Florida has been spending in drunken fashion in the last few days:
Brian Campbell - 5 years, $28.6M
Tomas Fleischmann - 4 years, $18M
Ed Jovanovski (35+) - 4 years, $16.5M
Scott Upshall - 4 years, $14M
Tomas Kopecky - 4 years, $12M
Marcel Goc - 3 years, $5.1M
I know that - theoretically - Florida has to blow enough money to get to the salary floor, but this is an ugly way to do it. I got a sneak peak at Tom Awad's Vukota projections for the upcoming season, and he projects these five players as adding just under six wins. That means Florida is paying $4.16M per win for this crew - unfortunately for them, the average cost is quite a bit less: last summer, day 1 of the UFA season saw wins valued at $2.65M. We'll see where the rest of the league ends up today, but I can't imagine it'll be much over $3M. So in a rush to hit the salary floor, Florida is overpaying for talent, and they're saddling a team that's essentially bankrupt and on the block with $95M in long-term liabilities.
Now, notice that I said Florida "theoretically" has to get to the salary floor. But what is the league going to do to them? Fine them? They have no money in the bank. Take away draft picks? That only reduces what a prospective owner is going to pay for the team. And it's not like the NHLPA will grieve it if they don't - the players are guaranteed their share of total revenues regardless of how much is actually on the books for salaries.
Yeah, I know the NHL is an old-boys club, and Dale Tallon might find himself unemployed or suspended if he refused to play ball. But when someone buys this team, they're going to fire him for blowing at least an extra $7M on mediocre players that he didn't need to.
EDIT: The price per win for UFAs this July 1 is $2.83M. Florida looks really bad.