A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Trouble in the swamp

Does somebody want to tell the New Jersey Devils that there's a salary cap? Please don't make me do it.
Looking at the players they have under contract, there's a few problems they really need to deal with.

The first is the one people know about. With the signing of Patrik "Hepatitis Boy" Elias, they're WAY over the cap. They're only allowed to spend $39M, but Elias' contract puts them at 21 players for $43,748,929. As we're all aware by now, as long as Elias is unable to play (and it certainly looks that way), his pay won't count towards the cap. Fine. Assume that he won't be able to play all season¹, which raises the second point.
Back out his $4.18M, and their total payroll is $39,568,929 for only 20 players. Still over cap. And, now, understaffed. They need to make some major moves. They need to deal one of their name-brand players for multiple players. I'm guessing Viktor Kozlov for a backup goaltender and a young "extra" d-man. Mind you, I said "guess". My opinion is the epitome of "un-professional" This, though, brings me to the third point.
The Devils don't have a second goaltender. All they have is Martin Brodeur. He's great, no doubt, but he needs an occasional night off, and in case of emergency and/or injury you have to have another goaltender. With their current financial state, they won't be able to sign one without freeing up some space.

Now, lets assume that Elias will be able to play. If and when that time comes, the Devils better be prepared to make multiple HUGE moves to get under cap.

Including Elias, they currently have under contract:
    Left Wing: 5 players: Patrik Elias, Jeff Friesen, Jay Pandolfo, Krzysztof Oliwa and Darren Langdon
    Center: 5 players: John Madden, Scott Gomez, Viktor Kozlov, Sergei Brylin, Erik Rasmussen
    Right Wing: 4 players: Alexander Mogilny, Jamie Langenbrunner, Grant Marshall, Brian Gionta
    Defense: 6 players: Brian Rifalski, Vladimir Malakhov, Dan McGillis, Colin White, Richard Matvichuk, Sean Brown
    Goal:1 player: Martin Brodeur.

They need help.

¹I refuse to believe that the Devils signed Elias to a one-year deal with the belief that he wouldn't play all season long. Unless they like throwing money away. Even if it doesn't count towards the cap, they still have to pay it.

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