The NHL has reportedly proposed a salary cap of $60 million for the 2013-14 season. If that’s where it ends up (down from the $70.2 million mark for 2012-13) and there are no amnesty buyouts, scalpels will need to be taken to a number of rosters.
Here are 10 teams that may need serious surgery (numbers via CapGeek.com):
Vancouver Canucks ($55.4 million, 13): They won’t have Roberto Luongo’s $5.3 million hit, but signing Alex Edler could be interesting. Keith Ballard and David Booth, two Mike Gillis acquisitions, stand out in the underachiever category.
Montreal Canadiens ($60.2 million, 16): And PK Subban still doesn’t have a contract. Habs fans don’t need to be told that Scott Gomez and Tomas Kaberle account for more than $11 million of cap space.
Philadelphia Flyers ($57.5 million, 16): Will get some relief if Chris Pronger remains on IR, but then they won’t have Pronger. Bit of a double-edged sword there.
Boston Bruins ($57.4 million, 16 players): Marc Savard will likely remain on LTIR, but Tuukka Rask is a pending RFA.
Tampa Bay Lightning ($57.4 million, 15): Vincent LeCavalier, signed through 2019-20 with a $7.7 million cap hit. Not getting any younger either. Turned 32 in April.
Pittsburgh Penguins ($52.6 million, 15): Fortunately Evgeni Malkin isn’t UFA until 2014-15.
San Jose Sharks ($54.3 million, 14): Patrick Marleau’s $6.9 million hit stands out. It’s not like there haven’t been trade rumors.
Chicago Blackhawks ($57.2 million, 17): If Corey Crawford doesn’t bounce back, upgrading the goaltending could be a challenge.
Minnesota Wild ($51.1 million, 16): Dany Heatley is signed through 2013-14 for a $7.5 million hit. Any takers?
Los Angeles Kings ($49.4 million, 13): Most of their key guys are locked up, though Rob Scuderi may have to move on.
We can’t help but think there will be some sort of amnesty provision put into place that will soften the transition, but it won’t alleviate the pain altogether.