolzig cant do everything. they need someone who can score. yes Ovechkin has world class talent and will likely be a top scorer but they cant ask him to do that now. they must show patience. This is going to be another long season in Washington and only Kolzig will give them a chance every night.

Fantasy GM: sign Delmore and Bombardir

As we can see, there probably isn’t very much money to spend here in the East. I think most teams are pretty well maxed out. I am sure they have a set budget for 2004-05 and will probably not go too far from that. there are the big spenders who are likely done in Philly, NJ and Toronto, the rebuilders in NYRangers, Washington, Carolina, Pitt and the middle men led by the Sens and Bolts. If there are UFAs wanting to sign in the East there may not be enough teams willing to spend the dough they seek. And the spending will be even more restricted after they hammer out a new CBA deal because teams will not want to get tied down to big contracts if there is a cap in place. We’ll just have to sit back and wait to see what happens.

32 Responses to So How Much Money is Out There?

  1. FilthyG says:

    “Fantasy GM: trade Kaberle and Ponikarovsky for Oneill and 3rd.”

    Are you crazy? These players are just developing. Kaberle will be a crazy playmaker if he has more confidence in the future and look at Poni. Hes big and powerful…after a couple of seasons he’ll match the skill of o neill or even go past it…Poni has a lot of potential and trust me hell evolve into a big name player.

    But on another note..nice article. you put a lot of hard work into it prob. its impressive.

  2. cgolding says:

    Philadelphia Flyers

    Payroll: $62,490,791.00

    – 15,000,000 immediately because Clarke has already said that Leclair and Amonte are going to be bought out as soon as the CBA is signed into existence. they’ll have to pay a chunck of the cash(not really a problem for the flyers), but it most likely won’t count against any type of cap that might be imposed.

    Burke will go somewhere, at some point, he’s 2.3 mil on the books that won’t be there.

    i doubt that Roenick is going to move, i also doubt that anyone is going to take his contract without forcing us to eat a lot of it… which makes trading him not make a lot of sense. Roenick listed 10 teams he’s allowed to be traded to, i HIGHLY doubt the blackhawks are one of those teams after his dealing with the management soured back in the day.

    i hope they go after Demitra and Zhamnov. Clarkie wants to sign Malakhov, i would rather save that cash and let Seids play.

  3. NHLman says:

    the combined salaries of Jagr ($11 million) and Holik ($8,850,000.00) take up about half of the teams payroll?

    The Rangers are paying about $5 million for Jagr a lot less than $11 million. The Caps are paying the remaining $6 million.

  4. BADBANNER says:

    First off O’Neill would be the best acusiosion the leafs could ever make. Hes fairly young and very talented. I know he had a bad season this year, but playing on a line with Cole, and Brind”Damour will obviously do that to you. O’Neill is like a younger version of Roberts, and im pretty sure every team would love to have someone like that.

    Kaberle is a good defenseman, but I would trade him in a heartbeat. Why, well beacuse hes to soft for the leafs, and hes had more that enough time(playing on the 1st D pair for several seasons) to become a great defenseman but hasn’t panned out like he should have.

    And Ponikarovsky? What you said is *****ing retarded. Theres no way this guy will ever become the player that O’Neill is. Theres another reason why the leafs haven’t won a cup in 38 years, they hold on to these kinds of guys(Poni), guys who will never be anything more than career forth liners, instead of getting players that will actually win for them.

  5. Bishop7979 says:

    Just a couple things.

    Laraque has said, many times, that he would retire before he played for montreal. Truthfully, seeing how they treat their players both in person, and in the media, I’m not surprised, and I believe him. So although he would be a nice fit on the team, it isnt going to happen.

    St. Louis is looking to dump payroll, if possible. which given what some of their players make, i dont think is very possible. They did cut their costs letting demitra go and having mccinnis retire (assumption) but trading tkchuck for that collection of mistcast second liners isnt going to help st louis much, or save them all that much money. Allison isnt a bad idea, if he is healthy, which if you believe what they are saying out of carolina, he isnt.

