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

Monday, September 11, 2006

training camp around the corner -- some teams pressing hard against the cap

The exciting news is that training camp will officially open for all teams later this week. All teams will have a ton of prospects trying their hardest to make the team. Many young prospects have already been skating with their respective teams during the unofficial workouts. Even when these kids don't make the final cut, the fact that they show up early and show up in good shape does wonders for them.

As the teams get a very good look at their own prospects, many young players will be awarded their first NHL contract. Some teams will have roster positions up for battle, and some will be looking only to feed their AHL club.

As we approach training camp, and as the rosters get finalized, teams will have to start taking a close look at their bottom line. After perusing the NHL Team Salaries page (which, by the way, is an excellent resource) site, it looks like four teams will be in "Oh Shit!" mode.

  • Boston Bruins 23 players signed for a total of $43.455M. ($545,000 to spare) Zdeno Chara has signed an outrageous contract paying him $7.5M per season. Patrice Bergeron's contract is so ludicrously back-loaded that the salary cap hit will be $4.75M for him this season even though his salary will be just $3M. The Bs have a tiny bit of wiggle room, but nothing to work with if they find the need to bolster their roster.
  • City of Tampa Lightning 23 players signed for a total of $43.769M. ($231,000 to spare). Thanks to Brad Richards' whopping $7.8M contract and Vinny LeCavalier's cap hit of $6.875M (actual salary = $7.167M), they didn't have much to work with after that. They have exactly 12 forwards signed, and 2 of them have zero NHL experience. This team is one injury away from disaster.

After finally getting Ryan Miller to sign, the Buffalo Sabres are also in a tough spot. Far worse than any, though, is the situation the New Jersey Devils are in. I'll report about Buffalo and Jersey later. Consider this to be part I of this story. Part II will follow in about 6 hours.

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