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 Eastern Conference finalists.
Roster players under contract for 2010-2011*
Scott Gomez $7.357m, Mike Cammalleri $6.0m, Brian Gionta $5.0m, Andrei Kostitsyn $3.25m, Travis Moen $1.5m, Georges Laraque $1.5m, Ben Maxwell $850k
Andrei Markov $5.75m, Roman Hamrlik $5.5m, Jaroslav Spacek $3.833m, Hal Gill $2.25m, Josh Gorges $1.1m, Ryan O'Byrne $941k, P.K. Subban $875k
Roster Players Under Contract: 14
2010-2011 Cap: $56,800,000
2010-2011 Payroll: $45,707,143
Cap Space: $11,207,857
Non-Roster players under contract
Max Pacioretty $910k, Andreas Engqvist $900k, Hunter Bishop $900k, Aaron Pulushaj $883k, Olivier Fortier $875k, Ryan White $850k, Gabriel Dumont $571k, Andrew Conboy $550k, Philippe Lefebvre $535k, Dany Masse $531k
Brendon Nash $900k, Yannick Weber $875k, Kyle Klubertanz $550k
Robert Mayer $535k
Tomas Plekanec, F $2.8m, Paul Mara, D $1.7m, Dominic Moore, F $1.1m, Glen Metropolit, F $1.0m, Marc-Andre Bergeron, D $800k, Mike Glumac, F $600k, Curtis Sanford, G $600k, Mathieu Darche, F $600k, Shawn Belle, D $600k, Andre Benoit, D $500k, Alex Henry, D $500k
Carey Price, G $2.2m, Mikael Johansson, F $900k, Brock Trotter, F $900k, Tom Pyatt, F $800k, Mathieu Carle, D $800k, Sergei Kostitsyn, F $800k, Benoit Pouliot, F $800k, Jaroslav Halak, G $800k, Maxin Lapierre, F $700k, J.T. Wyman, F $600k, Michael Busto, D $500k, David Desharnais, F $500k, Ryan Russell, F $500k, Gregory Stewart, F $500k, Cedric Desjardins, G $500k
Price or Halak? One will be back. One will be traded. After Halak's stretch run and show-stopping playoff performance, he will, no doubt, command the higher dollar. However, from what we have seen of both him and Price over the last two seasons, Montreal would be crazy not to keep Halak.
Montreal may be reluctant to give up on a top five overall pick like Price, but can you imagine Price ever playing as well as Halak did this post season? We can't either!
Re-signing Halak will be costly, but it will be worth every penny. His re-signing combined with the ridiculous albatross-like contracts of Gomez, Andrei Kostitsyn and Hamrlik, may very well cost Montreal the opportunity to bring back Tomas Plekanec.
Yet, Montreal was able to make a good run with low cost/high effort guys like Moore and Darche, and they will be able to do it again. Once the Halak/Price decision is made, the Canadiens will need a backup, and then concentrate on adding five or six forwards to the roster.
The Canadiens will not have a lot of cap room at that point, and it is unlikely that they will go after any big name free agents, barring a trade that frees up significant cap room. Otherwise, they will be forced to look to re-sign the lower cost guys they had last season... which did work out pretty well for them.
* all cap numbers provided by www.capgeek.com