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.

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Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 12:26 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor

First if all, its not a lot work to do.  Secondly, the writer wanted to make it sound like the Isles are going to have to over pay for 5 players and that is absolutley inaccuarate.

Lastly, if they over pay for a player it would be for only one year.  So I say again, SO WHAT???

Since: Apr 8, 2008
Posted on: July 12, 2011 11:01 am

Teams still need to reach salary floor

Your own comment, while insulting the author, backs up his point perfectly. The Isles have a lot of work to do to meet the floor. After they sign the RFAs that you mentioned, they still have about 5 million to spend. That was the author's point about the Islanders, that they are going to have to overspend on mediocrity just to reach the floor.

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: July 12, 2011 9:22 am

Teams still need to reach salary floor


PLEASE take Komisarek....PLEASE!!!!!

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2011 11:56 pm

Teams still need to reach salary floor

Mr. Gretz, maybe you should do some research before you write an article.  Yes the Islander have 5 open spots and roughly 10.44 million more to spend, but you failed to mention that Blake Comeau, Josh Bailey, Ty Wishart and Jack Hillen are all restricted free agents and their are no indications that they will not be re-signed.  Based on the salaries last year and an estimate on what their new salaries will be be that should bring the Islander to somewhere around 5.5 million under that cap. 

Also, you failed to mention that if a team has "5" open spots that does not mean they can not sign 6 or 7 players.  Younger players could could sign a two-way contract. Jesse Joenesuu is unsigned and he could sign a two-way contract as well.

Chances are the Isles would have to sign a player like McCabe or Hannan or Stralman, but with the except ion of Stralman(given his age) any other free agent would be sign for only one year.  SO WHAT????

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