    Pittsburgh. Actually the defense is looking pretty good. getting rid of a vet in berehowsky and plugging in the younger, much more talented jackman was like night and day. The team had the hightest rated powerplay in the league during the second half of the season, and that is before you include Mario and Recchi into the roster. They do have money to spend, anywhere from 6 to 8 mil after mario gets his 5 mil and before you factor in a replacement for morozov. Sign Val Bure to replace Morozov’s production for a similar price. (50+ points for 1.5 mil say) and then try to add one more scoring threat, Stumpel is a last resort. Kovalev, Carter, Ruchinsky, Zhamnov, stillman should all be considered first.

    Florida, I have to say, is in a great position, as you pointed out. Young skilled and cheap. They have the room in their budget to grab a couple vets to really compliment their young guys. I’m just surprised that they have been as quiet as they have been, they have such room under the proposed cap to work with that I would have expected them to use that to their advantage, much liek Pho has.

    Atlanta is ready to make a jump into the playoffs. adding a final top 6 forward (to bump that god awful stefan off a top 2 line spot) would go along way. Stillman would work well on the second line with kozlov and mceachern, or maybe carter.

    Washington and the Rangers have a ways to go unfortunatly. Both are in the first stages of the rebuilding process, and patience is the key. They need a season to seperate the true NHL prospects from the neverwillbes and the start to surround them with hardworking, loyal, veteran leadership (I.E not Jagr) and wait till they are ready to really compete before building a team that can contend for a playoff spot.

    All in all i gotta say, you worked hard on this. and damn 62 mil philly vs 15 mil pitts, talk about a difference.

  6. Bishop7979 says:

    I would be careful if I was clarke, you never know how the CBA is going to treat buyouts. it may work in his favor, but at the same time, it might work like the NFL and count, at least partially, against the cap. If he really is going to buy out Leclair and Amonte he might want to consider doing it now i would think. just in case

    and I agree, might as well play Siedenberg (spelling?) on defense. why waste him in a 5-6th role, or on the bench, when he is ready to develope now.

  7. FilthyG says:

    How is there no way he could turn out better (PONI)? HE Hasnt even played a full season in the NHL.

  8. BADBANNER says:

    Alright poni could “potentially” be a good player, but to say he will be better than O’Neill, who is a skilled first line sniper, is going a bit far.

    But from managements point of view, if they could get O’Neill for two “uncertianties” if would be a good deal.

  9. nhlscooper says:

    Hey good article! I just did one like it called “How much does your team owe”. You should look into more original material before you spend that kind of time on a previously done article that was posted on the same web page. Nice addition with the Fantasy GM.

    Why would the Leafs want Zhitnik and Carter. And you can’t trade Kaberle and Poni for O’Neill alone nevermind him and a 3rd pick. You’d be better adding Mogilny to that deal. Speaking of Mogilny why trade him to LA and for what you should be more specific. Why not trade him to Nashville for some prospects such as Upshall (not saying that’s ever going to happen just a fantasy). They need to give Tellqvist a chance the leafs never give their rookies a chance. If he fails then go out and get a goalie. If it’s short term then they should go out and sign Osgood for a low salary. That way you don’t lose anything.

  10. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Bishop – I see your point but remember its is the onwers who are driving the bus right now. MANY of them have dead weight on their rosters and will need to clear out MULTI-Million dollar salaries to fit under a cap. the Flyers might be the biggest example of that.

    Another point may be an exemption of 2 or 3 players for a year or two so that the NHLPA’s best paid (but not top performing) players don’t find themselves without teams. This way both sides win but seemingly both sides aren’t interested in a deal where both win.

  11. Westcoastexpress says:

    Mogilny’s career maybe finished due to his bum hip. I don’t think that the laffs will find anyone willing to take on his salary and injury problems. It’s too bad that injuries are potentially going to end his career because when he was with the Canucks he was one of my favorite players. He was a heck of a player to watch and I was sorry to see him go, although Morrison is no slouch

  12. 89AlexanderMogilny89 says:

    I agree in the playoffs you could tell that he wasn’t the same old Mogilny.I think he’s pretty much finished.

  13. BADBANNER says:

    Why wouldn’t the leafs be able to trade Kaberle and Ponikarovsky for O’Neill? – the 3rd rounder.

    I think Carolina would take this because if you look at there defence Kaberle would be a big improvement. And Ponikarovsky may not be that great of a prospect, but does have some upside.

