The legions of people who play fantasy hockey makes one thing clear: deep down, a lot of people wish that they could run an NHL team. Or at least think they want to run a hockey club.
Of course, the actual job is a lot more complicated than swindling your hockey-newbie friends into making bad trades. (Go ahead, make your requisite Glen Sather/other frequently mocked general manager quips.)
One of the things that can be a little tricky is accounting for the fact that players’ cap hits are pro-rated to account for the fact that they’ve already played a big chunk of the 2010-11 season. That can make armchair GMing very difficult, but NHL Fanhouse provided this handy cheat sheet of players who might be trade bait and what kind of cap hit they’ll carry with them.
Note: I highlighted some of the players who I think might be the biggest trade targets.
Now, keep in mind that Adam Gretz put that list together based on teams in a tough spot playoff-wise and also players with expiring contracts. There might be some other players who could be trade targets who still have some years remaining on their deals, such as Ales Hemsky in Edmonton.
Gretz also pointed out that CapGeek.com provides estimates of what each NHL teams’ cap space will look like on the trade deadline day, February 28th. Here’s a quick-and-dirty list of what the teams’ cap space will look like, from highest to lowest amount of space.
(Note: Obviously, trades can make this list subject to change. This list is according to rosters listed on February 14, 2011 at noon ET. All amounts are in millions, unless noted with a K for thousands. Also note that figures have been rounded up or down to two digits.)
Team Cap Space
St. Louis $13.33
Tampa Bay $10.31
Los Angeles $4.14
San Jose $568K
New Jersey 0