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.

  • RossCreek

    @ Ogden Brother:
    RossCreek wrote:

    Do you really think losing Nilsson means more losses? I don’t. Especially when he’s likely slotted in as the 13th forward.

    ?? I'm not talkin Pisani/Moreau

  • Ogden Brother

    RossCreek wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    RossCreek wrote:
    Do you really think losing Nilsson means more losses? I don’t. Especially when he’s likely slotted in as the 13th forward.
    ?? I’m not talkin Pisani/Moreau

    I know, everyone else is though.

  • RossCreek

    @ Ogden Brother:
    So then, would you agree with me in Nilsson's case – that the 1.4 mil in cap savings (for Stone) is of more value than Nilsson himself, given the benefits of now having room for a 4 mil player at the deadline?

  • Ogden Brother

    RossCreek wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    So then, would you agree with me in Nilsson’s case – that the 1.4 mil in cap savings (for Stone) is of more value than Nilsson himself, given the benefits of now having room for a 4 mil player at the deadline?

    In theory ya, I don't really think we need Nilsson (though as mentioned their is still a decent risk that we could give a competitor a 20 goal/50 point sencond line playmaker). I don't think I'd lose him in order to make room for Stone though, I don't see Stone having a career much longer then 100 games in the NHL. If Nilsson was being waived to make room for JFJ (or for Eberle next year) with the added bonus of banking 1 milly or so in cap space…. then I'd be on board for that.

  • David S

    RossCreek wrote:

    So what are you saying, David S?

    OK. That didn't come off very well.

    That was a thoroughly bad choice of words. I didn't mean to call Robin Brownlee an idiot. Obviously it came off that way and I apologize for that. On the contrary, I consider him to be the premier sports writer in town. So, sorry about that Robin.

    Maybe its the amount of attention for second raters and bubble boys lately that's got me miffed. Pouliot, Stone, JF… holy crap – who cares?. To me, the team doesn't live or die on the next debate about the dubious abilities of guys like Pouliot or Schremp. What about Gagner, Horcoff, Hemsky, Souray and Visnovsky? The only decent player that's rated any press time here lately is Comrie. That's just bizarre.

    What I'm trying to say is that I think we have a superior player in Nilsson who is facing his last chance to play in the NHL. With that sort of motivation and the tools he brings to the table, you'd think that his past year's record would be wiped.

    Let the kid prove it or lose it. All I'm trying to figure out is why a player with so much obvious upside is being pushed aside for players that will never be anywhere near his level.

    Bottom line for me is is that on a team with desperately few difference makers, why would you give up someone who could (in theory) fill that gaping hole? Seriously, if he put in 25 this year playing with Sam and Cogs we'd be farther ahead than winning a few more faceoffs and crunching a few more bodies on the boards. And he'd be well worth the $2 Million, given that the other guys who scored on that level get paid twice as much. If that's the case, Robert Nilsson makes this team better this year than Marc Pouliot.

  • Ogden Brother

    David S wrote:

    RossCreek wrote:
    So what are you saying, David S?
    OK. That didn’t come off very well.
    That was a thoroughly bad choice of words. I didn’t mean to call Robin Brownlee an idiot. Obviously it came off that way and I apologize for that. On the contrary, I consider him to be the premier sports writer in town. So, sorry about that Robin.
    Maybe its the amount of attention for second raters and bubble boys lately that’s got me miffed. Pouliot, Stone, JF… holy crap – who cares?. To me, the team doesn’t live or die on the next debate about the dubious abilities of guys like Pouliot or Schremp. What about Gagner, Horcoff, Hemsky, Souray and Visnovsky? The only decent player that’s rated any press time here lately is Comrie. That’s just bizarre.
    What I’m trying to say is that I think we have a superior player in Nilsson who is facing his last chance to play in the NHL. With that sort of motivation and the tools he brings to the table, you’d think that his past year’s record would be wiped.
    Let the kid prove it or lose it. All I’m trying to figure out is why a player with so much obvious upside is being pushed aside for players that will never be anywhere near his level.
    Bottom line for me is is that on a team with desperately few difference makers, why would you give up someone who could (in theory) fill that gaping hole? Seriously, if he put in 25 this year playing with Sam and Cogs we’d be farther ahead than winning a few more faceoffs and crunching a few more bodies on the boards. And he’d be well worth the $2 Million, given that the other guys who scored on that level get paid twice as much. If that’s the case, Robert Nilsson makes this team better this year than Marc Pouliot.

    You actually make a compelling case for Nilsson. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • David S

    Ogden Brother wrote:

    You actually make a compelling case for Nilsson. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    Thanks. But at the end of the day Brownlee's experience and access gives him the edge. I wouldn't bet against him.

  • Fiveandagame

    @ David S:
    David S wrote:

    Thanks. But at the end of the day Brownlee’s experience and access gives him the edge. I wouldn’t bet against him.

    Why not? He'd be the first to say he's been wrong before (Comrie?) Sure give him the benefit of the doubt, but stranger things have happened.

    I also think he likes an intelligent debate about opinions, and you offer one hell of a good argument.

    Your argument for Nilsson is a good one.

  • Lofty

    Ogden Brother wrote:

    And a colossal disapointment if it’s because we intentionally iced an inferior roster to save a couple million bucks for “maybes”.

