Don't Miss

Salary Cap Outlook – The Metropolitan Division

Penguins_7906061

Continuing on from where we left off with the Atlantic Division, it’s now time to take a look at the cap situations of the other Eastern Conference teams in the Metropolitan (what a weird name) Division.

*All figures according to CapGeek.com, with the Salary Cap being $69 million*

*2015-16 cap space does not include current unsigned RFA’s*

Part 2: Eastern Conference – Metropolitan Division

Carolina Hurricanes

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 20 (11 forwards, 7 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $63,080,000
Overages: None
Cap Space: $5,920,000
RFA’s Remaining: None
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: With no RFA’s left to sign, it remains to be seen if the Hurricanes will look to fill out the other forward spot from within, or make a move onto some of the remaining UFA’s. One such player could be Andrei Loktionov, who finished out last season with the team and still finds himself as a UFA. Carolina is in good cap shape heading into next season, despite paying four forwards over $5.75 million (Eric Staal, Alex Semin, Jordan Staal, and Jeff Skinner).

2015-16 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 14 (7 forwards, 4 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $54,007,500
Cap Space: $15,295,000
RFA’s: Riley Nash
UFA’s: Jiri Tlusty, Jay McClement, Patrick Dwyer, Andrej Sekera, Tim Gleason
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: With a new GM in town in Ron Francis, it will be interesting to see if the current core forwards mentioned above (who have failed to make the playoffs in two seasons together) will stay together, or if Francis will decide to move a player or two to even out the all-around talent. If they miss the playoffs again in the 2014-15 season, I expect that’s what will happen, and then the Canes will have more than the $15 million in cap space to try to acquire some depth talent to fill out the roster.

Columbus Blue Jackets

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 22 (13 forwards, 7 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $54,425,476
Overages: None
Cap Space: $14,574,524
RFA’s Remaining: Ryan Johansen
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: Having nobody signed over $5.62 million, which is Bobrovsky’s cap hit, certainly helps leave financial flexibility to build a solid, all around team. The 22 players Columbus has under contract are a healthy mix of youth and experience, a good combo for a team who were a cellar-dweller for so many years. However, the best RFA not named Subban, Ryan Johansen, still remains unsigned with the Jackets and him making “significant progress” according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. The deal is expected to be a bridge type contract, despite Johansen’s vocal displeasure over such deals earlier this offseason.

2015-16 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 13 (7 forwards, 6 defensemen, 0 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $39,912,976
Cap Space: $29,087,024
RFA’s: Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, Simon Hjalmarsson, Tim Erixon, Sergei Bobrovsky
UFA’s: Mark Letestu, Brian Gibbons, Curtis McElhinney
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: Columbus will have plenty of money to spend to re-sign their free agents, with likely only Atkinson, Calvert and Bobrovsky receiving major pay raises. Locking up those three will likely require around $12 million, depending on the seasons they have this year. Either way, there will be plenty of money to do so, with enough left over to be big players in free agency.

New Jersey Devils

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 22 (14 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $64,123,334
Penalties: $250,000 (from Kovalchuk)
Overages: $2,250,000
Cap Space: $4,876,666
RFA’s Remaining: Eric Gelinas
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: With most of the money being spent on forwards ($45.25 million compared to $11.7 million on defense and $4 million on goalies), it wouldn’t be shocking to see a forward, likely one of Damien Brunner or Michael Ryder, be shipped out of town for a depth defenseman before the season starts. When you consider the Devils’ depth chart, where Ryder and Brunner got bumped to third and fourth line roles with the arrivals of Mike Cammalleri and Martin Havlat this offseason, a trade starts to make a lot of sense. They are definitely not bottom-six style forwards. Other than that, and the re-signing of young, offensive-defenseman Eric Gelinas, this roster is set.

