Daoust provides a comprehensive breakdown of all 30 NHL clubs and their cap situations.
For most keeper leagues the offseason begins as soon as the NHL regular season ends and lasts more than five months. During this time poolies will do a lot of maintenance on their teams to get ready for the next campaign. In fantasy leagues that use NHL salary cap figures the landscape changes in July when a slew of players sign new contracts.
This summer is going to be different. The NHL has a new collective bargaining agreement which means new rules and a lowered salary cap ceiling of $64.3 million for 2013-14. Most of the existing NHL contracts were signed under the old CBA which had a constantly-rising cap ceiling that peaked at $70.2 million in 2012-13. The transition from the old system to the new one will force some players to make financial sacrifices, at least for the first couple of years of the new CBA until the cap rises again to where it used to be.
The table below with numbers obtained using Capgeek shows where things stand today with regards to each team’s salary cap situation for next year. This includes players who should be locks to make their respective squads. It does not remove players who will likely be placed on long-term injured reserve nor does it account for cheap players within the system who could receive a promotion just to help the team adhere to the cap ceiling.
|Team||2013 Cap Space||Plyrs Signed||Cap Space||$/Opening||Key RFA||Key UFA|
|Anaheim Ducks||$13,268,939||18||$9,384,167||$1,876,833||Palmieri, Beleskey||Selanne, Koivu, Lydman|
|Boston Bruins||$5,713,438||17||$6,657,857||$1,109,643||Rask, Caron||Jagr, Horton, Ference, Redden, Khudobin|
|Buffalo Sabres||$8,762,977||15||$17,392,143||$2,174,018||Hodgson, Flynn, Weber, Enroth||Pardy, Hecht, Sulzer|
|Calgary Flames||$9,172,010||18||$19,171,667||$3,834,333||Butler, Brodie, Backlund||McGrattan, Babchuk|
|Carolina Hurricanes||$12,962,946||16||$8,197,500||$1,171,071||Dalpe||Corvo, Larose, Bergeron, Ellis, Brent|
|Chicago Blackhawks||$2,856,456||17||$4,826,538||$804,423||Leddy, Kruger||Handzus, Emery, Stalberg, Bickell|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||$16,306,753||16||$19,393,691||$2,770,527||Anisimov, Bobrovsky||Prospal, Aucoin, Leighton, Comeau|
|Dallas Stars||$16,232,871||17||$19,651,389||$3,275,232||Wandell, Bachman||Nystrom|
|Detroit Red Wings||$7,376,968||17||$13,362,121||$2,227,020||Kindl, Nyquist, Smith||Filppula, Cleary, White, Brunner|
|Edmonton Oilers||$16,551,029||17||$16,460,833||$2,743,472||Gagner, Paajarvi, Peckham||Whitney, Khabibulin, Jones, Fistric|
|Florida Panthers||$12,736,914||17||$19,339,625||$3,223,271||Mueller, Markstrom, Matthias, Skille||Weiss, Theodore, Strachan|
|Los Angeles Kings||$8,174,201||12||$15,577,273||$1,416,116||Bernier, Clifford, Voynov, Martinez, Lewis||Regehr, Scuderi, Penner, Richardson|
|Minnesota Wild||$79,256||17||$9,112,799||$1,518,800||Clutterbuck, Scandella, Falk||Backstrom, Bouchard, Cullen|
|Montreal Canadiens||$3,342,280||19||$6,281,667||$1,570,417||Weber, White||Ryder, Armstrong, Halpern|
|Nashville Predators||$16,476,797||15||$18,192,857||$2,274,107||Spaling, Josi, Halischuk, Blum||Mason, Yip|
|New Jersey Devils||$10,930,590||14||$26,187,500||$2,909,722||D'Agostini, Josefson, Henrique, Loktionov||Elias, Zidlicky, Zubrus, Clarkson, Sullivan, Ponikarovsky|
|New York Islanders||$17,195,892||13||$30,325,167||$3,032,517||Bailey, Poulin, Ullstrom, Hamonic, Hickey||Thomas, Streit, Nabokov, Reasoner, Boyes|
|New York Rangers||$1,488,779||17||$14,155,833||$2,359,306||McDonagh, Sauer, Hagelin, Stepan, Zuccarello||Clowe, Eminger|
|Ottawa Senators||$16,393,628||17||$23,262,500||$3,877,083||Wiercioch, Condra||Gonchar, Alfredsson, Latendresse, Lundin|
|Philadelphia Flyers||$0||20||$681,905||$227,302||Gustafsson, Wellwood||Gagne, Fedotenko, Foster|
