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Current Cap Payroll: $ 58.1 million.
Cap Space: $ 11.8 million under cap.
Long-term Contracts: Jordan Staal $ 6 million through 2018-19; Eric Staal $ 8.25 million through 2015-16; Tuomo Ruutu $ 4.75 million through 2015-16; Jeff Skinner $ 5.7 million through 2018-19; Tom Gleason $ 4 million through 15-16; Cam Ward $ 6.3 million through 2015-16.
Unrestricted: Alex Semin, Chad Larose, Anthony Stewart, Tim Brent, and Tim Wallace, all eligible in 2013-14.
Restricted: Jamie McBean and Justin Faulk eligible in 2014-15.
Potential Buyout Players: Nothing pressing here, because the financial picture is mostly good; but possibly veteran defenceman Joe Corvo, who has one season left at $ 2 million and has a not trade clause in his contract.
Outlook: The Hurricanes made some big-time acquisitions in Jordan Staal and Alex Semin, with an eye of becoming a legitimate contender again. Semin is UFA eligible in 2014-15; with a current salary of $ 7 million, he will be another interesting player to watch as the Hurricanes negotiate a new deal with him under the new financial order. There are also several veterans, role players, who will be interesting to watch; Carolina, if they keep Semin as expected, will be maxed out on under-contract, high-end players. The remaining cast may be squeezed in their new deals in order to help the overall budget picture (or they may be let go). GM Jim Rutherford was wise in getting top D-man Joni Pitkanen under wraps at $ 4.5 million until 2014-15 in the former CBA. There will be plenty of cap space for the Hurricanes at that time if they want to extend him. Every other core player is under contract, which leaves Rutherford with Semin on his plate, and he has time to see how his team plays this season and next before making a decision on him.
Current Salary Payroll: $ 51.6 million.
Current Cap Payroll: $ 53.7 million.
Cap Space: $ 16.3 million under cap.
Long-term Contracts: Kris Versteeg $ 4.4 million through 2015-16; Tomas Fleischmann $ 4.5 million through 2014-15; Scottie Upshall $ 3.5 million through 2014-15; Brian Campbell $ 7.14 million through 2015-16.
Upcoming Key Free Agents
Unrestricted: Steven Weiss eligible in 2013-14; Marcel Goc and George Parros 14-15; Jose Theodore 2013-14.
Restricted: Peter Mueller, Mike Santorelli, Shawn Matthias, and Jack Skille, all eligible in 2013-14.
Potential Buyout Players: Ed Jovanovski, 35-plus years old, no trade clause, $ 4.25 million through 2014-15; Philip Kuba $ 4 million through 2014-15.
Outlook: This is a tidy roster for the most part, and well under budget for a club that proved playoff worthy last year. There are no huge, long-term contracts outside of Campbell. There is room to grow and improve, with the only tasks being decisions on the goaltending situation, and the young players coming up on RFA. This roster fits nicely into the new CBA, but the organization is considered a weak one in the NHL, and in need of the CBA’s revamped revenue sharing program, and the industry growth fund, which are designed to help stabilize money-losing franchises. Florida is constantly under the microscope as a weak-market franchise. Times are looking up again for Florida fans, especially with Canadian junior star Johnathan Huberdeau likely to make the jump to the NHL, and Roberto Luongo willing to return to south Florida to finish out his career.
Current Salary Payroll: $ 63,341 million
Current Cap Payroll: $ 63,246 million
Cap space: $ 6.2 million over cap
Long-term Contracts: Vincent Lecavalier $ 7.7 million through 2018-19; Steve Stamkos $ 7.5 million through 2015-16; Martin St. Louis $ 5.6 million through 2014-15; Ryan Malone $ 4.5 million through 2014-15; Ted Purcell $ 4.5 million through 2015-16 Matt Carle $ 5.5 million through 2017-18; Victor Hedman $ 4 million through 2016-17.
Upcoming Key Free Agents
Unrestricted: BJ Crombeen, Nate Thompson, Adam Hall, JT Wyman, all eligible in 2013-14; Dwayne Roloson (current).
Restricted: Benoit Pouliot eligible in 2013-14; Brett Connolly, Dana Tyrell, Tom Pyatt, all in 2014-15.
Potential Buyout Players: Is it time for Lecavalier to go? Or will Tampa GM Steve Yzerman keep the fan fave around and look to Sami Salo ($ 3.75 million per season through 2014-15, 35-years plus and a no-trade clause), or Mattias Ohlund ($ 3.6 million through 2014-15).
