Blogs > Red Wings Corner

Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Salary cap estimations

So TSN is reporting that Zetterberg's deal is less of a cap hit than initially expected. Booth Newspapers and TSN are both listing the deal as being for 12 years worth slightly more than $72 million. Although that's the most total money that the Red Wings have ever paid for one player's contract (that would change if Hank's deal was ever bought out), it's still an amazing bargain and one that other GMs will likely be jealous of.

A cap hit of slightly more than $6 million for Zetterberg is remarkable. Had he gone free agent, you could expect Zetterberg to get $8-10 million for a shorter deal.

So where does this leave the Red Wings?

Before the Zetterberg deal, the Wings had 14 players under contract for next season -- six forwards, seven defensemen and one goalie -- for a total of $41.1667 million. Let's pencil Zetterberg in at $6.1 million for a cap hit to err on the cautious side. (I still can't believe they got him that cheap.) That puts the Wings at $47.567 million with 15 players signed.

Here's the position list that the team still needs to sign ... one backup goalie, no defensemen, four forwards. That's a minimum because it brings the roster size to just 22 players - one short of the maximum -- the number that the team is carrying this winter.

Let's plug in the same cap maximum as this season -- $56.7 million. With Z under contract, the Wings have a total of $9.133 million to sign those five players. You can pencil in $750,000 or so for a backup goalie. If you plug in $800,000, the Wings have $8.333 million remaining for four forwards.

Although seven defensemen currently on the team are under contract, there will still have to be decisions made next fall. Jonathan Ericsson will likely make the roster. Chris Chelios could retire. To make room for Ericsson, let's plug in his $900,000 salary. That means that either Derek Meech will be gone or he'll be kept in the role of eighth D/spare forward. Either way, let's plug in $483,333 for Meech's salary or an 11th forward.

So that brings the cap room left to $6.950 million and the team would still need to sign three forwards. Of course, this is assuming no cap reduction and no cap raise.

Take out $500,000 for a minimum-wage forward and that $6.450 million to squeeze in a couple of difference-makers. Jiri Hudler and Johan Franzen could conceivably sign for that as a combined figure, especially with Zetterberg coming in so low. If Marian Hossa signs for just over $6 million, the Wings would have to jettison hopes of signing Hudler and Franzen.

And in all of this, Mikael Samuelsson hasn't been mentioned. He's going to come in at least around $1.2 million. So if Franzen signs for a lot, Samuelsson could be the other signee if Hudler can't fit under the cap.

Who knows how this will play out. There are other options such as trades and buying out current contracts. My guess is that Franzen will be the next option. (Trust me, I'd love for the numbers to work out to keep Hossa.) With Valtteri Filppula at $3 million, Dan Cleary at $2.8 million and Niklas Kronwall at $3 million, perhaps the team could get Franzen in at an approximate cap hit of $3 million. That would leave $3.95 million to sign both Hudler and Samuelsson (or comparable players), which could happen.

If the Wings go the Hossa route, without a guaranteed cap increase, it looks like they'd have to get him for $1 million pay decrease, then sign two minimum-wage forwards.


Blogger Rob said...

Wow, I was expecting a few lines of comment and got a whole post instead. Thanks Bruce!

January 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very expensive deal for the wings. Without Datsyuk, Zetterberg looks ordinary, his play is not even a point per game and he is drawing the second line on most nights. He is a 4-5 mil player. This deal will ruin the wings. Look at all the other teams with two forwards earning big dollars. Not to mention team chemistry. this is a very bad deal. It will take some time for most people to realize it. I however realize the ramifications immediatly. Your salary cap estimations are totally wrong also. Look at escrow rising to 25 percent. That says the salary cap will drop to 50 mil next season and probably 45 mil after that.

January 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand why one would think that Zetterberg might be "ordinary" without Datsyuk. However, Zetterberg's strengths are as much without the puck as they are with. Remember when Yzerman changed his game to become a solid two-way player that was dangerous on both ends? That's what Zetterberg brings. With Lidstrom nearing retirement, Zetterberg is the heir-apparent to being the core of this team. And for $6 Million, that's a steal.

January 28, 2009 at 2:07 PM 
Blogger Tek Jansen said...

Zetterberg does average a point a game.

If they could keep Hossa, I'm confident in both Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader's abilities. Helm proved himself in the playoffs, and Abdelkader has been very good for a rookie out of college in the AHL.

January 28, 2009 at 3:32 PM 
Anonymous Hannibal said...

It might not be such a bad idea to trade Filppula. They said last year that some teams were asking about him and the Wings refused. At $3 Million per year, he's arguably the most overpaid player. If they can get something good in return and make some cap room in the meantime, then they should do it.

If it's a choice between Hossa and Franzen, then let Hossa go. We won a cup without Hossa.

January 29, 2009 at 9:34 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a great signing. Is there any way to renegotiate with Osgood so we can sign Conklin long term?

Also, could there possibly be a trade, maybe Filppula to free up some more cap space.

January 29, 2009 at 10:21 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home