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07-16-2006, 02:19 PM
Blind Gardien
nexus of the crisis
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
You're assuming I'm referring to Fedorov/Sykora type of players when I'm not.

I haven't looked around the league enough, but I do know a handful of teams are close to the cap with a few RFAs left to sign.

Take NJ for example. They're sitting at $42.5 million, without having signed Gionta, Gomez (going to arbitration), Paul Martin and David Hale. Martin, Gionta and Gomez are all due for good healthy raises; the latter two more than the former.
Well, fwiw (which I don't expect to be much) I have looked at all the teams. Strangely enough (it surprises even me) I think the vast majority of NHL teams have managed their new cap space exceedingly well, and if the music stopped today, there would only be NJ in trouble, just as you described in detail. (Even taking the remaining RFA's into account).

Of course, I'm not sure if the music is going to stop just yet. There are still a scattered few UFAs around, and I wouldn't be stunned to see a few teams that are projected to be "ok" today suddenly make a blind plunge on a Sykora or Rucinsky or Carter or whatever. But who knows. If Pittsburgh just signs all these guys, it will all balance nicely.

And even then, when it comes to any team that does put itself into a NJ-like situation... or NJ themselves... what are they going to do? Give us Gionta or Gomez? Or are they going to pay some below-the-floor team like Pittsburgh a nice draft pick to take Mogilny or Malakhov off their payroll? Dump Gomez... or give up a 2nd to wave goodbye to the albatross... hmmm. Shouldn't be a tough call, should it? In short, I imagine the players who ultimately do get dumped as a result of the salary situations actually will be the Fedorov/Sykora types (or worse), not the actually good players you are thinking of.

But it's all just a theory, of course.

I do see some potential for teams dropping impending-UFA mega-big-salaries during the season if it looks like their teams are floundering. Mats Sundin or Markus Naslund might be a couple of such candidates. (Somebody else's doomsday if it comes to that, of course, but it could happen.) But that breaking point for such players probably won't be reached until the trade deadline, and by then there's only $2M or less left on even their gargantuan deals, which we should be in a position to take on, even with our current default $42M payroll.

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