    Consider that Philly is looking hard at the Peter Forsberg again… i would like to leave as much room as possible to get some new talent

  • Ogden Brother

    David S wrote:

    Ogden Brother wrote:
    You actually make a compelling case for Nilsson. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
    Thanks. But at the end of the day Brownlee’s experience and access gives him the edge. I wouldn’t bet against him.

    Either would I, it's just a tough choice IMO.

  • Ogden Brother

    Lofty wrote:

    Ogden Brother wrote:
    And a colossal disapointment if it’s because we intentionally iced an inferior roster to save a couple million bucks for “maybes”.
    Consider that Philly is looking hard at the Peter Forsberg again… i would like to leave as much room as possible to get some new talent

    What?

  • jdrevenge

    I think the Oilers would be making a big mistake if Nilsson wasn't given a chance to show he belongs in the tops six. I think the Comrie O'Sullivan line might suprise in the DZone and end up being a third line with whoever to play the LW/RW. If Penner or Pisani flank those two theres some defensive responsibility there. Leaving the kid line a chance to get something going again and Moreau ends up on the fourth line with whoever.,,,

  • I've always felt like the lone supporter of Steve Staios, but I'll throw out an idea here… Staios is of course a 2.7M d-man. Just a couple of days ago, you were talking about Nashville and how they have supposedly been in talks with the Oil about a potential trade. They currently have 6 d-men signed, however they really have an experienced defence… one that probably makes ours look pretty veteran. They just signed Bouillon not long ago, so I think the Oil dropped the ball on that opportunity. But I wouldn't really say he brings that strong of a defensive game either. Perhaps they still could use a vet d-man?? Do you think there is potential here?

    Even if the Oilers don't make a trade like that, they still will be able to fit everyone under the cap, but as you pointed out.. that makes things pretty tight. I'm thinking that they should jump on any opportunity to move one (or more) of: Moreau, Pisani, Staios, Nilsson, Pouliot.

    I would also suggest that they move Staios in that deal, and look for a more reliable hard-nosed, stay-at-home d-man. They need another dirty son-of-a-bitch on the blueline.

  • Benhur

    Nilsson over Pouliot any day. Nilsson has shown he has more talent than Poo over the last two years. Poo has had his chances and has failed to impress and guess what he has size!!!!

  • David S

    GraveDigger wrote:

    @ David S:
    LMFAO…. Proven sniper?? are you serious?? If you looking for an idiot just look in the mirror

    Dude. Check Nilsson's goal the other night. That has "sniper" written all over it. No way you'll see Pouliot pulling that off.

    As far as "idiot" goes, read the thread. I recanted it.

  • Darth Oiler

    I think Staios needs to get cut Peckham is just as affective on the blue line and for a fraction of the money
    Pisini needs to go as well he is a UFA at seasons end and i think Stone is just as good or better, also i would keep schremp ahead of nilsson

  • David S wrote:

    Dude. Check Nilsson’s goal the other night. That has “sniper” written all over it. No way you’ll see Pouliot pulling that off.

    Oh yah, Nilsson's career high (with any pro team) of 12 goals has sniper written all over it!

  • OilFanatic

    Gregor…you forgot Schremp. 🙂

    OK, so I'm going to agree with you "whole-heartedly" here and say you have the 20 man selection down correct.

    So if there are three roster spots up for grabs, who do you select. I think that Pisani offers the team a little gusto from time-to-time, but I just don't think his mind is in the game like it used to, as he just seems dis-interested have the time on the ice.

    I think Tambi trades Pisani for a 3rd round draft pick, to say a team like Nashville. A deal like that benefits both teams, the Oil shred $2.5 M off the books, and make the situation easier for them.

    Next, send Stone to Sringfield as he is quite simply the "odd-man-out".

    The three final spots go to Nilsson, Pouliot, and MacIntyre.

    If this is the case, Schremp is out of here obviously. However, if you could also trade Nilsson for a 2nd round pick, then you could keep Schremp as your 2 month experiment. If he excels, management took a gamble and won. If he fails, then you can wash your hands with him without looking back.
    Then, Tambi could use those picks he obtained and trade for a proven sniper.

    Bottomline is, I agree Schremp may just be a failed experiment, but after watching the last game, he seems to have more heart and drive than Pisani and Nilsson combined, and if he made the team I think he would excel.

    If he is placed on waivers, he will shine like a star in Long Island of likely places, and the media will dump all over the Oilers…as usual!

  • Dizzle wrote:

    any more word on the predators/oilers trade situation? Anything cooking or are the talks camera to black?

    When I put it up I said they were kicking tires, but nothing that was close to a lock. Sounds like nothing has changed over the weekend. The Preds might wait to see if anyone comes available on the waiver wire…

  • OilFanatic wrote:

    If he is placed on waivers, he will shine like a star in Long Island of likely places, and the media will dump all over the Oilers…as usual!

    I'd be surprised if he becomes a star…he might be a 40 point guy, but a star would seem highly unlikely..

  • shaner

    How can Ryan Stone not be considered a lock at this point???

    I love Pisani and what he has brought to the team but if he is not close to 100% its in the Oilers best interest to depart from that inflated salary.

    Man, Moreau has to be under the microscope as well.

  • Mike

    Not sure why nobody in the media ever mentions it, but you can exceed the cap by the rookie bonuses. That gives the Oilers an extra million dollars to play with if necessary.

    It's not the greatest solution, but things aren't nearly as dire as "only $600,000 all year oh noes!"