Salary cap: how it may affect the final cut

mo-money-mo-problems

How much impact will the salary cap have on the final cuts for the Oilers? The Oilers have some financial restraints that could ultimately impact the final decisions. Let’s break down how much salary the Oilers have invested right now using each player’s cap hit from the numbers I received from the NHLPA.

Goaltending

Nikolai Khabibulin: $3.75 million
Jeff Deslauriers: $625,000
Total: $4.375 million

Defence

Lubomir Visnovksy: $5.6 million
Sheldon Souray: $5.4 million
Tom Gilbert: $4.0 million
Denis Grebeshkov: $3.15 million
Steve Staios: $2.7 million
Ladislav Smid: $1.2 million (not the 1.3 million that has been reported).
Jason Strudwick: $700,000
Total: $21.45 million

I didn’t include Taylor Chorney, because I don’t see him sticking.

Forwards

These are the guys I think are locks to start the season here.

Shawn Horcoff: $5.5 million
Dustin Penner: $4.25 million
Ales Hemsky: $4.1 million
Patrick O’Sullivan: $2.925 million
Ethan Moreau: $2 million
Sam Gagner: $1.625 million (this includes his potential bonuses).
Andrew Cogliano: $1.33 million (this includes his potential bonuses).
Mike Comrie: $1.25 million (This is the correct figure, not $1.125).
Gilbert Brule: $800,000
Zack Stortini: $700,000
J.F Jacques: $525,000
Total: $25.005 million

These 20 players are a combined $50.83 million towards the cap, meaning they have $5.97 million to spend on three players before they reach the ceiling of $56.8 million. The Oilers could keep 22 players if they wanted to, but considering that would force them to expose another player to waivers, I find that highly unlikely.

So here are the five candidates who I think are in the running to fill out the final three spots.

Fernando Pisani: $2.5 million
Robert Nilsson: $2 million
Marc Pouliot: $825,000
Ryan Stone: $600,000
Steve MacIntyre: $537,000

Even if the Oilers keep Pisani, Nilsson and Pouliot – combined $5.3 million – they are still under the cap. So technically, the Oilers can keep any combination of players and they will still be under the cap. Clearly, Steve Tambellini doesn’t want to have only a miniscule $670,000 of cap space all season long, because that would handcuff him from making any sort of significant moves.

PISANI COULD PLAY

Pisani skated today and at times he was on a line with Brule and Nilsson, but he will be a game-time decision tomorrow. He wants to play, but it’s up to the medical staff, so we’ll have to wait until the morning skate tomorrow to find out if he is in.

Moreau and Pouliot did not skate and both are out for tomorrow, and you can expect to see Khabibulin play the entire game. Well, they are hoping he tops up his fluids and is able to play the full 60 minutes.

  • Ogden Brother

    Joey Moss wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    by taking the 2 guys that barely total 1mil over the two guys that add up to almost 5mil is a bonus because you get that much flexibility in the cap for future transactions (you know like deadline deals, absorbing salary for high picks, etc.)

    And if we miss the PO by one point?

  • Word

    All this "Best Value" talk is like we're trying to create a "wins per $" stat akin to "points per game".

    If Phoenix has a higher wins/$ than Detroit but still misses the playoffs it's nothing to brag about.

  • Word

    I hope I'm not missing something obvious, but why not start the year with the miniscule $670,000 of cap space, then if the opportunity to make a move arises, waive who you need to waive and recall someone in order to create the cap space later?

    I suppose the most significant risk is that by not waiving a player with the main NHL waiver herd, it becomes more likely that a player won't clear, but I doubt that's a risk management would shy away from.

    Why would they care about "Best Value" now if they can swap (for example) Nilsson for Stone mid-season when the cap space becomes necessary.

    I don't understand the love-affair with cap space unless it's being utilized. As long as management is capable of creating the exact same cap space later, I'd much rather have a better, albeit overpayed, player on the roster to start the season.

  • Joey Moss

    @ Ogden Brother:
    by taking the 2 guys that barely total 1mil over the two guys that add up to almost 5mil is a bonus because you get that much flexibility in the cap for future transactions (you know like deadline deals, absorbing salary for high picks, etc.)

  • Ogden Brother

    Joey Moss wrote:

    way better value for the SMac and Stone than Pisani and Nilsson.
    as with most things in life, the answer is obvious to everyone but the person making the actual decisions.

    The idea isn't to ice the best value players, it's to ice the best team under 56 million.

  • Joey Moss

    way better value for the SMac and Stone than Pisani and Nilsson.

    as with most things in life, the answer is obvious to everyone but the person making the actual decisions.