Wednesday, July 05, 2006

c-c-c-c-cap problems

You think the Oilers have problems?

The New Jersey Devils have 44.5 million in salaries commited already including 9M or so for three players who finished last year off their roster - Mogilny, Malakhov and McGillis. They have 17 players signed. Still unsigned - Gomez, Gionta, David Hale, Paul Martin.

Philadelphia has 33 million in salaries tied up and still have to sign Gagne, Niitymaki, Umberger, Pitkanen and Radivoyevic

Boston has 34 million committed to twelve players and have to resign Bergeron, Boyes and Tanabe.

San Jose has 30 million committed to fifteen players and still have to resign Ehrloff, Goc, Rissmiller, Mark Smith and Nolan Schaeffer.

Tampa has 39 million committed to 16 players and still have to worry about Cory Sarich and Fedotenko.

Buffalo has 8 million committed to 4 players. Everyone else on their roster is an RFA.

Now, does anyone out there think that Kevin Lowe may be able to pick up a defenceman or two from one of these teams (and these are only the teams I looked at) and at minimal cost, that is a prospect, pick or someone like Bergeron. And, is this not a better option then signing Jay McKee for 4M a year or Jaro Spacek (32 years old) for 4 years at 3.5 or something?

Now, there is nobody Philly will be trying to dump that I want, really, and San Jose is not in too bad of shape, but Jersey? Wouldn't Rafalski look good patrolling the Oilers' blueline? How about Cory Sarich? Brad Stuart? Rumour de jour Ehrloff? Hannan? MacLaren? Hale? Martin? Lydman?

You may scoff but for some, if not all of these teams, something has to give.

I think things will be ok.


namflashback said...

i think you are right about this opportunity, but wouldn't these team's want a roster or roster-ready player in return? they can dump the salary to Lowe, but then they they are short another player.

If it all works as you predict, there will be many teams icing lots of cheap rookies on opening day and/or alot of very decent RFA's getting liberated.

What choice would they have?

This may be far more interesting to watch than the UFA stupidity.

namflashback said...

holy cap, I was just looking at NJ stats -- Gomez would have to be in Tanguay/Jokinnen(sigh Horcoff) contract territory >=5M. Gionta, being younger and such would still be Daniel Sedin territory.

That's 7 - 9 Million required to get these two on a very conservative basis.

My guess is that Paul Martin and Pitkanen are in the 2.5 M range AT LEAST. Lou just blew way over. He is either going to lose 1/3 of his top line, his #2 or #3 defenceman

So, do you do this gentlemanly:
1. - you call Clarke and Lou and propose how you can help, and not rape them
1.a.- you could do it on offer sheet OR
1.b.- let the home team negotiate the RFA deal and you get what they negotiate

2. Or you swoop in run them via offer sheet anyway. It opens up the potential for retaliation in the future, but it looks like the GM's and Agents are being mercenary enough anyway. Benefit is that you lose no roster player yourself.

My guess is they go with strategy 1.b. That's what I would do.
- Stoll@$2M for Gomez@$5
- MAB@$.8M for Martin@$2.25M

Our C depth is then:

Our D is then:
UFA (Tarnstrom)

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I like the way you think definitely.

Agreed on the method too - I know a lot of people are hot and heavy to offer RFAs contracts and it is a legal way of doing things but something like that will come back and bite you in the ass big time the minute that team has room and you have an attractive young RFA.

Jersey is the easy target. Having to sign those four guys plus two more for filler, they will be probably be high 50s when all is said and done.

And being in that difficulty Lou may not even want a player back - picks or prospects suits him better - MAB and Stoll are 2M too much.

But then you can move Stoll elsewhere for another Dman.

Andy said...

While any team will retaliate if you sign an RFA, I don't think that it would ever really hurt the Oilers because I don't ever see them finding the top range of the cap for more than a few days at any given time. I would think that the Oilers would only have a high payroll around the trade deadline. My point being that even if another team made an offer to one of our RFAs, the Oilers would almost all ways be able to match and trade.

Swabbubba said...

This may the Oilers saving grace. Or they may be asking big guys at the door can ya skate backwards... The GM's are proving to be there own worse enemies again. Just a question can they defer salary? I think they do that in the NFL but I am no accountant so just putting that out there?

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

andy - that's a good point - my worry would be that the Oilers would have a youngster (an Eric Staal type) who they could pay 3 or 4M if they negotiated a contract for and then have some team come in and give him a 6 or 7 M offer - we would not want to trade such a player and we could afford the extra 2 or 3M but that's two or three million we would not have to spend - I guess its risk/reward thing - I'd be pretty conservative as a GM, I think, at least in that area

swabbubba - I'm not an expert on the CBA but I think the answer is no - Colorado had some weird deals with Sakic and Blake where their contracts had a bonus structure that actually counts against this year to the tune of about 5M - I think the cap number is the average salary - so for example they can structure a deal like Roloson's so he has 4M this year and next and 3M in the third year to fit their budget but its the average that counts against the cap so 3.66 or whatever.

I think if they deferred payments (and I'm thinking they may not be able to) it would still be the actual contract that the amount would be calculated from

Robert Cleave said...

The Blake and Sakic stuff was under the old CBA. No more. All the money is inside the years of the deal, averaged for cap purposes.

As for the idea of targetting RFA's, this is an area where the NHL GMs should look at the NBA. Sign and trade deals deal happen all the time. As was descibed above, letting a rival GM know that they can get a deal done for a RFA or take the standard compensation might focus the mind of some of the more cap-pressed GMs. That said, the NBA isn't quite as chummy in the upper management levels as the NHL, so they consider a move like that as part of the business. Some NHL GMs give the impression that offer sheets are a personal affront.

namflashback said...

with the cap in place, an RFA offer sheet is a tool that establishes the chosen compensation. I think it can be done in a pretty gentlemanly way now.

"Lou, i need some defensive depth and i see you have a cap problem." Can you sign Paul Martin then we trade? Or, we will go ahead and put in a offer sheet -- you get the picks and don't match. OK, thanks for doing business Lou."

Lou has very little leverage if he wants to keep both of Gomez and Gionta.