Calgary Flames v Philadelphia Flyers

Report: 2011-12 salary cap will include $64M ceiling, $48M floor


While it’s far from official – TSN reports these numbers based on what teams and agents are being told – today’s salary cap estimates are probably leaving richer teams sighing with relief while poorer clubs are reaching for the antacids. Those reports indicate that the 2011-12 salary cap ceiling will be $64 million while the cap floor will be $48 million.

The salary cap maximum was $59.6 million for the 2010-11 season, so this would mark a $4.6 million increase in cap space. To give you a little context regarding which teams will be delighted by the move, here are the five teams with the most salary already committed to next season (according to

Note: cap numbers have been rounded to two decimals.

1. Philadelphia: $58.97 million committed
2. Calgary: $56.39M
3. Pittsburgh: $56.39M
4. Chicago: $54.29M
5. San Jose: $52.34M

While the Flyers will experience a tight squeeze as they attempt to fit Ilya Bryzgalov under their salary cap and decide what do to with Ville Leino, every half million counts. Most of those other big spending teams will look to tweak more than restructure their teams, although that might not be the case with the expensive and inefficient Flames.

On the other end of the spectrum, here are the five teams who need to spend the most money to hit the $48 million cap floor (also according to

1. Florida: $18.29 million committed
2. Carolina: $31.08M
3. Phoenix: $31.57M
4. Colorado: $32.15M
5. Winnipeg: $35.94M

As you can see, general managers from around the NHL might want to keep Panthers GM Dale Tallon on their speed dial if they’re looking to dump salary this summer. If TSN’s numbers are correct, Florida will need to add almost $30 million in salary to meet those minimum requirements. They have just 11 roster spots covered, with expensive but talented goalie Tomas Vokoun likely walking out the door.

We’ll pass along official updates whenever they come along, but don’t feel ashamed if you start imagining all the moves your favorite team(s) can make. That’s one of the few saving graces of a long, hockey-free summer.

Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”



Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?