The CBA uncertainty could make the salary cap go up, and so could the payroll of teams looking to make a splash in free agency.
For some, money will become troublesome as they will overspend during this offseason.
First on that list are the current Stanley Cup champions.
Los Angeles Kings
According to CapGeek.com, the Kings have $16 million in cap room heading into next season.
As is the case with most defending champions, some guys are going to be looking for a bit of a pay raise.
The biggest question will surround left winger Dustin Penner who is now an unrestricted free agent. Despite scoring some key goals during the Kings’ epic playoff run, Penner only scored 10 through the regular season and postseason combined.
Penner has had a lot of issues to deal with away from the ice—including a divorce—which contributed to him missing a good number of games during the regular season and could have contributed to his performance overall. Is it worth bringing back someone who has scored more than 50 points in a season once in his career?
More than likely, it's not, but we don’t know the level of loyalty the Kings organization has toward Penner.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning spent a boatload of cash to keep star Steve Stamkos last offseason. The Bolts have a fair amount of cap room heading into this offseason—$22 million—but are in desperate need of a goaltender. Forty-two-year-old Dwayne Roloson posted a goals against average of 3.66 and stopped only 86 percent of the shots he faced. He is now an unrestricted free agent.
The problem is that there are not many goalies worth shelling out a lot of money for.
The Lightning seem to be in the same situation the Flyers were in a year ago when they overspent for Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Caps have $25 million in cap space but have both Alexander Semin and Mike Knuble to worry about possibly re-signing this offseason. Add that to Alexander Ovechkin who is making about $9.5 million annually, and it creates an interesting situation for the front office.