NHL Free Agency: How Much Room Each Team Has to Maneuver Under the Salary Cap
The NHL implemented a salary cap following the lockout of the 2003-2004 season. The cap often fluctuates from year to year, but in general certain teams have become known for spending right up to the limit, while others struggle to meet the minimum requirements set forth by the NHL.
As the dust settles on another wild offseason, it's good to take a look at where each team stands in terms of salary cap space. A few teams have to shed salary to get under the cap, and others still need reach the floor.
Here is where each team stands with just a few weeks before training camp opens up. The salary cap for the upcoming season is $68.4 million, and the floor is $48.3 million. All figures come courtesy of capgeek.com
Cap Space: $10,033,667
The Ducks have plenty of cap space to re-sign Teemu Selanne if he decides to play another season.
Cap Space: $7,617,024
The Boston Bruins are currently in contract talks with restricted free agent Brad Marchand. They shouldn't have trouble fitting him under the cap.
Cap Space: - $3,595,357
The Buffalo Sabres are one of the teams that will have to find a way to move some money around to be cap compliant before the start of the season. It was a busy offseason of spending for the team.
Cap Space: $3,631,666
The Calgary Flames are dealing with a lot of overpriced contracts from the past regime. Jay Feaster has a bit of house cleaning to do, but the Flames still rest comfortably under the salary cap.
Cap Space: $14,525,000
Even after dropping a solid amount of coin on Tomas Kaberle and Joni Pitkanen, the Carolina Hurricanes are still well under the cap for the upcoming season.
Cap Space: $3,415,706
After the mess of a salary cap situation the Blackhawks dealt with last offseason, the team seems to have the situation under control a year later.
Cap Space: $15,866,666
Typical of a team in rebuilding mode, the Colorado Avalanche are just above the salary floor.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Cap Space: $4,326,024
The Columbus Blue Jackets spent more money this offseason than they ever have, and they still sit at over $4 million under the cap.
Cap Space: $14,395,000
Anyone who thinks cap space factored into Brad Richards not re-signing with the Stars just needs to take one look at the figure above.
Detroit Red Wings
Cap Space: $5,845,455
The Detroit Red Wings run one of the best hockey operations in the entire league, so it's no surprise that they are in an ideal cap situation.
Cap Space: $7,165,000
The Edmonton Oilers are rebuilding with young, cheap players to go with a few pricey veterans. That bodes well for their salary cap situation.
Cap Space: $14,477,958
The Florida Panthers spent an outrageous amount of money this offseason and still barely got themselves above the cap floor.
Los Angeles Kings
Cap Space: $9,343,690
The L.A. Kings have plenty of cap space, but how much of it will they want to use on Drew Doughty's new contract?
Cap Space: $9,494,222
Despite taking on Dany Heatley's big contract this offseason, the Minnesota Wild still have roughly $9.5 million under the cap.
Cap Space: $3,979,490
The Montreal Canadiens were unable to re-sign some of their top free agents this offseason due to the lack of cap space available to them.
Cap Space: $14,200,000
Imagine how good the Nashville Predators could be if they actually spent some money.
New Jersey Devils
Cap Space: $5,293,333
The Devils had to re-sign Zach Parise this offseason, which took up a solid chunk of the salary cap.
New York Islanders
Cap Space: $15,534,834
The Islanders have tons of cap space, but unfortunately, it's a new arena the team really needs.
New York Rangers
Cap Space: $1,364,666
The Rangers budgeted things out nicely for Brad Richards this offseason. They sit just barely beneath the salary cap.
Cap Space: $12,454,166
The Ottawa Senators are in complete rebuilding mode and have tons of cap space. However, they still may look to shed some of the salary on their blue line before the season starts.
Cap Space: $175,239
In typical Flyers' fashion, the team is left with less than a million dollars to spare just before the drop of the first puck this fall.
Cap Space: $13,356,250
Cap space is the least of Phoenix's worries right now. Finding a way to keep the team in town is a bit more pressing.
Cap Space: $1,562,500
The Pittsburgh Penguins are another strong hockey market that loves to spend right up to the cap.
San Jose Sharks
Cap Space: $3,255,000
The San Jose Sharks were forced to deal Dany Heatley's contract to make some cap room for a new-look defense.
St. Louis Blues
Cap Space: $12,395,834
Once the St. Louis Blues secure new ownership, they will undoubtedly start spending some of the $12 million in cap space that they have.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Cap Space: $3,933,917
Re-signing Steven Stamkos to a big-time contract certainly put a dent in Tampa Bay's payroll, but letting Stamkos go would have been a disastrous move.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Cap Space: $5,785,000
Brian Burke knows how to manage a hockey team and appears to have had another efficient and progressive offseason in Toronto.
Cap Space: $2,326,667
The Vancouver Canucks were able to keep most of the core intact, but a few key contributors, including Christian Ehrhoff, were casualties of the salary cap restrictions.
Cap Space: -$890,128
The Washington Capitals have a very minimal amount of salary to trim before opening night.
Cap Space: $16,015,834
The Winnipeg Jets will actually have to spend some money in order to reach the cap floor before the start of their season.