Salary Cap Outlook – The Metropolitan Division

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*

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).

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NHL Rumors III: Stamkos, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Penguins

  • Stephen Whyno in the Toronto Star: Lightning Steven Stamkos will be a UFA in 2016 and thought of playing for the Maple Leafs could be there.

    “We’ll see what happens. It’s a couple years away,” Stamkos said Wednesday. “Right now I’m focused on what I have to do to win in Tampa, and I think we’ve really established ourselves as a team that can compete in upcoming years.

    “For me, that’s the important thing is getting a chance to win. It looks like we’re going to have that chance for a couple years.”

    Stamkos added that talk of him possibly coming to Toronto in two years will “absolutely not” be a distraction for him.

    “I try not to focus about that stuff,” he said. “I think that’s the great thing about playing in Tampa is hockey isn’t the mecca that it is here in Toronto and you can kind of go about your life and kind of get away from the game when you need to.”

    Stamkos added that he enjoys playing big hockey markets like Toronto.

    “I’m from around here and grew up cheering for the Leafs, so any time I get a chance to come back here I enjoy it, and any time I get a chance to play against the Leafs it’s fun,” he said. “It’s also fun beating them, too, because a lot of my friends are still Leaf fans.”

  • Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area: Kurz expects the Sharks to start the season with Antti Niemi and Alex Stalock in net. If they were going to trade Niemi, it likely would have happened already. Niemi has one-year left on his deal at $3.8 million. It’s possible that a team during the season could look at Niemi as a backup or potential starter. Niemi has won a Stanley Cup and was a Vezina Finalist just over a year ago.

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NHL Video: State of the San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan and GM Doug Wilson discuss the State of the Sharks.

Discussing their goaltending situation, moving Brent Burns back to the blueline and some things going forward.

(video from earlier this offseason, but it’s not like they have done a lot since then.)

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NHL Rumors II: Senators, Wings, Leafs, Avalanche and Canadiens

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Before the Senators traded Jason Spezza to Dallas, they had been working on trading another forward. The deal may have fallen through or put on the back burner. Teams have told the Sun that Colin Greening and Eric Condra are available.
  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Red Wings right handed defenseman Alexey Marchenko will get a shot to make the big club if they don’t pull off a trade for a defenseman. The Bruins need to move one of their eight defensemen out. Senators Bobby Ryan is entering the last year of his deal and could be the next big name leaving Ottawa. The Maple Leafs could be the front-runner for Mike Babcock if he doesn’t re-sign with the Red Wings next summer.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Ryan O’Reilly is happy they didn’t have to sit through an arbitration hearing, arguing back and forth. The Avalanche were confident they would have won, but they also knew it may not sit well with agent Pat Morris and possibly O’Reilly.

    “I said to Joe, ‘If you win, you also lose,’ and that everybody would lose — the club, the player and the fans,” Morris said. “Joe was very professional about it and very prepared, as was Greg Sherman. We both knew what our upside and our downside was, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see the path to where the middle point was.

    “It’s always a positive when we create a free negotiation based on what we do as opposed to a third party.”

    Joe Sakic said it won’t be a sign-and-trade situation.

  • Mike Chambers: Before the O’Reilly signing yesterday, the Avalanche had about $8,844,000 in salary cap space. When they are able to sign Tyson Barrie, they will be very close to the salary cap.
  • Craig Morgan: Hearing that the Canadiens submitted a $1.65 salary arbitration number for Lars Eller, who submitted $3.1 million.

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NHL Rumors I: KHL Option, Mueller, Leafs, Red Wings and Analytics

  • Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington: Capitals coach Barry Trotz has been accused in the past of clashing with players from Russia. The Caps have three Russians, including Alex Ovechkin. Trotz has said that he’ll have to sit down with Ovechkin to get to know him before he could get him to play the style he wants.

    “It can’t happen until I have a relationship with him because there’s no trust,” Trotz said. “For me, Alex has to trust that I’m giving him the best advice for the team, for him, to grow his game.”

    Trotz on drafting Russians and the treat of the KHL.

    “They have options over there,” Trotz said. “You want your whole foot in the water if you’re going to play in the National Hockey League.

    “I don’t want your toe. If you’re just going to put your toe in the water … A couple Russian players have come over and they don’t put their whole foot in the NHL sometimes, and that holds them back.

    “… If it’s just about the money, then probably the KHL is a better option.”