2015-16 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 11 (9 forwards, 1 defensemen, 1 goalie)
Cap Payroll: $40,470,000
Penalties: $250,000 (from Kovalchuk)
Cap Space: $28,260,000
RFA’s: Adam Larsson
UFA’s: Michael Ryder, Jaromir Jagr, Damien Brunner, Martin Havlat, Steve Bernier, Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Marek Zidlicky, Peter Harrold, Scott Clemmensen
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: Boy, oh boy, is there a lot of work to be done next offseason. With only one defenseman (Jon Merrill) signed for the 2015-16 season, the Devils will have some serious choices to make. Zidlicky and Salvador will likely be retiring, so bringing back the other defensemen is a major priority. Free agency or call-ups will make up for the rest of the defense. The forwards aren’t as much of a concern, as they will likely all be replaced with free agents. The Devils will be busy, that much is certain, but they have the money to address the issues.

New York Islanders

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 26 (16 forwards, 8 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $58,743,518
Overages: None
Cap Space: $10,256,482
RFA’s Remaining: Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: With the offseason signings of forwards Nikolai Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski and Cory Conacher, the Islanders quickly became very crowded up front. To make things worse, only Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Anders Lee are on two-way contracts (all of whom should be on the team), so it will be very interested to see what GM Garth Snow does to address this issue. Financially the Islanders are in a good position, so if they need to make a trade to fix the glut of forwards, absorbing salary shouldn’t be a problem.

2015-16 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 16 (11 forwards, 3 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $44,549,643
Cap Space: $24,450,357
RFA’s: Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Cory Conacher, Matt Donovan, Thomas Hickey, T.J. Brennan
UFA’s: Eric Boulton, Colin McDonald, Lubomir Visnovsky, Matt Carkner
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: Re-signing their key free agents in Nelson, Lee, and Hickey will not be a problem with the nearly $25 million in cap space. By that time, the Islanders will also likely be sporting the cheap rookie-contracts of top picks Griffin Reinhart and Ryan Pulock on their blue-line, so money will certainly be available. With the financial flexibility and a very deep prospect pool, expect to see the Islanders lure in a top free agent next offseason.

New York Rangers

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 21 (12 forwards, 7 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $62,667,500
Overages: None
Cap Space: $6,332,500
RFA’s Remaining: Derick Brassard, John Moore
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: The Rangers’ roster is pretty much completed, and will be, barring a trade, once they get their two RFA’s under contract. Brassard and Moore players played a pretty significant role on the Stanley Cup finalist team from last season, so it won’t be surprising to see most of the $6.3 million in remaining cap space to be gone once they are both back.

2015-16 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 10 (5 forwards, 4 defensemen, 1 goalie)
Cap Payroll: $40,125,000
Cap Space: $28,875,000
RFA’s: J.T. Miller, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin
UFA’s: Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Lee Stempniak, Chris Mueller, Marc Staal, Mike Kostka, Matt Hunwick, Cam Talbot
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: The Rangers will not even have half a roster signed come next offseason. Of course, that could change depending on what happens with this year’s RFA’s and if they lock-up Staal, St. Louis or Zuccarello long-term. But as it stands, the Rangers will have lots of work to do and should have the money to do it. They won’t be able to spend like the Rangers of old, but should be able to re-sign whoever they choose and add a few pieces via free agency as well. I can very easily see the core players listed there (Zuccarello, St. Louis, Staal, Hagelin, and Stepan) getting $21 million, or more, of that $28.875 million in cap space.

Philadelphia Flyers

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 22 (12 forwards, 8 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $72,061,429
Overages: $345,000
Cap Space: -$3,061,429
RFA’s Remaining: None
Players for LTIR: Chris Pronger

Overview: Barring a trade, the Flyers have completed their offseason. Obviously work needs to be done, seeing as they are just over $3 million over the cap, but that will likely be addressed by putting Chris Pronger and his $4.9 million salary on LTIR on the last day of training camp. Trading Vincent Lecavalier would also virtually fix the issue; however, teams aren’t very willing to take on the four-years, $18 million left on his deal. One way or another the Flyers will get below the line before the start of the season.

2015-16 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 16 (9 forwards, 6 defensemen, 1 goalie)
Cap Payroll: $65,466,429
Cap Space: $3,533,571
RFA’s: Zac Rinaldo, Jason Akeson
UFA’s: Jay Rosehill, Kimmo Timonen, Nick Schultz, Ray Emery
Players for LTIR: Chris Pronger

Overview: The good news for Flyers fans is that absolutely none of the core players are up for renewal next season. The bad news is they still have just over $3.5 million to improve their team. Expect changes via trade, rather than free agency, if any are to be made.

