Flat Cap? The Hell You Say!

Official word won’t come down until later this month, and early indications had the NHL’s salary cap outer marker coming in at around $77 million. News today (via Larry Brooks and the New York Post) may put a friggin in the riggin:

  • The expectation, affirmed in conversations within the past three days by essentially everyone on the NHL players’ side of the aisle, is that the union will decline to trigger the escalator for next season, thus creating a flat salary cap right around the current $73 million for 2017-18.

This is a worrisome piece of news for the Edmonton Oilers, as the club loses some room to wheel this year. It also makes trading a bigger contract more difficult and probably increases the ask to take on one of those big contracts.

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There are ways for Peter Chiarelli to get below the cap easily (sending Jesse Puljujarvi and his salary+bonus down gets him close) and there are many estimates here that may be incorrect (Leon could be high, club may not sign Russell). Andrej Sekera’s injury will give the team a lot of cover, and it’s a real break the injury occurred on this side of free agency. I have included bonus dollars and some of those numbers won’t be reached. This table does show (in my opinion) the impact of a salary cap that stays flat. Peter Chiarelli’s summer gets a lot more difficult if Mr. Brooks information turns into reality.

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  • freelancer

    Some potential benefits to this as well. For starters there are some teams that are much worse than Edmonton for cap space this year. Creates possibilities to take advantage of another team.

  • OilRider

    Isn’t Larry Brooks the guy that everyone in the NHL thinks is a “piece of trash” (or whatever other colourful language one may wish to employ.”

    Not that his report is necessarily wrong. But with the way he’s hated in NHL circles, I almost wouldn’t be surprised if the PA decided to kick in the escalator just to spite him

  • a lg dubl dubl

    If the cap stays as is, I’d rather see Pou and Fayne buried in the minors than bought out. No sense having dead cap space used up for a fees years after they are gone instead of just riding out the term of the contracts.

    • OriginalPouzar

      Buried in the minors only “buries” $950K, there resent of their cap hit remains.

      So, if Benoit is in the minors, there is a still a cap hit just over $3M.

      I trade of the player with a retaining of salary (we can retain up to $2M/season) is the MUCH better option.

  • Oiler Al

    If the cap is in fact flat, then signing Russell is probably off the table. Surely his ask will be something in the $4 mil. range. Even with Sekera’s being out part of the season. Dri’s pay will have to come from movement of either #93 o4 14.

    • OriginalPouzar

      I want to kick the tires on David Savard out of Columbus for a 2RD – $4.25M for a few more years.

      We can’t afford to “replace Sekera” – its a short term hole and we cannot acquire (by trade or sign) a longer term cap hit to fix a short term problem. I don’t see a legit second pairing d-man coming here for 1 year (maybe via trade).

      Assuming we can get one 2nd pairing d-man (Russell, Savard, etc.), then the 2nd spot can be filled by Nurse or Benning until Sekera returns.

      Its not ideal, I’d rather those two be our third pairing until they force a move to the 2nd pairing by their play, however, the Sekera injury simplly forces our hand for a few months.

      It is what it is.

      • DJ_44

        Savard is a legit top 4D on Avery good d-corp in Columbus that can easily be protected. You will kick the tires with a second Rd pick? ….you will break your foot.

    • russ99a

      This is the last chance before we’re at the cap to make any roster moves to improve the team and push us towards the cup. Standing pat isn’t an option, unless you want to shorten the cup window.

  • Jack Dupp

    Slow play JP unless he forces their hand. Keep Eberle unless the deal makes sense and is for a smaller contract. Maybe a “change of scenerie” type trade pops up. Offer Kassian 1.75x3y. I think he’ll accept because of term. Send Pouliot to the minors, (unless he regains his form), if he hasn’t been moved elsewhere. I also think they offer Drai $6-6.5x8y. Should be lots of wiggle room until Sekera is ready.

  • Tombstone

    Fans complain about the Oilers selling concourse tickets but how else can they afford paying a team up against the cap. That’s about $100 million Canadian if not more.

  • oilerjed

    I’m curious how this will affect salary negotiations. Every team has that much less cash to spend which should in turn me that the offers are lower all around, hopefully bring down the costs across the league. Maybe this will work out in the Oilers favor? If they lock up Leon in a year where teams are cash strapped they may just get a bit of a bargain compared to years where the cap goes up and teams have more money to throw around? This off season will be interesting

  • jultz=2cups!??

    Off topic but congratulations Justin Schultz on back to back Stanley cups and for assisting on the cup winning goal with his patented wrister from the point!! Which a certain fan base hated… lol! Way to go jultz!!

    • Randaman

      Good for Justin, we all know he was overplayed here ( Norris potential) ?. He’s a pretty good third pairing/power play specialist. Another reason McTavish is where he is.

      • jultz=2cups!??

        A 3rd pairing dman with 51 points in the regular season and 13 playoff points in 21 games?? The oilers would be lucky to have a 1st pairing dman as good as him. I don’t imagine too many 3rd pairing dman will be making 4+mill next year either. And if you don’t realize that Mact was just filling in till chiarelli and Nicholson were available then you clearly haven’t been paying attention.