    O’Neill is the only “name” player actually left on the Hurricanes, so why wouldn’t they trade him for some younger players? especially considering there in the rebuilding years.

  14. TheCoach says:

    Because he is still youg and could till be a huge part of his future. It’s not like he is old and taking up space from prospects.

    Besides, Jim Rutherford has already said that he has no plans in dealing O’Neill. And for Kaberle and Ponikarovski? I’m not saying that they are bad players, but they aren’t that young and the Canes would not be cutting payroll. They would be adding to it.

    I’m thinking the Hurricanes would rather some cheaper prospects, not a 3 million dollar defenseman.

  15. TheCoach says:

    The Leafs are stuck with Mogilny. The only way they’ll be able to unload him is if he has a good year, and they decide to trade him to another contender at the deadline.

    But for that to happen, the Leafs would have to fall completely out of contention, and they aren’t that bad.

  16. DarkPhoenix says:

    Uh, O’Neill’s upside was originally “third line center”, you know.

  17. Bishop7979 says:

    Personally I’d love to see a system similar to the NFL as far as player cutting goes. And I’m sure many fans would love it as well.

    Imagine the amount of deadweight teams would part with, and imagine how that could affect the development of teams in a positive way. I cant tell you how many, mostly low level, pens I would have loved to see cut over the years. Jamie Pushor, Hans Jonsson, Janne Laukanen, Kelly Buchberger, are the top four from recent memory that come to mind.

    And those players werent costing the team 10 mil a year like leclair is.

    I cant imagine how frustrating that must be for philly fans to know a player whose production dropped so much almost immeditatly after his giant pay raise, is holding the team back in terms of upgrading their level of talent due to his contract.

    I mean its not like these players would be out of work. of course they wouldnt be making the money they once were, but they would get picked up. I use Kurt Warner and Vinny Testiverti (spelling?) as proof. Both players are considered past their primes, but after being cut from their respective teams, both have found homes and are starting QBs again in the NFL.

    If John Leclair were cut today, he would play somewhere in the NHL next season, and he would get paid a salary that is much more befitting his diminished skills, to me that is fair for all parties, in a sport where the average salary is close to 2 mil a year I think that Year to year performance needs to carry more weight, long term contracts have been, in many cases, pressured out of GMs only to have what they paid for be a shadow of what they expected. Yashin, Jagr, Leclair are all good examples of this. Players keep *****ing about fair market value and all that, its time the owners start looking at what they are paying for and screaming about the value of the players currently under contract, and their lack of control over it. But I’ve gotten off on a rant . . . back to your point.

    I do agree that it is unlikely that the buyout process would hurt an NHL team any more than it already does, because you are right, it seems the owners not only hold more leverage, but they seem incredibly unified.

  18. BADBANNER says:

    I really hope that the new CBA has the syatem that is similar to the NFL.

    Just for an example, look at what that system could do for a team like Toronto. There basically stuck with huge contracts like Nolan, Mogilny. But you know how Leaf management works…..all those old, overpaid players will be resigned, probably even get raises, unfortunately.

    The best example of a team that would have Benifited the most from this system would be the Kings. Don’t you think that being able to let go of Allison, Deadmarsh would have severly helped there team.

    It would be nice to know that you could let go of players whenever you want because we have seen what happens when you have guys like Yashin, and Jagr locked up for so many years at HUGE salaries. The problem is that guys sign contracts worth like 9 million a year over 5 years with a trade clause. Thats another thing that should be removed THE NO-TRADE CLAUSE.

  19. The_Coach says:

    Wow, I am going to agree with you again Coach!!!

    I replied to you about this in a different post but you are absolutely right that nobody would take Almo at this point in his career unless it was at the deadline.

    To further what you said, I believe that this is definitely the last kick at the can for my ancient Leafs. Maybe their only chance at winning a cup is this year if the season is shortented by a lockout. Only playing could actually help the Leafs and they might hit the playoffs healthy for a change. Also, if you look at the past few seasons, they play their best hockey at the mid-way point and then run out of steam (ie, injuries) once the playoffs come around. This years playoffs will actually be like midseason if we have a January start.

    But regardless, my Leafs are too old (and too expensive) and this team has to be dismantled after this year.

