The cap for next season is most likely going to stay the same but for 2010-2011 i heard it will go down to 49-50 million which would be a drop of 6 to 7 million but not to teh 46 million dollar level which wa soriginally suggested
Compare this to the Leafs $18.7M for 6 players and from a cap perspective we are looking pretty good.
And if Kabs is gone, then it is roughly 14.5M (keep in mind we will be adding players/payraises).
If the cap drops this drastically a very interesting situation could arise for the leafs. A situation where the buying teams like the leafs trying to aquire talent will be able to get a bargain, because the urgent salary dumps of the "sellers" will be such a necessity that you will be paying a premium to "sell" your players as opposed to the opposite being true at trade deadlines.
Don't flame this, I am just being hypothetical, but you could see deals like Elias and a pick for Hagman. The rationale for it would be to shed 3M in salary immediately, but still get back scoring winger back. The leafs would do it for the upgrade and maybe "steal" a pick for their trouble. I don't know, just throwing it out there.
There is a term for this phenomenon you are describing and it is cap-maggeddon. It has been coined by me, and to date, used by only me (I'm seeing a few others use it now) but you are all welcome to use it. It is the time when the supply of talent will be greater than the demand. Where you are wrong is in the timing, as it will become evident around the draft, although we will see some minor signs of it at the deadline.
Once the salary cap for next year is announced, teams will be desperate to shed themselves of salary, as teams will be dangerously close to the upper limit. Teams like the Flyers, Rangers, Tampa and Senators will have so much money tied up, they won't have room to manoevre and get better. You will see good players on waivers only because of their salary. The top end guys will still get the best deals, but the mid-range guys will be sitting around waiting for an offer, that never comes. They will have to take 1 year deals and much lower slaries. We already see that somewhat for mid-range guys.
Teams with cap room can get lots of talent, as there will be so few teams looking to free agency to fill holes, and they can get higher priced, mid-high range talent for cheap (asset wise, not salary wise.) by way of trade. Teams like Montreal, Anaheim and Vancouver will be in a really good place as they have such little money accounted for next year. Toronto might actually be in a good place as they have so few UFA's and are well under the cap in terms of commitment for next year. They could add 2-3 guys at reduced deals due to demand.
At the point this happens, I think the UFA route will work best, because trading Hagman for Elias for example, you are creating a top heavy salary structure, which is the reason these teams will be in trouble. Imagine the cost of RFA's from teams like Philly and the Rangers? Almost nothing as they will not be able to match, and the demand for UFA's will be so low, they will get 1/2 of what they are getting now, and the mid-lower end guys will get leaqgue minimum salaries. This is why Jeff Finger's contract is so bad, as you might get 2 or 3 better players for the same salary he gets.
I wonder if we'll see (depending on how many roster players are moved out) if Burke just brings in one year stop-gaps for next season..
Players he can sign for a year, and ship out at the deadline to re-stock.
I suggested we do that last year. Guys like what Tampa did with Rechi and Roberts. Obviously, Roberts didn't work. But a small return for players like Rechi would be good. Haven't gone over the UFA list to see who would be likely candidates for this though