Blog Entry

Teams still need to reach salary floor

Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 3:54 pm

By Adam Gretz

With the increase to the NHL's salary cap this offseason (all the way up to $64.3 million), there was also an increase in the salary floor, which is now up to $48.3 million, a number that is higher than the actual cap was during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. As of Monday, there were still seven teams that needed to reach the floor, according to CapGeek, the best salary cap resource anywhere on the Internet.

Here are the seven teams, the amount of money they need to spend to reach the floor (via CapGeek), and the number of spots they have remaining to fill out a 23-man roster:
  • New York Islanders, five roster spots, $10.44 million
  • Nashville Predators, three roster spots, $7.09 million
  • Colorado Avalanche, one roster spot, $3.79 million
  • Phoenix Coyotes, two roster spots, $2.78 million
  • Winnipeg Jets, two roster spots, $2.45 million
  • Ottawa Senators, three roster spots, $1.20 million
  • Carolina Hurricanes, two roster spots, $591,667
Obviously, the New York Islanders have the most work to do, and Scott Lewis at Houses of the Hockey had a nice look over the weekend at how far behind they're lagging in the race to the floor, and what general manager Garth Snow can potentially do to spend another $10-plus million (the names Mike Komisarek and Brian Rolston are used as possible suggestions. How's that for excitement, Islanders fans?).

The problem for some of these teams will be spending the necessary money on players that can actually make a positive impact, or an impact that will equal the financial commitment. What started as a weak free agent class has already been picked over, and whatever meat is remaining on the bones consists of ... well, let's just say less-than-attractive options.

The real winners in this are the second-, third- and fourth-tier free agents -- as well as the restricted free agents -- that could snag a larger salary than they normally would because these clubs have to spend a predetermined amount of money. Or the team that has an albatross contract it desperately wants to rid itself of (kind of like how the Chicago Blackhawks managed to find a taker -- the Florida Panthers -- in Brian Campbell's contract).

Moving past the Islanders, the Predators still have the most money to spend but also have the biggest restricted free agent remaining of the aforementioned clubs in defenseman Shea Weber. He's scheduled for an arbitration hearing in early August and will almost surely take up a large chunk of the remaining $7 million the Nashville front office is required to spend.

The Predators had a restricted free agency issue centered on the timing of their qualifying offers and needed to work out deals with Cal O'Reilly, Matt Halischuk, Chris Mueller, Nick Spaling and leading goal-scorer Sergei Kostitsyn. They managed to work out contracts with all of them last week to avoid any further complications, including the possibility the players could be granted unrestricted free agency. Those five contracts also helped narrow the gap to the salary floor.

Carolina is less than a $1 million away from reaching the floor with two spots to fill, which should be done with ease. Pretty much any two additions, even if they're minor league roster-filler, will jump the Hurricanes over the threshold, and the team still has to work out a deal with restricted free agent Brandon Sutter, who scored 14 goals a year ago.

The Jets should also have little trouble reaching the minimum as they still have restricted free agents Blake Wheeler, Zach Bogosian and Ben Maxwell. The Coyotes and Avalanche have restricted free agents of their own to sign, while the Senators have to look outside the organization for its remaining $1.2 million.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 6:04 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jul 7, 2011
Posted on: July 17, 2011 12:21 am

Teams still need to reach salary floor

Senators will be in southern ontario.

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: July 14, 2011 4:08 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor

Jeff please choke on the candy..............

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 2:52 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor

islanders will be  in a new city soon..and then they can find ppl to play chance of long island agreeing on this fake money making deal..noone wants them here..maybe 10000 ppl..that just isnt enough

You are correct it is completely possible that the August 1st vote does not pass,  BUT if it does not pass it will be simply because people in Nassau County are just foolish and can not past tomorrow when it coomes to their futures.

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2011 11:51 am

Teams still need to reach salary floor

to this day I still laugh at that Brian Campbell contract

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2011 11:22 am

Teams still need to reach salary floor

islanders will be  in a new city soon..and then they can find ppl to play chance of long island agreeing on this fake money making deal..noone wants them here..maybe 10000 ppl..that just isnt enough..buh bye  icelanders

Since: Jul 7, 2011
Posted on: July 12, 2011 7:02 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor

Spend some money Eugene ahh just move the team to hamilton already, the Hamilton Senators, sounds catchy.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:18 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor

The cap is working in the NHL. The NBA could learn from this. No team in the NHL can buy a championship yet in the NBA and MLB it happens all the time. Some NBA/ MLB teams spend double or even triple as much as the lowest spending teams (well almost triple). It makes for a two tier league.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:46 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor

In other words, prepare for the 2012 NHL Lockout. The league is doomed as long as Bettman is in charge. They lost an entire season and are right back in the position to do it again. Look at the fiasco in Arizona. Look at the mess that was made in Atlanta, and the bigger mess it will lead to (Detroit in the East and one Original Six team in the West). Only a moron like Bettman, through absurd and inexplicable expansion, can create a scenario where increased revenues is a bad thing, but that's what he did.

Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: July 12, 2011 1:20 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor

So, the goal is to stay right at the cap floor? This isn't nearly as compelling to me as a team that needs to sign a player with a limited amount of cap space. Sounds like a some players in the free agent pool still remaining are going to get a payday above their "current market value." To me, the more compelling story is the teams that are right at the salary cap. Washington has 1 player left to sign and are $400K under the cap. Philly needs to sign 1 as well and are $1.5 million under the cap. These are teams that are currently legit contenders for the Cup, and just finding the right free agent, with what you have left to work with, seems like a good story.

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