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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.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bad cap news

According to TSN, the NHL salary cap is going up by just $100,000. That's bad news for a Red Wings team that is trying to sign Marian Hossa.

TSN story

The new salary cap is $56.8 million.

By my estimation, the Wings have approx. $52.27 million committed to likely NHLers next season. Included in this figure are: 1 goalie, 7 defensemen (no Meech), and 9 forwards (including Helm).

So, the Wings have approx. $4.5 million to sign 1 back-up goalie and 4 forwards and possibly 1 other skater.

First off, I don't think you're going to get just Hossa for a $4.5 million cap hit. But let's put that aside.

If the minimum signings are made, let's figure the cap room less one forward. So a back-up goalie ($800,000) and 3 forwards at an average of ($750,000) equals $3.05 million. And I don't think you'll get four players that cheap, but let's work with that.

That leaves approx. a $1.5 million cap hit for a premium forward. No Hossa. That does leave room for possibly bringing back Hudler and Samuelsson. I'd love to see both back.

But there's no way Hossa can fit. Even if he signed for a $3 million cap hit, that would leave an average of $375,000 for the other four players, which is well under the salary minimum.


Anonymous Doublejack said...

That's a good analysis, Bruce. However, there is still a way to work Hossa into the roster at a reasonable salary. Specifically that solution is to trade one or more players.

Take Filppula for example. If we add the $1.5M in cap space from your analysis to the $3M cap hit Filppula represents, that might be enough money to sign Hossa. Maybe Hossa won't go for such a low offer, but then again he might.

Another way to save some additional cap space is by moving Lilja, and keeping Meech instead.

Further, Holland can "hide" some salary by use of LTI exemptions. Rafalski, with his ruptured disc, could start next season on LTIR. Lilja could also be out. It would make juggling the roster very difficult, but there might be a way to work it out.

I'm not convinced that the cap staying flat means Hossa is gone. Holland still has options to weigh.

June 26, 2009 at 4:19 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Hey doublejack. Agreed about the trade point. If a trade is made, cap space could be freed up for Hossa.

I don't think they'd trade Filppula to make room though. Or any of the other guys that are making $2.5 million or more. Cleary has a no-trade. Kronwall, Stuart, Datsyuk, Z, Mule ... I think they want to keep them all. But you're right, a trade of one of them would free up space for Hossa.

I'm not sure that Lilja for Meech would gain enough ground on its own ($767,000) to sign Hossa, but I get your point is that it would help out. But I don't think they want Meech on the ice instead of Lilja.

And I don't get the LTIR plan. At some point, Rafalski, Lilja and whoever would come back to play, right? So isn't that just deferring the problem for a few months?

June 26, 2009 at 5:24 PM 
Anonymous CaptNorris5 said...

Thank you Bruce.

I feel like a lot of journalists are making fans feel like there is a reasonable chance at signing hossa just to generate news. The math has been pretty stark for some time, and you've provided an outstanding analysis. Hossa is very very very unlikely to don the winged wheel next year. Best of luck to him, but hopefully he goes without that cup he's been chasing a few more years so the Wings bring it back to Hockeytown.

June 26, 2009 at 8:44 PM 
Blogger Farouk said...

Given that we're paying a little over $20M on our top 4 D, having Lilja at 1.25M on our 3rd pair with a $900K D in Ericsson seems a bit steep.

Howard's cap hit is $714K and Kopecky can take up one of the vacant forward spots for around $500K-$600K.

We're not trading Draper and no matter what happens, his contract is on the book due to his age. Maltby would save us $883K off the cap.

Even if we managed to get Hossa under the cap, it's tough to run a team when you're utilizing 100% of your cap space all season long.

It's too bad. I really liked having Hoss on the team.

June 26, 2009 at 11:30 PM 

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