Outlook: Yzerman has several veterans coming off the books, but one in goalie Dwayne Roloson that he may want to keep around. The goaltending situation is otherwise in the hands of Mathieu Garon and Anders Lindback, and Garon is UFA after this season. Yzerman’s team is in transition, and needs to get better. The question is how? This is an aging lineup with several wonderful stars who have had great runs in Tampa, but the door is closing for the most part on the roster’s effectiveness. There is $ 58-, $ 47- and $ 32-million committed to the roster over the next three seasons. Too much money has been committed to players on the tail end of their careers. It may be time for Yzerman to seriously rework his roster for a quick turnaround — retooling around Stamkos.
Current Salary Payroll: $ 61.2 million.
Current Cap Payroll: $ 63.6 million.
Cap Space: $ 6.2 million under cap.
Long-term contracts: Alex Ovechkin $ 9.5 million through 2018-19; Nik Backstrom $ 6.7 million through 2018-19; Brooks Laich $ 4.5 million through 2016-17; Troy Brouwer $ 3.6 million through 2015-16; John Carlson $ 3.9 million through 2016-17; Mike Green $ 6.08 million through 2013-14.
Upcoming Key Free Agents
Unrestricted: Roman Hamrlik, Tom Poti, and John Erskine (all veteran defencemen) eligible in 2013-14; Mike Ribeiro also eligible in 2013-14.
RFA: Karl Alzner, Michal Neuvirth, Braden Holtby, all in 2013-14
Potential Buyout Players: Tough call here; some think Jeff Green, in part because of his frequent injuries; Ribeiro may be an easy target ($ 5 million)
Outlook: There are some huge contracts to contend with over the next several seasons — and the Caps appear to be entering a turnover phase on their blueline at the same time. Green will be an interesting case, and he will likely be extricated unless he can have a rebound seasons. The Caps, based on the number of long-term, star contracts under the previous CBA, will have to be creative in putting together shorter-term deals under the new financial order. And that creativity will start in goal, where both Neuvirth and Holtby are up for new deals next year. In the meantime, the Caps have two promising prospects in Filip Forsberg and Tom Wilson, both of whom signed entry-level contracts with a “slide risk” under the old CBA. The slide risk is based on the player turning 18 or 19, with his age calculated on Sept. 15 of the year he signed the contract. If these players do not play at least 10 NHL games, their contracts are extended an extra year. That extension climbs to two years for 18 year olds. Overall, the player’s cap hit can either increase or decrease, depending on his contract. That can mean potential additional cap hits of $ 1.4 million for Forsberg and another $ 1.3 million for Wilson, depending on how, and if, the new CBA addresses this provision from the old deal.
Current Salary Payroll: $ 54.0 million
Current Cap Payroll: $ 57.2 million
Cap Space: $ 12.7 million under cap
Long-term contracts: Evander Kane $ 5.25 million through 2017-18; Andrew Ladd $ 4.4 million through 2015-16; Dustin Byfuglien $ 5.2 million through 2015-16; Tobias Enstrom $ 3.7 million through 2017-18; Andrej Pavlec $ 3.9 million through 2016-17.
Upcoming Key Free Agents
Unrestricted: Nik Antropov, Alex Ponikarovsky, Kyle Wellwood, Antti Miettinen, and Ron Hainsey, all up in 2013-14; Mark Stuart 2014-15.
Restricted: Zach Bogosian 2013-14; entry-level contracts in Patrice Cormier and Alex Burmistrov, 2013-14; Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler, 2013-14; entry level contract of junior star Mark Scheifele (slide rule in effect) 2015-16.
Potential Buyout Players: Olli Jokinen $ 4.5 million, UFA eligible in 2014-15.
Outlook: Jets are among the league’s lowest spenders, and under the new CBA, they are well positioned to keep their RFA players under control and build for the future. But Jets fans, while ravenous for NHL hockey, share the same vision as Oiler fans: They want to see a contender come together sooner rather than later. Bogosian should see a favourable extension, and is a key building block for the future. Bogosian was sidelined 4 to 6 months with a wrist injury, and is not due to return until the end of January. Interestingly, the Jets are like the Blue Jackets in keeping all their big contracts around or under $ 5 million. The former Leafs — Antropov, Ponikarovsky, and Wellwood — should be kept in the fold on one-year deals; Antropov, though, will likely see a pay cut from his current $ 4.1 million cap hit. Jets fans had been asking about monster D-man Jacob Trouba, who starred with the gold medal winning U.S. juniors, but there appears to be no rush to sign him for this season.