Cap Crunch: Budgeting a Stanley Cup Winner In The New NHL

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Cap Crunch: Budgeting a Stanley Cup Winner In The New NHL
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

For teams in the National Hockey League, building a contender can take a lot out of you. With a scant $59.4 million to spend and players asking for larger contracts, it is hard to fathom creating a dynasty any more.

In fact, the last time anyone was given such a title was when the New Jersey Devils won three Stanley Cups in nine years. That’s right, the last NHL dynasty didn’t even include back-to-back championships.

Sure, the Red Wings would also be a factor, yet both are better examples for sustainable success under the cap.

If you’re in a pinch, under the gun, or strapped for cash, creating an NHL champion can be more than a headache with less than $60 million to spend, lowest of any professional league.

All that said, it isn’t inconceivable. In fact, I’m willing to wager that you could build on a budget of just $41.2 million (the current league low, belonging to the Atlanta Thrashers) and become a Stanley Cup winner.

Don’t believe me? Then let us have a look at each NHL franchise, building 18 skaters and two goalies into a low-budget powerhouse. In the interest of fairness, any players set to become restricted free agents have been disqualified.

However, if they were signed as restricted and are soon-to-be UFA’s, they are eligible. Taking into account what they’ll make just this year and their current standings, these are the players you make room for under your cap.

Before we start, however, a big thank you goes to for in-depth salary statistics on all 30 NHL teams. If you’ve ever been interested in the mathematics behind the cap, check it out.

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