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