NHL Teams In Salary Cap Hell: How It Can Force Them To Make Trades
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The NHL season will soon be upon us.
The teams will need to clear cap space before the season begins. There are lots of teams with massive amounts of cap space but this slideshow will focus on the teams with not only no cap space, but negative cap space. These are the teams that need to make a move before the season begins in order to get under the cap.
1. Boston Bruins
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The Bruins are in salary cap hell. Although they have around $65 million committed to players, they are only $2.5 million over the cap because there will obviously be some players playing in the minors.
Ideally, they should deal Tim Thomas or bury him in the minors. Unfortunately, he cannot be moved without his permission—but to be a backup is not what he wants. They will try to deal him or perhaps disgruntled winger Blake Wheeler, as he should bring back good prospects or picks.
Of course, after the Phil Kessel trade, Boston does not really need that.
2. Calgary Flames
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Another team slightly over the salary cap. They are $1.85 million over the cap.
What can they do to shed salary?
For starters, they can try moving parts of their defence like Robyn Regher. After all, as talented as he is, he is not worth $4 million.
They can also consider lowering the number of forwards they have, but considering last year's goal-scoring deficiencies, I would highly advise against that. They can also try to move Corey Sarich. They should just make it a straight-up salary dump, getting nothing back in return. Their defence is still solid with Bouwmeester as their No. 1.
3. Chicago Blackhawks
And I thought Montreal had short forwards
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This is the team that made going over the cap famous.
I mean, seriously, they've shed half their roster due to cap constraints.
This is a team that will still be very good for years to come, but they need to move somebody, as they are $4.321 million over the cap.
They have two ridiculous contracts in Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet. I like Huet, but they are going to lend him to another league or just demote him in order to get under the cap. The problem with this is that now they will have six or seven rookies playing who may not necessarily be ready.
They should have moved more players and acquired veterans (like Raffi Torres), but it is too late for that now. All signs point to them just getting rid of Huet.
4. New Jersey Devils
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You knew we were getting here, right?
After all the Devils did acquire Ilya Kovalchuk for a good price, now they have to move somebody else. They are $3.468 million over the salary cap. They should be trying to move players like Danius Zubrus or Brian Rolston. Both are decent players but it would take a miracle for someone to take on Rolston's contract. Not only is Rolston expensive, but at an age over 35, even if he is demoted to the minors, his cap hit is only lowered by $100,000.
They may also try to move a defenceman, but I highly doubt it, as the skill on their forward group is great, but they need the depth on defence.
As for goaltending, Martin Brodeur is not going anywhere, and there is no reason to deal a cheap and valuable asset like Johan Hedberg. So expect the Devils to deal Zubrus, or perhaps another forward or two.
5. New York Rangers
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The Rangers are $3.159 million over the cap. This one has the easiest solution of all: Put Wade Redden in the minors, then tell Glen Sather that he is no longer allowed to negotiate contracts.
That's it. You now have about $3.5 million in cap space.
I really don't know what they'll do if Redden plays himself onto the team. My guess is they would have to trade him for pennies on the dollar. But this is the best solution and almost everyone agrees. Of course, with Glen Sather, you never know.
6. Vancouver Canucks
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Vancouver is $3.648 million over the salary cap. The Canucks are just going to get rid of a defenceman or two.
Most rumours had them dealing Kevin Bieksa, but it seems unlikely now, because if they wanted him gone, they would have dealt him earlier while teams still had cap space.
They can always try to deal him for Tomas Fleischmann, but it would not get them under the cap. Regardless, this team should be able to get rid of a defenceman, or if Cody Hodgson really struts his stuff, they can get rid of a forward for some awesome prospects.