Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Countdown to July 1: NHL Salary Cap Numbers- Washington Capitals


As the July 1 Free Agency period is quickly approaching, let's take a 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.

We continue with the Presidents Trophy winners.

Washington Capitals

Roster players under contract for 2010-2011*

Forwards:
Alexander Ovechkin $9.538m, Nicklas Backstrom $6.7m, Alexander Semin $6.0m, Mike Knuble $2.8m, Brooks Laich $2.066m, Jason Chimera $1.875m, Dave Steckel $1.1m, Matt Bradley $1.0m

Defensemen:
Mike Green $5.25m, Tom Poti $3.5m, John Erskine $1.25m, John Carlson $845k, Tyler Sloan $700k

Goaltenders:
Simeon Varlamov $821k

Roster Players Under Contract: 14
2010-2011 Cap: $56,800,000
2010-2011 Payroll: $43,447,628

Cap Space: $13,352,372

Non-Roster players under contract

Forwards:

Michael Nylander $4.875, Marcus Johansson $900k, Anton Gustafsson $875k, Trevor Bruess $875k, Dmitry Kugryshev $875k, Francois Bouchard $850k, Mathieu Perreault $716k, Cody Eakin $683k, Stefan Della Rovere $588k, Steve Pinizzotto $537k, Keith Aucoin $512k

Defensemen:
Karl Alzner $1.675m, Joe Finley $850k, Josh Godfrey $845k, Sean Collins $650k, Dustin Stevenson $570k, Jake Hauswirth $545k

Goaltenders:
Michal Neuvirth $821k, Braden Holtby $725k


UFAs
Jose Theodore, G $4.5m, Joe Corvo, D $2.6m, Scott Walker, F $2.5m, Shaone Morrison, D $1.5m, Eric Belanger, F $1.8m, Brendan Morrison, F $1.5m, Milan Jurcina, D $1.4m, Kyle Wilson, F $500k, Boyd Kane $500k, Quintin Laing, F $500k, Alexandre Giroux, F $500k

RFAs
Zach Miskovic, D $900k, Jay Beagle, F $900k, Eric Fehr, F $800k, Boyd Gordon, F $800k, Tomas Fleischmann, F $700k, Jeff Schultz, D $700k, Andrew Gordon, F $600k, Chris Bourque, F $600k, Patrick McNeill, D $500k

Analysis:
The Capitals are an interesting team to watch this off-season.  After a dream regular season, we all watched in amazement as the were dispatched in Round One by the Montreal Canadiens.


At first glace the Caps would appear to have a significant amount of cap space ($13m+); however, when you consider that they are in need of a goaltender, two defensemen and four or five forwards... seven or eight players in total, it doesn't seem like much room.


Washington is likely to make defenseman Karl Alzner and goalie Michal Neuvirth regular roster players, and will likely attempt to bring back RFAs Beagle, Fehr, Gordon, and Fleischmann, in addition to UFA defenseman Shaone Morrison to fill out the empty roster spots.  All of their RFAs will be looking to make significantly more coin, particularly Fehr and Fleischmann.  Their combined estimated cap hit would be in the $10-$11 million range.  That would leave Washington enough room to sign one impact free agent to improve their club.

We all know tops on their list would be a legit number two center, but there is not a lot in the way of top end centers out there.  Could a trade be a possibility?  The Caps have pieces that other teams would find very attractive.  The aforementioned Fehr and Fleischmann could fetch a handsome return.  There also has been much speculation surrounding Alexander Semin.  He will be an UFA next season and it is unlikely that the Caps could afford to retain him.

One last thing to consider.  Washington has offensive talent to spare.  Could their missing piece be shutdown defensemen?  This is the year for that market with Willie Mitchell, Anton Volchenkov and Zbynek Michalek all available, could they be just what GM G.M. needs in order to win a Cup?

* all cap numbers provided by www.capgeek.com

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