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.

Devils’ fun run of wins opens Jacques Lemaire’s mind to return next season

Breaking news: winning is fun.

Such a concept isn’t even lost on New Jersey Devils coach Jacques Lemaire, a bench boss often associated (fairly or not) with the fun-killing neutral zone trap. Earlier this season, the bright strategist reportedly stamped out any notion that he might return to coach the team next year. Yet with the undoubted fun that most come with winning often (the Devils are 9-1-2 in their last 12 games), Lemaire left the door to another season open just a crack.

Simply enough, Lemaire said he’ll discuss next season after this one concludes. Such a coy response might be almost as frustrating as it must have been to play against Lemaire’s late-90s teams once they earned a one-goal lead, but the 65-year-old former NHL player has earned the right to call his own shots.

To some extent, it seems like the Devils’ resurgence might not accomplish much beyond ruining their first chance at a top five draft pick in ages. Then again, New Jersey isn’t completely out of the playoff picture just yet, trailing the Carolina Hurricanes by 16 points with 29 games left.

Let’s make this much clear: there’s little doubt the team is marching back toward respectability with Lemaire. If he can manage an almost unthinkable run to the playoffs, it would be hard to deny him a Jack Adams award. Either way, the Devils will likely want him back in 2011-12.