  • News 1130 Sports: The Canucks were interested in Peter Mueller two years ago, but GM Jim Benning has let Mueller’s agent know that they are not interested this time around.
  • James Mirtle: Brendan Shanahan will look to revamp the Maple Leafs scouting department next. No reason they shouldn’t have one of best.
  • News 1130 Sports: David Booth said that he talked with several teams, but he couldn’t pass up playing close to home in Toronto.
  • Dan Rosen: Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said that they don’t have an analytics guys yet, “but yet is the key word.” Babcock said that they “will for sure” add one and that he’s a fan of it.

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NHL Video: Canucks Talking Kesler and Garrison Trades

Canucks TV going behind-the-scenes. Canucks management talking about what the returns for Ryan Kesler would be, along with talk about trading Jason Garrison.

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Salary Cap Outlook – The Atlantic Division

The NHL’s salary cap system was put in place after the 2004-05 lockout to try to even the playing field between teams and eliminate over-spending.

As you know, over-spending still happens, and there are still teams (Boston, Chicago, LA, etc.) who are far superior to others (Edmonton, Florida, Buffalo, etc.).

The cap has virtually just called for more creative long-term contracts when trying to land, or keep, a marque free agent (think Shea Weber, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane) and shorter, small contracts for mediocre players.

Some teams struggle to hit the cap floor, while some struggle to stay under the max. Let’s take a look at each teams cap situation for the coming 2014-15 season, as well as the 2015-16 season.

This will be written as a four part series over the next week, looking at one division’s teams at a time.

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The Offseason “Losers” So Far Are ….

Written by Greg Stamper, who can be found on twitter @g_stamp91.

In part one of this article (which can be found here) we took a look at some of the teams that were blessed with a solid offseason and deserved their title as winners.

It’s time to take a look and see which teams have had far less success and are deemed this year’s losers; some of which may surprise you.

Part 2: Losers

Washington Capitals

One thing is for certain, Washington tried.

Although the Capitals managed to sign the top defenseman available on this year’s market in Matt Niskanen, it’s widely believed that they massively overpaid in the process of doing so. For the time being, this deal should work in the Caps favour, but, near the end of the massive seven-year, $40.25 million deal when Niskanen still has a $5.75 million cap hit in his mid-30’s, it then might really come back to bite them.

Washington didn’t stop there though.

On top of Niskanen, the Caps also elected to sign his 33 year-old (34 when the season starts) teammate from Pittsburgh, defenseman Brooks Orpik, to a five-year, $27.5 million deal. This move quite simply is the reason for Washington making the loser section of this list; it is totally insane.

Losing Mikhail Grabovski and not replacing him didn’t help the Caps either.

The fact that the signing of back-up goaltender Justin Peters to a two-year, $1.9 million deal appears to be the best / least risky move the Caps made shows just how rough this offseason was.

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NHL News: Rangers Sign Kreider … Avalanche Sign O’Reilly

  • Larry Brooks: The Rangers and Chris Kreider avoid salary arbitration after agreeing to two-year contract with a $2.475 million salary cap hit.

  • Darren Dreger: The Avalanche and Ryan O’Reilly agree on a two-year, $12 million contract. He’ll get $5.8 million this year and $6.2 million next year.

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NHL Rumors II: Rangers, Devils, Honka, Sobotka and Mueller

  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Source saying both Chris Kreider and the Rangers are not willing to move off of their bottom-line numbers. Their arbitration hearing is set for this morning. Kreider submitted a $2.8 million offer, with the Rangers submitting a cap hit of $2.05 million, $1.9 million and $2.2 million on a two-year deal.
  • Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger: The Devils could look to add a veteran or two on a tryout contract heading into training camp, but they don’t have anyone in mind at the moment. GM Lou Lamoriello will look at which players don’t have a contract closer to the start of camp,

    “There are a lot of players out there that haven’t signed. They’re waiting to get contracts before they make a commitment to go to any camp,” the GM said.

    Lamoriello is not looking to bring in a veteran goalie, so don’t expect Martin Brodeur to be at camp if he doesn’t sign anywhere beforehand.

  • Mark Stepneski: Stars GM Jim Nill said there has been no decision made on where 2014 1st round pick Julius Honka will play next season. A decision will be made during training camp.
  • Andy Strickland: Vladimir Sobotka’s KHL out clause is one month after Omsk’s last playoff game.
  • Andy Strickland: UFA Peter Mueller is generating some NHL interest. He led the Swiss league in goals last year, was second in points.

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