Pittsburgh Penguins

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 19 (10 forwards, 7 defensemen, 2goalies)
Cap Payroll: $62,569,167
Overages: None
Cap Space: $6,430,833
RFA’s Remaining: Brandon Sutter, Nick Spaling
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: Both Sutter and Spaling will be added to the current roster once they are signed, and that will be it for the Penguins, barring a trade. Sutter will likely get $2.5 – $3 million, with Spaling coming in at $1.5 – $2 million, so Pittsburgh won’t have much money at their disposal after that. The current roster is pretty much what you will see come opening night.

2015-16 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 9 (5 forwards, 4 defensemen, 0 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $42,469,167
Cap Space: $26,530,833
RFA’s: Beau Bennett, Robert Bortuzzo
UFA’s: Marcel Goc, Steve Downie, Craig Adams, Blake Comeau, Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Marc-Andre Fleury, Thomas Greiss
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: Spending nearly $42.5 million on just nine players is a lot of money. However, it’s easier to accept it when most of that money is going to Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin. Finding players to play around this core of players next offseason shouldn’t be a problem for GM Jim Rutherford, although, retaining players such as Goc, Ehrhoff, and Downie for cheap will be; especially if they have good seasons this coming year. All in all Pittsburgh should have enough money to bring back Beau Bennett and fill out their roster via free agency. What they will do with Fleury is a question I can’t wait to have answered.

Washington Capitals

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 22 (12 forwards, 8 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $67,886,795
Overages: $150,000
Cap Space: $1,113,205
RFA’s Remaining: None
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: What you see is what you get for Washington. This offseason saw Mikhail Grabovski leave for the Islanders and Washington sign goalie Justin Peters for two-years, $1.9 million, along with former Penguins’ defensemen Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen for a combined $11.25 million cap hit. After all that, Washington is just about out of money, and roster spots.

2015-16 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 12 (6 forwards, 5 defensemen, 1 goalie)
Cap Payroll: $48,265,962
Cap Space: $20,734,038
RFA’s: Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brayden Holtby
UFA’s: Joel Ward, Eric Fehr, Jay Beagle, Aaron Volpatti, Mike Green, John Erskine, Jack Hillen
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: Locking up Johansson, Kuznetsov and Holtby will be the priority for Washington. Figuring out how much that will cost them is tough to say since they are all still young. In the past, Washington hasn’t been one for the bridge deals, locking up their young talent as soon as possible to multiyear deals. Johansson is the easiest to judge, as he has basically put up the same numbers (around a point every other game) for the last three seasons. Production like that should net him between $3-4 million. Holtby has proven to be a quality starting goaltender, and will likely be paid somewhere near that mark as well, if they go long-term with him. Kuznetsov is the hardest to judge because of the fact he has only played in 17 NHL games, however, he also has the most skill and could explode this year alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom. Needless to say, the Caps, with almost $21 million in cap space, will be able to retain these key players and grab a few vets on the free agent market as well.

Salary Cap Outlooks for the Atlantic | Metropolitan | Central | Pacific

 

4 Comments

  1. Alex

    July 25, 2014 at 6:17 am

    The statement about the flyers is incorrect. They do not need to make any moves to become cap compliant. They can move chris pronger prior to the start of the season however they will only receive relief equal to the amount they are over up to chris pronger’s cap hit. Since they are roughly 3mil over now thats all the cap relief they would get to get to 0.

  2. yzerman

    July 25, 2014 at 9:16 am

    That’s just not true, Alex. They will be given the full amount of Prongers LTIR at 4.9 million. Think before you type, kid.

  3. Greg Stamper

    July 25, 2014 at 10:15 am

    It was true, I made the changes because of his comment.

  4. Jason

    July 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    The fact that the Flyers can still place Pronger on LTIR is a joke. Pronger, coaching, management, and ownership have already said that he’s never playing another game of hockey ever again. That sounds like retirement to me, and they should have to eat his cap hit for the age 35+ contract. That said, it’s a shame that it happened to him.