  20. The_Coach says:

    I think that you are absolutely correct when you say that the league will have to utilize some sort of exemption for high paid and long term contracts.

    I just submitted an article that looks at just that and took the Leafs (sorry, my favorite team) as my point of reference. Mats Sundin makes 8 million a year and is under contract until 07/08. I can’t see how the league can punish NHL teams for previously playing within the rules and trying to lock up their franchise players. Also, the Leafs only have 12 players under contract for the 05/06 season and their combined salary already equals 30 million. Now, I am pretty sure that Leafs aren’t the only team that are in this situation and I also have no idea how they are supposed to finish off their roster with approximately 5 million dollars of cap left to sign about 12 more players.

  21. sixteenstone says:

    Ok Tucker was signed for 2 years, I think the Leafs are going to want him and why trade Kaberle and Poni there going to be the future leafs. And the trade Mogilny are you nuts! Mogilny is going to end his career with the Blue and White.

  22. BADBANNER says:

    So many teams are in that kind of trouble, it almost makes the cap more of a hassle than anthing else. Its also one of the main reasons i don’t think the cap is going to be around the 30-35 mill mark. Like any other league could survive under that because look at basketball, you only really have to pay 5 guys big bucks. Football, besides the QB, and your star running back, the rest of the team makes alomost nothing, cause im pretty sure linebackers make little money.

    The NHL is just so different because you have to pay your top line big bucks, your top 2 defensemen, and you goalie. Unless they lower all player salaries by 25%(which will never happen), teams will never survive at 30-35 mill. At least teams like Colorado and Toronto.

    Now there are teams that are under that, but if you look at there roster, they either just plain suck, or there entire lineup is made of rookies.

    I think a cap anywhere from 40-50 would be a lot more sutable for the league, at least for now, until the individual salaries go down.

  23. The_Coach says:


    I looked at Atlanta’s payroll of 27 million and it is very deceiving because Heatley is currently playing for 1 million and Kovalchuk is playing for 1.1 million. Just their pay raises alone puts the Thrashers over the 30-35 million mark.

    Gary Bettman and the owners are kidding themselves if they think that they can the players to agree to a cap that low.

    I am really starting to believe that a luxury tax system might be the way to go. In my luxury tax scheme though, the teams like my Leafs that go over some magic number (say 50 million) will have to pay a tax that then gets divided up amongst the teams that are under the 50 million limit. So, yes maybe the rich teams will still have a better chance at signing top free agents and such, the smaller market teams can count on free revenue which in turn can then used to help keep their young talent.

    This also puts the responsibility onto the owners to control their own spending and to spend within their fiscal budgets.

  24. raine_kalisz says:

    terrible GM work. I like the Boston one but that’s about it, and they’re gonna need a lot more than that. Afinagenov is way better than Mayers so that’s a stupid move. I like the Montreal one. Ottawa does not need another playoff no show. Toronto has to keep Ponikorovsky. He’s young, big, fast and he shows a lot offensive smarts. He’ll be very good in a short time. And they don’t need another defensman, especially not one as fickle as Zhitnik.

    New Jersey is a defensive team so the moves you’re proposing are incredibly stupid for that team. Islanders are a lost cause to me, no matter what they do they can’t get it to work, so w/e. Rangers are the same, but I wouldn’t think about dealing Blackburn just yet. He could still very well be a franchise goalie in the near future. Malakhov won’t resign, he wants to retire and has said so, and Roenick is half of their heart and soul, and much of the reason they beat Toronto in the playoffs. I don’t know about Pittsburg. Personally i think they should go after Zhitnik and Kovalev and see where that goes, but Odelien might not be that bad. Goalies they are ok for though, any one of their young goalies could be a good starter, they just need a team.

    Atlanta should be more than ok next year, but I think signing Perrault would be terrible. He’s just not very good. Hurricanes could try that deal, but i doubt it would go. They’re a lost casue, they need a major offensive overhaul. Panthers will do fine next year without any tinkering, and i think signing Bondra would be a bad move. Tampa will be a top team once again next year. They need no changes, they just need to grow. Caps, well you tell me.

  25. BADBANNER says:

    Well O’Neill currently makes 3.7 mill. Kaberle makes 2.95 mill, which leaves .75 for ponikarovsky. He should be signed for less than that, but considering how leaf management likes to give out nice raises for nothing……..

