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 CapGeek.com).
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 CapGeek.com).
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.