As the July 1 Free Agency period is quickly approaching, we continue our look at the current cap status of each team, and breakdown what they have, or don't have in terms of room to maneuver this off-season.
Next up: the Western Conference finalists.
San Jose Sharks
Roster players under contract for 2010-2011*
Dany Heatley $7.5m, Joe Thornton $7.2m, Ryane Clowe $3.625m, Torrey Mitchell $1.366m, Logan Couture $1.241m, Jamie McGinn $996k
Dan Boyle $6.666m, Marc-Edouard Vlasic $3.1m, Douglas Murray $2.5m, Kent Huskins $1.7m, Jason Demers $543k
Thomas Greiss $550k
Roster Players Under Contract: 12
2010-2011 Cap: $56,800,000
2010-2011 Payroll: $36,990,000
Cap Space: $20,525,000
Non-Roster players under contract
James Marcou $900k, Benn Ferriero $850k, Kevin Henderson $720k, Brandon Mashinter $719k, Tommy Wingels $687k, Marek Viedensky $600k, Tony Lucia $562k, John McCarthy $550k, Frazer McLaren $543k, T.J. Trevelyan $500k
Nick Petrecki $1.125m, Taylor Doherty $900k, Matt Irwin $900k, Justin Braun $875k, Nick Schaus $600k, Joe Loprieno $540k, Mike Moore $512k
Tyson Sexsmith $1.005m, Alex Stalock $850k, Harri Sateri $679k, Carter Hutton $560k, Thomas Heemskerk $530k
Patrick Marleau, F $6.3m, Evgeni Nabokov, G $5.4m, Rob Blake, D $4.0m, Niclas Wallin, D $1.7m, Scott Nichol, F $800k, Manny Malhotra, F $700k, Ryan Vesce, F $600k, Jed Ortmeyer, F $600k, Danny Groulx, D $500k, Joe Callahan, D $500k, Frank Doyle, G $500k, Dwight Helminen, F $500k, Jay Leach, D $500k
Joe Pavelski, F $1.6m, Henrik Karlsson, G $1.3m, Devin Setoguchi, F $1.2m, Cameron MacIntyre, F $900k, Matthew Jones, F $900k, Steven Zalewski, F $700k, Daniel Rahimi, D $600k, Andrew Desjardins, F $500k, Derek Joslin, D $500k, Brad Staubitz, F $500k
The Sharks have $20 million to spend, but are in need of quite a few players. Rob Blake will announce his retirement shortly, so he will not be back. The looming question will be what will the Sharks do regarding two San Jose mainstays: Marleau and Nabokov. The two of them counted $11.7m against the cap last season. Marleau had one of his best seasons and Nabokov took them to the Conference Final. What will their recent success cost the Sharks to retain them?
San Jose will no doubt like to bring back forwards Nichol and Malhotra. Both were very low cost, versatile forwards, who were absolutely phenomenal in the face off circle. Of their RFAs, Pavelski and Setoguchi have to be brought back. Pavelski will command a significant pay raise based on his playoff heroics. Wrapping up these four, at a reasonable rate, will solidify the forward spots, and may even allow the Sharks to let Marleau walk away from the team he once captained.
The team could then use the saved cap space to re-sign Nabokov, and pursue a top quality blueliner to replace Blake... say a Dan Hamhuis, Paul Martin, or a shutdown type such as Volchenkov, Willie Mitchell or Michalek.
Much of their strategy will be based on how they value Thomas Greiss versus Nabokov. Is Greiss a worthy replacement, or just a good backup? The Sharks have loads of goaltenders in the system. Most of them have fantastic names. Even if their play isn't up to par, who wouldn't want to sport a "Sexsmith" or "Heemskerk" sweater as a Sharks fan?
This is a critical off-season for San Jose. They could take that final leap forward and go all the way, or fall from the elite in the West.
* all cap numbers provided by www.capgeek.com