    The canes lack a top dman. And Kaberle can still be a No.1 guy. They can’t get a guy like that in free agency(any more) without paying big bucks. And Kaberle and Ponikarovsky aren’t that old. Kab being only 26, and Poni is only 24, compared to a 29 O’Neill.

    Plus Carolina may like to Unite the Kaberle bothers on Defense, seeing as they have Frantisak(sp).

    Not to mention Caroline doesn’t have the Francis contract anymore, which gives them alot of money. All it takes is one good season and O’Neill will be making 4 million plus.

    But if you still don’t think this trade is doable, if you had to trade for O’Neill, who would you trade?

  26. cgolding says:

    An NFL system won’t happen unless the owners really want to sit through a year-long plus hold-out. As much as the owners want some cost certainty, and are united in that front, I don’t think they are looking for that large of a battle.

    The NBA system makes much more sense to work towards, and I believe it is something that the players may actually agree to at some point. I know that Snider, Philly’s owner who happens to own part of the Sixers as well, has said he is supportive of a system that closely resembles the NBA’s.

    As for the buy-outs. I am SURE the owners are going to create a system in the immediate aftermath of the CBA for teams to remove players from their payroll in a reasonable way, buy-outs make the most sense. They will still be punished into paying a large chunk of cash to the players, but those contracts won’t count towards the cap. It doesn’t make sense for the league to get to a salary cap and then make it impossible for the teams to work to get below it quickly.

    Sidenote: if they don’t grandfather in this thing, the Leafs are screwed.

    In any event you don’t buy them out now because you are giving away cash that you may not have to be responsible for. If there is a lock-out the players lose that cash, it doesn’t come back to them when the season starts up again. So you hold onto the cash and see what happens, if there is a year lockout, that’s 9 mil you don’t have to worry about with Leclair for example.

    Seids has gotta get in there and play, I would have let him play last year they just had too many bodies, then when people started getting hurt he got hurt so didn’t get a chance to step-up and show what he can do. He’s a great 5/6 guy on any team because he’s fast as hell, with a big-time slap-shot. He got some PP time in the Conf. Finals after he’d been out of the lineup forever with his broken leg because of that shot. If your 5/6 dman is also going to be getting big PP minutes, and has wheels… that’s pretty deep, especially under a potential cap.

  27. cgolding says:

    don’t worry, no one wants a broken mogilny at that price…

  28. Lapointefan says:

    Isles have 1 player with a large,longterm contract.

    Peca’s only got 2 yrs left on his contract.Aucoin’s and Hamrlik each have 1 yr left.

    While the arena deal is awful,the isles also have one of the best cable deals in the nhl.

    They’re pleased with 22 yr old DiPietro’s development,have 25 yr old Dubie who dominated last yr(his first yr in the ahl) and they just drafted Sylvain Michaud,another puckhandling goalie.

    trade Peca+ Papineau for a promising young defenseman,a 23/24 yr old ahl winger who can’t stick in the nhl and another gritty 3rd liner??No thanks.

  29. Kraut182 says:

    The players would never agree to a system allowing them to be cut, similar to that of the NFL. Why would they give up the right to guaranteed salaries? It doesn’t make a lot of sense from their point of view. To know that each and every one of them are one blown knee away from being out of hockey with no future income. They would agree to a hard salary cap before this.

    And as for any cap ideas, there’s no way the NHL just says your payroll is below $35 million next year or that’s it. This doesn’t make any sense either. They will either set the cap at a level attainable by all teams and may be slowly take it down or do something similar with a luxury tax.

  30. wheresthesoda says:

    thank you, the guy who wrote this article gave some false infromation like that

  31. wheresthesoda says:

    The rangers payroll is 36,152,500

    i went to the website and did it myself, i didnt keep the 11 million for jagr, i only kept 5 mil for him since the caps are paying 6 mil of the contract.

  32. TheCoach says:

    “All it takes is one good season and O’Neill will be making 4 million plus. “

    His big buck contract is the one he is on now, because he got that the year after he scored 40 goals.

    From a Carolina point of view, I would likely want a high pick and a good prospect. Keep in mind that O’Neill is still young, so it would not be a dump like Francis.

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