|Phoenix Coyotes||$20,761,368||12||$24,650,000||$2,240,909||Korpikoski, Boedker, Stone, Rundblad||Smith, Gordon, Labarbera, Chipchura|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||$3,460,867||17||$8,501,667||$1,416,945||Kennedy||Iginla, Morrow, Murray, Cooke, Dupuis, Adams|
|San Jose Sharks||$3,829,004||14||$9,573,333||$1,063,704||Demers, Galiardi, Desjardins||Torres, Hannan, Gomez, Greiss|
|St. Louis Blues||$18,014,639||14||$26,061,667||$2,895,741||Pietrangelo, Stewart, Berglund, Shattenkirk, Cole, Russell||McDonald, Leopold, Langenbrunner, Nichol|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||$6,143,586||17||$3,332,250||$555,375||Pouliot||Garon|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||$6,950,778||12||$19,495,833||$1,772,348||Kadri, Gunnarsson, Komarov, Franson, McLaren, Fraser||O'Byrne, Bozak, Orr, Kostka|
|Vancouver Canucks||$0||15||$1,396,667||$174,583||Schroeder, Tanev, Weise||Roy, Raymond, Alberts, Lapierre, Barker|
|Washington Capitals||$6,146,302||19||$6,265,705||$1,566,426||Alzner, Johansson||Ribeiro, Poti, Hendricks, Wolski|
|Winnipeg Jets||$11,752,059||10||$29,955,833||$2,304,295||Wheeler, Bogosian, Little, Burmistrov, Tangradi, Postma||Hainsey, Antropov, Wellwood, Miettinen, Clitsome|
Here we see that there are some teams who are already up against the cap ceiling while others have as much as a dozen open roster spaces. There are also some high-profile free agents including restricted free agents such as Tuukka Rask, Nick Leddy, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Alex Pietrangelo and Karl Alzner who could force their teams to make other moves in order to retain their services.
Also included is each team’s final number for remaining cap space in 2012-13. This is simply to show that many teams are nowhere near the cap ceiling. This could be for a number of reasons including a rebuilding roster such as Calgary or a lower market team like Phoenix or Anaheim that operate under their own internal budget.
Each team has two amnesty buyouts which can be used either this summer or next. These buyouts see the player get paid his fee but the transaction does not count towards the salary cap. They will certainly help add dollars to the available pool of money for free agents but the effect will likely be less significant than many people think.
Since the amnesty buyout sees the player get paid in cash, it is not something that will benefit teams that have an internal budget. Those teams are more concerned with player payroll than they are with cap figures and buying out a player simply becomes dead money from their point of view. Thus, it is very possible that many teams will not use any cap-free buyouts. This limits how much overall cap space gets freed for others.
According to the figures obtained above the free agents will have on average just under $2.1 million available per available roster spot. However, this assumes that each team spends up to the cap ceiling and uses all of its 23 roster spaces which on both counts will not be the case. It is not clear exactly how much money free agents will receive on average but it is pretty clear that it will be much less than the average salary of $2.45 million in 2011-12 when the salary cap was also set to $64.3 million.
The implication of the scarcity of available money for free agents this summer on fantasy hockey is significant. Not all free agents will be signed for less than what we perceive is market value but many of them will. The ones who take the financial hit become cap bargains which is key in building a team in a salary cap league.
Previously from Daoust:
- Cheap NHL Labor - Part 1
- Cheap NHL Labor - Part 2
- Cheap NHL Labor - Part 3
- Under the Radar Rookies Turning Pro
- Cheap PIM Options for Fantasy Leagues