Free Agent Frenzy Plundering
Normally this time of year (especially with the craziness of the 2014 NHL Opening Day of Free Agency) trades are many and varied. Instead of inundating you with yet another Free Agent related article I’m going to take a different approach. Plundering. As in pirates plundering what could be buried treasure amongst the ranks of the NHL elite. Some teams leave enough space under the cap (say four or more million dollars) for worst case injury scenarios or things like that. Makes sense, right?
However, we’re going to look at the teams that have less than four million dollars left under the salary cap (based on data from CapGeek.com) after day 2 of the Free Agent Frenzy and are ripe for the picking by other GM’s in the league because of their salary cap situation or may want to sign a player and take the leverage away from GM’s who cornered themselves, cap wise.
Philadelphia – $2,486,429 OVER the cap
A team that is known as much as for their ineptitude with player contract signings over the years (three goaltenders on the roster at one point and the signing of Bryzgalov). Taking Chris Pronger’s $4,941,429 contract into consideration here, the Flyers need to make a huge trade here to not only get under the cap but have room to breathe under the cap. Seeing how they’re probably stuck with Claude Giroux’s $8 million contract until 2022, players ripe for plundering that could help teams are R.J. Umberger (Three years left at $4.6 million per with a no movement/trade clause), Jakub Voracek (2 years left at $4.2 million per), Brayden Schenn (2 years left at $2.5 million per), Braydon Coburn (2 years left at $4.5 million per with a no movement/trade clause), or Luke Schenn (2 years left at $4.5 million per with a no movement/trade clause) all could help get the team under the cap.
Chicago – $2,216,795 OVER the cap
Chicago is going to have to make some moves not only because they’re over the cap but they only have $24 million cap space for next season with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Johnny Oduya, and Michal Rozsival all due to become free agents at the end of this coming season which are all great suggestions for plundering!
Washington – $1,113,205 UNDER the cap
New Capitals GM Brian MacLellan started his first Free Agent Frenzy day by displaying awesome Mike Milbury-like signings doling out $67.75 million worth of contracts to two players. Nine players have expiring contracts after this season including defenseman Mike Green. If MacLellan plans on keeping Green as he stated something has to give. Teams looking for expiring contracts or want to take a gamble on one of the Capitals long contracts may want to look here for a gem. Players to target – F Brooks Laich (3 years left at $4.5 million per with a No Movement/Trade clause), D Mike Green (1 year left at $6 million with a No Movement/Trade clause), D John Carlson (4 years left at $3.9 million per), C Marcus Johansson (1 year left at $2 million – RFA), or F Troy Brouwer (2 years left at $3.6 million per with a No Movement/Trade clause).
Boston – $1,640,857 UNDER the cap
The team that everyone wants to be like have lots of expiring contracts within the next year or two and still have players they need to sign before camp. Something has to give. The problem? 11 key players have no movement /trade clauses which makes trading that much more difficult. The problem is who would Boston part with? Players to target – F Davic Krejci (1 year left at $5.2 million with a no movement/trade clause), D Johnny Boychuk (1 year left at $3.4 million with a no movement/trade clause), F Loui Eriksson (2 years left at $4.2 million with a no movement/trade clause).
Tampa Bay – $2,131,698 UNDER the cap
This is an interesting scenario where their roster is stoked with youth that I’m pretty sure that GM Steve Yzerman isn’t going to want to get rid of. – Players to target – D Victor Hedman (4 years left at 4 million per), F Ondrej Palat (3 years left at $3.3 million per –RFA)
Los Angeles – $2,208,106 UNDER the cap
The reigning Stanley Cup Champions. With the exception of F Mike Richards, no one on the roster has a No Movement/Trade clause. – Players to target – Jeez just close your eyes and point at a name on the roster. This is a plundering GM’s dream!